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Common Sense and Science Essay Sample

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Common Sense and Science Essay Sample

This discussion provides dissimilarity between common sense and science; the relationship of common sense and beliefs; and a reflection of how a scholarly-practitioner can relate all of these to the field of critical thinking. It further explores the application of “ belief perseverance” and an explanation of how it interferes with critical thinking; and one strategy that flags critical thinking in the presence one’s belief system. The discussion will conclude with an analysis of common sense, science and beliefs relate to critical thinking, and the significance of critical thinking to a scholarly-practitioner (PPPA 8000 “Common Sense and Science”, 2013). Difference Common Sense and Science

According to online Merriam Webster dictionary, common sense is defined as best and careful reasoning based on a straightforward evidence of a given circumstance or reality, and science is a systematic knowledge gained through study and experiment. In simple terms, common sense is know-how gained on the basis of daily information, and science is systematic research based on a specific subject matter with concluded facts. Science expresses essentially natural qualities based on empirical factuality that common sense does not delve into. Science functions on the basis of theories that are constantly verified and modified through experimentation. On the basis of required validity needed to make judgments, science conduct tests on its own propositions, thereby eliminating hypotheses which do not prove relevance to the domain. Science also has ways of discarding held perceptions and intuitions that can adequately be explained. Common sense fails to measure up within these perimeters. Finally, science rules abstract concepts with no basis in reality; whereas, common sense allows abstract theory or talk without empirical facts. For example, to suggest that a spiritualist cured ones disease, and not contemporary medicine, is one such classical reasons while common sense is so different from science (Hill, 2011). Connection between Common Sense and Beliefs

The connection between common sense and beliefs is one that is interwoven; on the one hand commonsense relies on belief, and on the other hand belief depends on common sense to thrive. Common sense let us to believe phenomenon that cannot be tested through empirically factual means. For example, the biblical doctrine of creation is a belief nurtured by common sense (Hill, 2011). At this juncture, common sense, science, and belief are, nonetheless, involving fields that feed into the pattern of critical thinking. According to Elder & Paul (2004) critical thinking is an orderly process of making best judgments within the context of available information which involve generating solutions to varying set of situations. Douglas (2000) discusses beliefs as being inherent in the content of ideas, or that ideas are by themselves beliefs. This can therefore be further inferred that ideas are premised on common sense and so is belief. Though common sense is abstract and science is absolute, both are essentially important functions of critical thinking. Belief Perseverance

Belief perseverance is the tendency to hold on to information that conforms to one’s held beliefs. Belief perseverance grossly interferes and undermines the whole concept of critical thinking in that it tends to seal off or distort the possibility for an individual to easily concur with a rational point of view (Douglas, 2000). I worked in several institutions where, in certain instances, it was difficult to convince some individuals to conform to some change management decisions. Their behaviors, as a consequence of belief perseverance, adversely affected some staff members thereby hurting the institutions’ images overall. Strategy to Employ

One strategy that I have employed over the years and is still relevant in my interaction with people, even when my beliefs are attacked, is to learn to listen to dissent. According to Friedman (2004) listening to dissent is an essential ingredient to rationalize and making inherent decisions aimed at adjustments one’s held beliefs thus paving the way for reasoning.


Common Sense and Science. (2013). [Week 9 Discussion]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url Douglas, N. L. (2000). Enemies of critical thinking: Lessons from social
psychology research. Reading Psychology, 21(2), 129–144.

Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2004). Becoming a critic of your thinking: Learning the art of critical thinking. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/becoming-a-critic-of-your-thinking/605 Friedman, S. (2004) Learning to make more effective decisions: Changing beliefs as a prelude to action. The Learning Organization, 11(2/3), 110–128. Hill, K. (2011). Communicating Science: The Difference Between Science and Common Sense. Retrieved from: http://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/communicating-scienc. Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online. (n.d.). Definition of Science. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science.


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