sense as a cultural system
(by Clifford Geertz)
THE ARTICLE IS CONCERNED WITH CLARIFYING THE CONCEPT OF COMMON SENSE. THE MODE OF CLARIFICATION IS LESS PHILOSOPHICAL THAN ETHNOGRAPHIC, EVIDENCE FROM SEVERAL CULTURES BEING INVOKED IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONSTRUCT A CONCEPTION OF COMMON SENSE THAT HAS CROSS-CULTURAL VALIDITY. A NUMBER OF GENERAL FEATURES OF COMMON SENSE ORIENTATIONS TO EXPERIENCE ARE LISTED AND DISCUSSED, AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF SUCH AN EMPIRICALLY BASED CONCEPT FOR PHILOSOPHICAL STUDY OUTLINED.
online source: Philosopher's Index
Challenge is given to current efforts of anthropology, philosophy, & sociology, to identify certain cultural characteristics, eg, forms of law or science, & types of religion or ideology among primitive cultures. Our cultural definition of what comprises common sense is not necessarily as self-evident to other cultural systems & beliefs; apprehension of reality in a common sense way is just as open to interpretation as any other cultural norm or practice. Common sense occurs as cultural phenomena which varies as widely as cultural systems themselves vary. Thus, the defining of common sense defies empirical, conceptual, & logical formulation, & "...remains more an assumed phenomena than an analyzed one." 2 examples of common sense notions are examined cross-culturally: (1) Azande witchcraft, & (2) intersexuality. 5 stylistic features are outlined as the only means by which the concept of commonsense can be characterized: (A) naturalness, (B) practicalness, (C) thinness, (D) immethodicalness, & (E) accessibleness. C. Grindle
source: Sociological Abstracts Inc. (quoted by the scanned paper version).
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