One question

Posted by Henry on July 14, 2003

In Reply to: One question posted by Christine on July 14, 2003

: Hi,

: Could anyone help me with the brcketed sentences?

: Commonsensical beliefs, far from fixed or immobile, are in a constant state of renewal: ('new ideas' are always entering daily life and encountering the 'sedimentation' left by the contradictiory, ambiguous, chaotic aggregate of disparate conceptions. In critiquing what passes for common sense as 'the residue of absolutely basic and commonly-agreed, consensual wisdoms), you can't learn, through common sense, how things are: you can only discover where they fit into the existing scheme of things.

: Thanks a lot.

Christine, you are doing very well if you can understand half of this paragraph! It's a discussion about the nature of "common sense". The writer believes that "society" holds a number of opinions received from different sources and which do not all agree with one another. New ideas are being added all the time. Of all these opinions, the writer defines "common sense" as the fundamental views which are agreed by all the people involved.

The writer believes that this "common sense" cannot show how things are, but can only show where they fit into the existing scheme of things. I hope this will help you! Does anyone differ?