Science versus Common Sense?
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This conference seeks to address the nature, limits, and value of common sense, especially in relation and possibly in contrast to science and scientific knowledge.
It is often claimed that science debunks common sense: much of our naïve physics, chemistry, and biology has been replaced by superior scientifically informed accounts of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. In recent years, various bits of our commonsensical self-understanding as free, rational, moral, and self-knowing beings has also come under attack from science. Various kinds of scientific debunking arguments are flourishing.
At the same time, it seems obvious that we cannot do without common sense. Arguably, science and the scientific method itself was built on, and continues to depend on, common sense and common sense still plays an important role as a touchstone in much philosophical theorizing.
All of this raises questions about the nature of common sense, its relation to science and philosophy, and its tenability in the face of various kinds of attacks from science and philosophy.
Jeroen de Ridder
René van Woudenberg
January 31, 2016, 4:00am CET