After checking the Big List and General Discussions, I find no definition here for “common sense.” My less-than-thorough Pocket OED defines it simply as “sound practical sense” while Wikipedia predictably sent me off on a tear chasing philosophical and psychological tails. To bring this into sharper focus, I’m not at all certain that Easterners and Westerners don’t see reality differently, i.e., Westerners, I think, tend to see more “black-and-white” whereas Easterners see in a more “wholistic” paradigm (which I’ve written about in my forever-in-draft memoir when attempting to differentiate “mindsets” of conventionalists and progressives in the geopolitical arena, and which I also surface in an article I posted to G-Knol entitled “SOF Mafia"). I further think this is a matter of both genetic predisposition and, subsequently, culture.
The question has again surfaced for me via Howard Gardner, Ph.D. in his “Multiple Intelligences” theory, specifically in the context of his “Logical-Mathematical Intelligence” particulate. I see a difference between basic/fundamental “logic” (thus not to be confused with advanced forms such as found among philosophers, and which Gardner ultimately accedes as an example of “Existential Intelligence” per his ‘06 revision) and mathematical abilities, finding the first more at “common sense” than to specific “mathematical” applications. Applying Gardner’s sense of “searchlight” (general) v. “laser” (focused) modalities, my intention here is to see “common sense” as searchlight where more refined application would be seen as laser.