KARL JASPERS FORUM
DIAGNOSIS OF LACK OF COMMON
by Herbert FJ Müller
29 December 2007, posted 5 January 2008
RW Smith’s work on common sense is of great potential interest, I would think. As he shows, there is a similar notion in all languages. However, much depends on the solidity of this concept.
What did not become clear to me how a diagnosis of disorder of common sense is to be made in practice. RWS mentions questions relating to this point in several places, such as TA100  and . He comes back to the question of using tests of mathematics and reading abilities in R1 , but I was not able to understand what his proposal for a diagnostic procedure would be; and this would be a pre-requisite for inclusion in ICD or DSM. And also, how reliable is such an ‘axis II diagnosis’ ?
Aside from psychiatric classification, RWS emphasizes the practical importance of common sense, for instance in politics. Would he suggest that candidates for political office should be pre-screened for common sense, as opposed to the lack of it (as in fanaticism, or more generally, a tendency to hold and promote pre-conceived assumptions in an uncritical manner) ?
Herbert FJ Müller
e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>