Difference Between Common Sense and Science

Common Sense vs Science
 

Common sense and science are two words that are often confused when it comes to their meanings when strictly speaking, there is a difference between the two words. Common sense is our usual understanding of practical issues. The word common sense is used in the sense of ‘natural instinct.’ On the other hand, science is the study or knowledge of the physical and natural world based on observation and experimentation. The word science is used in the sense of a ‘kind of knowledge.’ Common sense is our knowledge of day to day life. Science goes a step beyond and provides scientific explanations for realities in life and those that we take for granted. This is the main difference between the two words. This article attempts to highlight the difference between these two while providing a comprehensive understanding of each word.

What is Common Sense?

Common sense includes our knowledge of day to day realities. It is how a lay person comprehends the world around him. Common sense provides practical solutions to daily matters. As human beings, through the process of development, we all acquire common sense. It is this knowledge that allows us to behave properly in the society. Simply common sense includes things that we take for granted.

In academic discourses, it is believed that the distinction between a lay person and an academic is that while a lay person is only confined to common sense, the academic goes on to acquire the scientific knowledge as well. He does not stop and state ‘it is the way things are done,’ but is eager to explore why things are done in that particular way.

In general usage, the word common sense can be used as follows. Observe the two sentences:

He showed common sense in this case.

The student lacked common sense.

In both the sentences, you can find that the word common sense is used in the sense of ‘natural instinct’ or ‘common understanding.’ In the first sentence, the meaning would be ‘he showed common understanding in this case.’ The meaning of the second sentence would be ‘the student lacked common understanding.’ This provides a basic understanding of the word.

Difference Between Common Sense and Science

‘He showed common sense in this case’

What is Science?

Science can be defined as the study or knowledge of the physical and natural world based on observation and experimentation. There are different sciences that can be mainly put into two categories. They are natural sciences and social sciences. Natural sciences include chemistry, physics, zoology, biology, etc. Social sciences include sociology, political science, demography, etc. All sciences provide a scientific understanding of the natural or the social world.

In day to day usage, the word science can be used as follows.Observe the two sentences:

Zoology is an interesting science.

He learned all the sciences.

In both the sentences, you can see that the word science is used in the sense of ‘a kind of knowledge.’

Overall this highlights that the word science is used in the sense of a branch of knowledge. This may not come in handy in our day to day life even though it expands our understanding of the world. Science assists to bring about new discoveries in the world. Despite the fact that common sense does not contribute to such a purpose, it should be utilized to solve a number of problems related to life. One who does not use common sense is subjected to difficulties. These are the main differences between the two words, namely, science and common sense.

Sense vs Science

‘He learned all the sciences’

What is the difference between Common Sense and Science?

• Definitions of Common Sense and Science:

• Common sense is our usual understanding of practical matters.

• Science is the study or knowledge of the physical and natural world based on observation and experimentation.

• Sense:

• The word common sense is used in the sense of ‘natural instinct.’

• The word science is used in the sense of a ‘kind of knowledge.’

• Daily Life:

• Common sense is vital for day to day life.

• Science is not vital to day to day life.

• Lay Person and Academic:

• A lay person has common sense.

• An academic has both common sense and scientific knowledge.

• Connection:

• Science goes a step beyond common sense and explores why an incident occurs in that particular way.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Man by Mika-photography (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. Medical Laboratory Scientist via Wikicommons (Public Domain)