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Sensus communis (literally "common sense" in Latin) is a philosophical term originally used to refer to the perceptual power of binding the inputs of the individual sense organs into a coherent and intelligible representation. The term originates with Aristotle (sensus communis is the Latin translation of Aristotle's κοινὴ αἲσθησις). It is used in a similar sense by Thomas Aquinas and Rene Descartes.
In rhetoric, the term is used to mean the whole set of unstated assumptions, prejudices, and values (see endoxa) that an orator can take for granted when addressing an audience. These are those opinions absorbed from society and the Zeitgeist without being exposed to to critical consideration.
"..we must [here] take sensus communis to mean the idea of a sense shared [by us all], i.e., a power to judge that in reflecting takes account (a priori), in our thought, of everyone else's way of presenting [something], in order as it were to compare our own judgement with human reason in general... Now we do this as follows: we compare our judgement not so much with the actual as rather with the merely possible judgements of others, and [thus] put ourselves in the position of everyone else..." 
 See also
- Aristotle. De Anima. Many editions.
- Descartes, Rene. "Letter to Mersenne, 21 April 1941" in Descartes: Philosophical Letters, trans. and ed. Anthony Kenny. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1970. More from Descartes on his use of the notion of the common sense in the sixth meditation.
- Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy, in Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, trans. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, Dugald Murdoch. Cambridge:, Cambridge University Press, 1988. The sixth meditation mentions the common sense.
- Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Truth and Method, 2nd rev. ed., trans. Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. New York: Continuum, 1994. Especially pp. 19–29.
- Reid, Thomas. An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense, in Thomas Reid's Inquiry and Essays, ed.Ronald E. Beanblosom and keith Lehrer. New York: Hackett, 1983.
- Oettinger, M. Friedrich Christoph.
- Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper). "Sensus Communis, An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour in a Letter to a Friend" in Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Lawrence E. Klein. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 1999.
- Vico, Giambattista. On the Study Methods of our Time, trans. Elio Gianturco. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990.
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