The Structure of Psychological Common Sense by Jan Smedslund download in iPad, ePub, pdf
We shall now argue that K is the system of qualitative discontinuities which sets this phenomenon into relief and makes it salient as a phenomenon. Modern science, on the other hand and the Platonic and Democritian philosophies it absorbed postulated just such global distortions. We draw attention, first of all, to the ubiquitous role of sensible qualities in filling out the world of commonsensical experience. One hundred and fifty years ago the statements made above were common sense. The best place for people with disabilities is an institution.
To suggest, in Strollian spirit, that the very practice of theorizing in this sphere should be abandoned, however, is to lend credence to a counsel of intellectual nihilism. The sensible qualities of objects can in every case be identified with the properties of certain corresponding physical variations. Consider, for example, an oscillating electric circuit. They are not, though, dependent on specific perceptions or beliefs nor, a fortiori on our languages or theories.
Above all, as we shall see, commonsensical reality is not able to support the sort of predictive theory which we enjoy in regard to cuts through physical reality at certain lower levels. Of course this world would not be interesting if there were no people, and so these disciplines, too, would not exist. From our present perspective there can be no common-sense theory about thermostats, any more than there can be a common-sense theory of osmosis or radioactive decay. Indeed there are those who would deny this very possibility even while emphasizing the autonomy of commonsensical experience itself. Another problem is that, like all pragmatic doctrines, it tells us at most part of the story.
Hence much further argument would be needed to prove that our behaviourally relevant knowledge can exist only in tacit form so that the idea of a naive physics made explicit would be incoherent. Certainly if one looks for evidence to support a view of this sort, given the wealth of extant conceptions of the nature of reality in different cultures, one will undoubtedly find it.
Only some types of physical variation are able to support phenomena of the qualitative sort. They reflect delineations in physical reality of a kind whose interest depends essentially on the existence of a certain perceptual apparatus on the part of human perceivers. These claims about the earth were seemingly obvious in previous centuries, but we now know them to be false. All that is necessary for the objectivity of a property is that objects have or fail to have that property independently of their interactions with perceiving subjects. In giving an appropriate mathematical expression to this idea we suppose, with Thom and Petitot, that W is the spatio-temporal extension of a given phenomenon.