The Philosophy of Common Sense

What is common sense? How common is it? How “sensical” is it? How can we define it? And how does it sometimes lead us astray?

Locations: Menlo Park, Woodside

Cost: $110/hr.

Recommended hours: 8-10


  • Transition comfortably between the modes of certitude and doubt
  • Become conversant in the philosophic traditions listed above
  • Read and write with a critical eye
  • Analyze and be aware of rhetoric’s manipulative capacity
  • Produce and express informed opinions and interpretations
  • Provide and receive criticism with an open mind and good grace

To Enroll Call (650) 331-3251


Course Description:

The Common Sense curriculum will examine how truth and knowledge are structured in the Western philosophic tradition. Students will be guided through truth (Plato), certainty (Descartes), and doubt (Montaigne and Voltaire). We will discuss how the notion of common sense is used and sometimes abused in everyday discourse. To truly highlight the idea of common sense, the class will conclude by studying “non sense,” that is to say the absurdities in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Our conversations and readings will shed light on larger notions of western philosophy and culture, such as knowledge, self hood, identity, ethics, politics, journalism, and business.

Make the Most of the Summer!

Students who stay actively engaged in the learning process during the summer perform better during the school year.

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Peninsula Main Phone Number (650) 331-3251
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