Common-sense reasoning and everyday activities

in Pragmatics and Cognition, Journal article


This paper is concerned with the nature of common-sense reasoning and understanding in relation to practical behaviour. It examines the relationship between intuitive knowledge based on everyday experience and institutionalized theory and practice. An analysis of the types of knowledge that guide the selection of actions and understanding in the domain of cooking practice is presented. Verbal transcripts were elicited from participants, with varying levels of experience, of the cooking methods they followed and their underlying rationale. The results suggest that individuals utilize various high level knowledge primitives in combination with pragmatic utility principles in their reasoning. The findings are discussed in the light of recent theoretical approaches concerned with the relationship between knowledge and inference.