The Heart of Commonsense Thinking

Here, we are talking about problems involving thinking; not pure knowledge-based answering (like say, me asking you – What is my uncle’s name?)

There would be various possible theories to explain the mechanism of the Cognitive Psychological process involved in coming to the solution of these problems involving thinking. Broadly and vaguely speaking, there would be concepts like sequence of events, sub-problems, objects/agents – doers and receivers, cause-effect, if-then, rules, cases, connections and relations etc.


Whatever be the theory, here is, according to me, a central heart-like feature to it – The solution can occur to the mind only if one already knows of a state which is like the imagined state.

If the imagined configuration-state involved in the question isn’t KNOWN through sheer raw memory (beforehand), the process of thinking to the solution is impossible.

How can you think about the future, in general, otherwise? What will happen to this rod on pushing it? How can I answer without having known of a “pushed rod”?

Commonsense thinking is unorganised and messy. Hence it suits it to have something like a key feature/”heart”. 

Illustration – 

Consider a horizontal maker pen. It has the word ‘Marker’ written on it along its length. Question – If I tilt the pen, what will happen to the text (‘Marker’) written on it? Answer – The text will also get tilted.

How does the mind process this?

The point is this – You cannot answer the question without having had seen a tilted object with something written on it. 

If you somewhere in the mind (not consciously aware, upfront) don’t know of the state of a tilted object with something written on it, from your commonsense memory, the solution, whatever be the path of your solution, won’t flash. 

(NOTE : The generalization involved in the writing above (like ‘object’ instead of ‘cylindrical object’, which a marker pen is) pertains to cutting out the irrelevant parts of the problem and preserving only the relevant ones.) 

So, speaking in a loose and light sense, you know all future beforehand! 

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