Skip to main content

Sense vs Common sense vs Good sense vs Horse sense vs Gumption vs Judgment vs Wisdom

Sensecommon sensegood sensehorse sensegumptionjudgmentwisdom can all mean the quality of mind or character which enables one to make intelligent choices or decisions or to reach intelligent conclusions.

Sense, because of its numerous significations, is often, when this meaning is intended, called common sense, good sense, or horse sense . All four terms imply a capacity—usually a native capacity—for seeing things as they are and without illusion or emotional bias, for making practical choices or decisions that are sane, prudent, fair, and reasonable and that commend themselves to the normal or average good mind.

Gumption implies native wit or sound common sense often combined with initiative and drive.

Judgment seldom applies to a native quality though it usually suggests a foundation in native good sense. But it also suggests intellectual qualities (as discernment of facts or conditions that are not obvious as well as knowledge of those that are ascertainable and an ability to comprehend the significance of those facts and conditions and to draw correct unbiased conclusions from them) which are the result of training, discipline, and experience.

Wisdom is of all these terms the one of highest praise. It often suggests great soundness of judgment in practical affairs and unusual sagacity, but it is also capable of suggesting an ideal quality of mind or character that is the result of a trained judgment exercised not only in practical affairs but in philosophical speculation, of wide experience in life and thought, of great learning, and of deep understanding.