There is a word I read some years ago, which was used in a philosophical context to express the idea of people having the same concept or understanding of something. It might have been discussed in the context of semiotics or epistemology, I can't remember exactly.

The idea in that context was: how do we check that we all have the same understanding of X concept or thing. And this word - which may start with the prefix "con-" - designated that specific reality of people having a shared understanding of something. Its connotations implied commensurability and commonality in terms of cognition.

I have one of those "word being on the tip of your tongue" moments, but I can't contextualise this word enough that I could find it by searching it somewhere. It might be a very specialised word, that is only used in very specific contexts where philosophical, semiotic or even scientific methodology is discussed. I think I first heard this word at a university course, that's why I'm thinking it might be related to one of those fields.

  • Could you be looking for the word 'consensus?' The definition of which is: a general agreement or an agreement where two people have the same understanding. – Kermit Nov 1 '20 at 18:53
  • @TheIdiot1234 - No, it's not such a common word. It's a word that is very specialised. Those who know it probably read some epistemology, semiotics or took a scientific methodology course. It sounds like a crossbreed between "commensurable" and "contiguous", in phonetic terms, if I remember correctly. – dolanator Nov 1 '20 at 18:59
  • The word 'commonality' is used hereabouts, but it is not always used in the way you specify. Lexico has: << commonality [noun; pl commonalities] 1 [mass noun] The state of sharing features or attributes. ‘the explanations show a high degree of commonality in their reasoning’ >> – Edwin Ashworth Nov 1 '20 at 19:18

The term I was looking for was intersubjectivity.

I'm sorry my memory did not give me the correct clue, it wasn't a word that used the "con-" prefix. I appreciate everyone's contribution that was made to answer this question.

As I've explained, it's more of a technical word used in various cognitive fields, like philosophy. It's basically a concept that lies opposite to that of solipsism. It implies that the potential disconnect between different, individual (subjective) perceptions and knowledge can be bridged and objective propositions can be made.

Intersubjectivity refers to this possibility of establishing a commonality from individual, subjective cognitions.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.