The geographic equivalent of Peirce’s commens is the commons, which is as essential to the well-being of a geographical community as the commens is to communication (Hess and Ostrom 2007).

The collective, communal belief system is organized by and for what we call common sense. But this consensus-building (or rebuilding) process depends crucially on the self-controlled efforts of community members: hence the dynamic tension between individual and communal belief systems.

The circumstance that each person is defined by and identified with a specific locus in a network of relations guarantees that selfishness is self-defeating. On the other hand, too much conformity to laws or patterns of behavior that ignore the specific circumstances of that locus can defeat (or at least anesthetize) the community guided or constituted by those laws.

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