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  1. #11
    heart on fire
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    Philosophy would promote better use of Ti.

    History would promote better use of Te.

    It seems both would promote the attempt to be more objective in thinking while stressing that no person can ever be certain they are unbiased.

    Literature would promote a type of critical thought coming more through a Fi lens.

  2. #12
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Philosophy would promote better use of Ti.

    History would promote better use of Te.

    It seems both would promote the attempt to be more objective in thinking while stressing that no person can ever be certain they are unbiased.

    Literature would promote a type of critical thought coming more through a Fi lens.
    So, how about the "History of Philosophical Literature". That would be a good degree, and would cover all three!

  3. #13
    Senior Member 6sticks's Avatar
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    History.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    So, how about the "History of Philosophical Literature". That would be a good degree, and would cover all three!
    I actually took a class called that... and it was really easy.
    No offense.

  4. #14
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Mathematics. It was the best training for logic, critical thinking, analysis, conciseness, clarity etc.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  5. #15
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I think it depends how exactly you define critical thinking. So I turn to my trusty wiki:

    "Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense."

    So....that sounds a lot like my precious hard sciences (I'm talking research, not high school memorizing crap). I think the "reconciling scientific evidence with common sense" bit rules out philosophy for the prize, unless you're going by a different definition.

    That being said, I have learned complementary thinking styles from my psych classes.

  6. #16
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I think it depends how exactly you define critical thinking. So I turn to my trusty wiki:

    "Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense."

    So....that sounds a lot like my precious hard sciences (I'm talking research, not high school memorizing crap). I think the "reconciling scientific evidence with common sense" bit rules out philosophy for the prize, unless you're going by a different definition.
    I did hard sciences as well (chem and physics) but I actually found that mathematics taught me more about science than science did, if that makes sense. And while I was studying, I did try to read philosophy or English essays etc as well - but the lack of clear thinking and analysis annoyed me too much.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  7. #17
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemo View Post
    In my experience...

    Philosophy wins for challenging beliefs and perspectives, to the point of challenging how you challenge beliefs and perspectives. (And then challenging how you're challenging the challenges of those beliefs and perspectives...)

    Mathematics comes in second for destroying your mind.

    And I will debate this with every philosophy major until I die, but I still think mathematics is unarguably the most rigorous discipline. But that doesn't necessarily translate into critical thinking skills.
    I was a philosophy major, and now I'm a philosphy grad-student, and I totally agree with you. There is some very rigorous philosophy, (philosophy of logic and language, mostly), but the basic things are clear. Much of philosophy is the history of ideas, and one needn't delve into the utterly esoteric, analytic philosophy of today in order to do history.

    At the same time, many of the topics discussed in philosophy cannot be reduced to mathematical propositions, and it is a mistake to try to reduce philosophy to math. Natural language is far more expressive than any logical language we've yet devised.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    I did hard sciences as well (chem and physics) but I actually found that mathematics taught me more about science than science did, if that makes sense. And while I was studying, I did try to read philosophy or English essays etc as well - but the lack of clear thinking and analysis annoyed me too much.
    There is some very clear philosophy out there. But much of it is very simple; don't expect it to be as challenging as math. However, elegance and beauty often accompany simplicity.

  8. #18
    No me digas, che! Recoleta's Avatar
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    I'm kinda surprised that teaching hasn't been mentioned yet...although it is along the same lines of Kiddo mentioning social work.

    I'm in a Masters of Arts in Teaching program with my specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and my program has presented me with more problems and issues than I ever thought possible. The teaching field requires an amazing amount of planning, individualized instruction, and grappling with all kinds of social/economic/political/health/cultural/religious/ethical issues. Essentially, teaching ESOL requires that an entire world of knowledge that a student comes with be translated and built upon in the context of a new culture and language all the while being respectful and accepting of their home culture (and this can occur with various levels of content knowledge and varying amounts of literacy capabilities all happenening in the same classroom). It is an ESOL's teacher's job to prepare their students to face reality and equip them to thrive in a culture that they may not be famililar with and in a language that they do not natively speak. Social conventions, customs, interpersonal communication, humor, verbal/nonverbal communication skills have to be presented so that students are aware of them. Sure, they can pick up on a good bit by gaining friends and being immersed in a culture, but there is so much that must be taught. For example, have you ever thought about how language changes between academic writing, fiction writing, news reporting, and conversation? How do you teach a student to effectively communicate across all situations? Have you ever thought about how much our speech is tied to culture -- how much we play with words?

    Anyway, I digress...all that to say that the amount of critical thinking needed for teaching blows my mind. Student teaching is coming up in the fall...and I am terrified and very excited all at the same time!

  9. #19
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    This thread is rediculous: talk about self-serving biases. First, social work (when put in comparative perspective next to other things like philosophy, astrophysics, chess, etc) isn't very critical at all. All the tasks you (the social worker poster) mentioned are systematized. As long as one follows the procedures there are no hick-ups. In fact, social work and bureacracies are designed so that an individual doesn't have a lot of autonomy. I'm not saying you don't work hard, but when one follows guides and procedures one's not utilizing critical thinking skills. Second, a person involved in teaching mentioned teaching, how typical. But this depends: If one is teaching at the university level, and involved in research work on the side, then that is moving in the critical direction. But if one is teaching elementary or high school and just reiterating information from a text, essentially a mouthpiece of the textbook, this isn't critical thinking at all.

    Incidentally, I've taken a wide range of subjects at university (especially in first year) including anthropology, environmental science, management, economics, philosophy, political science, music and one can think critically in any area although they are not designed to promote this. Instead undergrad programs are designed to train you to memorize substantive data and think a certain way: To frame issues by the current analytical frameworks and, as a result, they are very institutionalized. Even in philosophy, it is very institutionalized, because schools need a standard for evaluation. If everyone adopts their own ingenious theories there is no bases for evaluation. So at this level, it is institutionalized and standardized, however, in the upper years of undergrad and definately at the masters and phd level their is more room for exploring your own genius. Moreover, while every subject in undergrad is institutionalized, philosophy still offers the greatest potential for critical thinking when compared with more rigid programs like economics or chemistry or anthropology.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provoker View Post
    This thread is rediculous: talk about self-serving biases.
    Actually, I think your analysis is pretty "rediculous," in part because of the weakness of your arguments, and in part because you acknowledge their weakness, but present them anyway. Lets take a look.

    First, social work (when put in comparative perspective next to other things like philosophy, astrophysics, chess, etc) isn't very critical at all. All the tasks you (the social worker poster) mentioned are systematized. As long as one follows the procedures there are no hick-ups. In fact, social work and bureacracies are designed so that an individual doesn't have a lot of autonomy. I'm not saying you don't work hard, but when one follows guides and procedures one's not utilizing critical thinking skills.
    Social work can definitely challenge one's creativity and analytical mind. Becoming acquainted with a system as large as the social welfare system is a challenge on its own with no limits. There are endless resources a person can tap into and weave together into a rehabilitation plan, some of which are obvious and codified (for lack of better word) and some of which require creative genius. In a lot of ways, social work IS chess. To be effective, you need to know how everything flows together, and you need to be able to construct a plan to achieve your objective by making those pieces work together while avoiding pitfalls. And the irony of it all is that you seem to acknowledge this by restricting your critique to people who only follow procedure. (See emboldened.) Any task that is reduced to a series of procedures and directives will stop being challenging.

    Second, a person involved in teaching mentioned teaching, how typical. But this depends: If one is teaching at the university level, and involved in research work on the side, then that is moving in the critical direction. But if one is teaching elementary or high school and just reiterating information from a text, essentially a mouthpiece of the textbook, this isn't critical thinking at all.
    You make the same strawman argument here. Instead of criticizing teaching, you criticize teaching AND JUST REITERATING INFORMATION. Not every teacher is just a mouthpiece for a textbook, and good teachers are always much more. Teaching presents similar challenges as does social work, but the system one is mastering is the classroom dynamic and the children themselves. The strategy involved in the same: how will I best accomplish my task given the parameters that I'm presented with today? A good teacher understands the classroom and students and knows how to reach them in a way that a book can't, using whatever tools at his or her disposal. It also involves a great deal of genius and creativity as well as critical thinking in being able to apprehend a problem and generate an elegant solution.

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