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  1. #21
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    The one you are interested in the most.

    It's perfectly possible to get a degree without doing much critical thinking.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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  2. #22
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    I want to say philosophy, but it's entirely possible to get a philosophy degree without thinking for yourself while just commenting on the greats. I'd say physics promotes the best critical thinking because you need a firm grasp of the abstractions involved. In any other subject you can slide on by.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    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.

    Edahn,

    I am not suggesting their is no merit in teaching and social work, but that while there may be critical thinkers in such fields it is not a requirement for the job. From a pragmatic point of view we can claim the following. A good knife is one that cuts well. A good teacher is one that teaches well. Can a teacher lack critical thinking skills and still teach well? Yes. Can a good social worker lack critical thinking and still work well? Yes. But can a good philosopher lack critical thinking and still philosophize well? No. Because critical thinking is essential to the field of philosophy. Thus, while any field can have critical thinkers (one can be a genius working in a factory) there are some fields that demand critical thinking more than others, such as philosophy. Moreover, if we were to take a survey at universities and ask which field is better for honing critical thinking skills: philosophy or social work? Most would say philosophy. In fact, it's already the majority on this thread. And furthermore, philosophy wins by default because social work isn't even offered at most universities it's offered at colleges because it tends to be more hands on than intellectual.

  4. #24
    Senior Member dnivera's Avatar
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    Most sciences. I don't mean passively learning and memorizing basic concepts of biology, chemistry, and physics, which any high school student can do, but, at a higher level, critically thinking about research questions, designing research, and finding holes in other people's work. (Basically what phD students are supposed to be doing...)
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  5. #25
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    I would think that Philosophy or Intellectual History would be amongst the best. UPenn has a major called PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) that is pretty popular and has more of the Intellectual History bent than Poli Sci (and is more international), and is less econometrics/numbers heavy than Econ. Probably pretty good in this context, as well.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provoker View Post
    Edahn,

    I am not suggesting their is no merit in teaching and social work, but that while there may be critical thinkers in such fields it is not a requirement for the job.
    But not being a requirement doesn't mean "social work...isn't very critical at all." Social work is a wide field that can certainly cater to critical thinkers. I've personally come across many critical thinkers in the field.

    A good teacher is one that teaches well. Can a teacher lack critical thinking skills and still teach well? Yes. Can a good social worker lack critical thinking and still work well? Yes. But can a good philosopher lack critical thinking and still philosophize well? No. Because critical thinking is essential to the field of philosophy.
    I wasn't contesting which field promotes MORE critical thinking, but your statement that "social work isn't very critical at all."

    Moreover, if we were to take a survey at universities and ask which field is better for honing critical thinking skills: philosophy or social work? Most would say philosophy. In fact, it's already the majority on this thread.
    Argument ad numerum

    And furthermore, philosophy wins by default because social work isn't even offered at most universities it's offered at colleges because it tends to be more hands on than intellectual.
    You're confusing availability with quality, and the second part (italicized) is speculative and circular. Second, graduate schools offer degrees in social work. Third, I was contesting your statement that "social work isn't very critical at all," not whether it is less or more critical than philosophy.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    i think the problem here is the question: essentially, what subject promotes critical thinking the most?

    ive always considered the most elaborate use of critical thinking to be in practical application, that is to say, in any given situation the "discernment, analysis and evaluation" consists of a multitude of factors.

    what this means is that, regardless of what subject you pick, you should try to develop your critical thinking skills through intellectual resourcefulness of the subject matter. im fairly sure you could do decently enough in any of the subjects through absorb and regurgitate... to truly understand, and at the graduate level, apply your knowledge to advance the field are much better examples of critical thinking than simply what subject one chooses.

    i say, pick a subject you enjoy doing, that will give you a motivation to spend time thinking about it, among other things. although you may find certain fields more challenging, if you dont really care for them then you'll have a hard time doing well in the long run.

  8. #28

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    Yes. As the person who posed the question, I know it to be ill-formed.

    I thought it would lead to people doing what they are doing now.

    Few people actually stopped to ask what is critical thinking, anr question whether the implicit premise in the question is valid at all.

    Both important elements of critical thinking.

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Third, I was contesting your statement that "social work isn't very critical at all," not whether it is less or more critical than philosophy.
    In this quote you've presented only half of my argument: social work isn't very critical at all (now plugging the other half in) compared to other fields, like philosophy for example.

    I have stayed in line with the question at hand which implies a wider scope. I can outline all the details of how a fighter pilot uses critical thinking but again - trying to formulate an answer to the question of this thread - how does it compare to other fields? One must remember that the question is asking "which degree promotes critical thinking the best?" and the most appropriate method for answering this is a comparative approach not a case study.

    Let me further illustrate my point. Suppose the question is: Which country has the best democracy? If I only get into the details of Canadian democracy is that going to be a good way for solving this question? No. Because although Canadian democracy is good perhaps the quality of democracy in Sweden is better. This parallels to the question at hand. My point that social work isn't very critical should not be measured in an of itself. It is a statement about social work in relation (or in comparison) to other fields. Thus, if you want to debunk my argument, you must prove how social work exhibits more critical thinking than other things, like philosophy.

  10. #30
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provoker View Post
    In this quote you've presented only half of my argument: social work isn't very critical at all (now plugging the other half in) compared to other fields, like philosophy for example.
    True, but the even greater context surrounding your statement suggested that there is no critical thinking AT ALL. For example, in that same paragraph, with respect to teaching below university-level, you say: "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," and you bridge education to social work in that both, in your view, demand regurgitation only.

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