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  1. #31
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    The Edahn/provoker argument seems to be drifting into nitpick territory, so i suggest the members slowly back out of it a bit.

    (Without much experience with multiple degrees, I don't really have anything to say about the subject.)

  2. #32
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    While I agree that a career in something you are interested in will probably allow the opportunity for the most critical thinking, I think that Philosophy is the subject that requires the most critical thinking. It makes sense since it is the "love of knowledge". Your points in Philosophy have to be able to answer all counterpoints, or you're argument is automatically nulled. My metaphysics class is the class that has required me to use the most critical thinking that I have ever used in my life. The sad part is that there is no way I can ever talk about the things I learned in that class with anyone except those who have taken it, since to talk about one thing I have to talk about a billion other little things. Philosophy requires rigorous logic and the ability to work the nothing but abstract ideas; there is simply nothing tangible about it.
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  3. #33
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provoker View Post
    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.
    I'm not sure I agree with this.

    I consider teachers and social workers who can't think critically to be at best marginal teachers and social workers. A warm body does not a "good teacher" make, especially as the students mature.

    You also seem to think that critical thinking only applies to evaluations of the ideas themselves. Social workers apply critical thinking in their evaluation of people and situations; it's extremely extremely important that their choices of how to approach each situation be appropriate suited for the people involved.

    (The whole "sexual abuse" scare that left hundreds of United States citizens illegitimately in jail in the late 70's and early/mid-80's resulted from social workers AND forensic doctors who did not have good critical thinking skills. If the goal of these people was to be effective at their job and prevent abuse and properly punish offenders, then they failed miserably. They were POOR social workers and forensic doctors.)

    There are many different angles in how critical thinking can be applied, aside from the most obvious and simplistic areas of theory and abstracted knowledge that seems more apparent to you based on your background.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with this..
    You're evading the difference between critical and most critical. Remember, this thread is driven by the question "what degree promotes critical thinking the best?". You can make excuses for social work and teachers and astrophysicists and chess players and, hey, let's through in CIA intelligence analysts, metaphysicians and frog specialists. An answer that assimilates everything doesn't answer the question.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    A warm body does not a "good teacher" make, especially as the students mature...
    Syntax error?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    You also seem to think that critical thinking only applies to evaluations of the ideas themselves. Social workers apply critical thinking in their evaluation of people and situations; it's extremely extremely important that their choices of how to approach each situation be appropriate suited for the people involved.
    What you've described here are 'social skills', not 'critical thinking skills'. There is a fundamental difference and fusing them together will result in an unedifying analysis. Everyone knows this. That's why people know it is wise to slip in 'interpersonal communication skills' somewhere on their resume, because workplaces want you to be astute in social and situational matters. Ironically, the fact that you, (and a few others) are trying to fuse all these distinct things into the same stuff demonstrates a lack of critical thinking in itself.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provoker View Post
    You're evading the difference between critical and most critical. Remember, this thread is driven by the question "what degree promotes critical thinking the best?". You can make excuses for social work and teachers and astrophysicists and chess players and, hey, let's through in CIA intelligence analysts, metaphysicians and frog specialists. An answer that assimilates everything doesn't answer the question.
    Hmm, perhaps you're right that I'm answering a slightly different question than you were. I was focusing more on use of critical thinking in occupation rather than which degree most directly/best teaches critical thinking skills.

    My bad.

    What you've described here are 'social skills', not 'critical thinking skills'. There is a fundamental difference and fusing them together will result in an unedifying analysis. Everyone knows this. That's why people know it is wise to slip in 'interpersonal communication skills' somewhere on their resume, because workplaces want you to be astute in social and situational matters. Ironically, the fact that you, (and a few others) are trying to fuse all these distinct things into the same stuff demonstrates a lack of critical thinking in itself.
    No, I think you're the one viewing social work through merely a social lens. One can be a critical thinker and approach the field from that angle, to their benefit.

    I'm explicitly not describing "people skills," and in fact if you go on to my example of the false memory syndrome (just one recent pox upon the system), which you seemed to not have responded to at all, you would see that it was basically the social workers with excellent social skills and no critical thinking capability that created the problem. I think in my description of the situation I was very clear that the traits that were desirable were critical thinking skills, NOT social skills.

    Therefore there has to be more to helping people through social work than mere social skills. Because merely possessing excellent social skills still results in horribly negative and/or erroneous outcomes. in fact, excellent social skills often masks the fatal flaw of faulty thinking, making things worse.
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  6. #36
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Something you won't be able to look up if you have a question.

    A degree what requires pioneering ideas.

    Psychology has the potential for this, but most of psychology (even the classes... it's sad) have a new-agey tint.

    Or product invention. Also I'm thinking essential physics would be one. As long as you don't try to just memorize it all, and instead try and actually comprehend (a rarity among college students) the concepts. There's still a lot of work to be done there. Actually, just trying to understand what we do already know requires some amount of critical thinking.

    Maybe not. I don't really know.

    I don't have even one degree let alone many to compare.
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  7. #37
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Philosophy. And oddly, law. Because the study of law (at least in the U.S.) is based on Socratic method.


    I... suppose. Yeah!

  8. #38
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Philosophy?
    Psychology?
    A "hard" science?
    Mathematics?
    A general liberal arts degree?
    I think it depends on the type of critical thinking to which you are referring. If you want to talk about reading a paper, essay or listening to a speech, then I'd say Philosophy, since it teaches you to look at ideas and presentations logically in an essay format.

    If you want to talk about analyzing data, impersonal facts, theoretical models, graphs, and the like, then I'd say Mathematics since it teaches you to look at these things at their most fundamental level, and it also makes you focus on the process of reaching a conclusion.

    If you want to talk about bridging the relationship between an abstract theoretical view and the real world application, then again I'd say Mathematics (assuming a person also studies how to do proofs), since Mathematics starts at the most basic theoretical foundation and takes you all the way to how these ideas can be applied in a more concrete way.

    If you want to talk about critical thinking about events in the world around you, then I'd say forget school and try starting your own business. You'll learn the hard way what works and what doesn't, and you have to make these decions in a wide variety of ways: financing, customer relations, time management, etc....

    So overall I'd say in a essay context Philosophy prepares you the most, in an analytical or problem solving context Mathematics is king, and in a purely real world context running a business prepares you the most. Other than that I think you can learn a lot from the school of hard knocks.
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  9. #39
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    I would say that my choice is hard science + math.

    It is my choice because modern hard science leads in direction where you become extremely critical just about everything but the concept is stil constructive and very progressive.

    Whit that combination you can shake just about everything from politics and public laws to religion and personal development of other people.
    By shake I mean shake in practical and theoretical ways and by doing that you are stil making science/knowledge more complete.
    What can create even more critical thinking and circel is closed so whit time you overwhelm other options in political sense.

  10. #40
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I would say that my choice is hard science + math.

    It is my choice because modern hard science leads in direction where you become extremely critical just about everything but the concept is stil constructive and very
    progressive.

    Also you can shake just about everything from politics and public laws to religion and personal development of other people.
    By shake I mean shake in practical and theoretical ways and by doing that you are stil making science/knowledge more complete.
    you can do that with philosophy.

    and you'd be hard-pressed to find a biologist who could use his/her training in biology to dissect the omniscient third-person-first-person narrative of Joyce in "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"...

    In my opinion, one just has to work REALLY REALLY had at whatever subject it is one is doing and one's brainpower will be focused enough to tackle most subjects... all that is required is that one stays in touch with the basics of other disciplines... so a chemist shouldn't stop reading fiction entirely, or visiting art museums, or he'll be a doofus when it comes to talking about human emotion in an intellectual or hyperanalytical setting (unless he makes up for it somewhere else, which won't be in chemistry)... and a literature major should try to keep him/herself abreast of developments in AI and physics, or he/she'll look like a dope for assuming atoms are the be-all and end-all of existence and relying on lame analogies to Lucretius when people are busy talking about multiple dimensions and quarks.
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