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  1. #41
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    A democratic form of government is one wherein the citizens have some voice in some policy decisions. The greater the voice of the citizens the better the democracy. The greater the intellectual sophistication of those citizens the better the democracy.
    first off, we're not a democracy, we're a republic... there's a difference between the two (direct decisions on policy matters by the people v. elected representatives)

    secondly, there's still the electoral college, which means that your votes don't necissarily count, depending on where you live, and that the people are only making suggestions as to who gets elected... the electors don't even HAVE to vote for the same person that the people of that district vote for according to the constitution we don't even have direct elections, so the blame game that you're playing is even lamer

    furthermore, money speaks, that's why we have a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich (plutocracy anyone? )... this makes it incredibly difficult to change anything if you don't have any money... I can write all of the letters, run all of the classes and lectures and register as many people as I can, but I STILL won't have the same impact on politics by far as a check written by someone like Lilly!

    you're way too happy to condemn everyone for the actions of some people... and you don't seem to realize exactly how the government really works... just because you're the best and the brightest doesn't mean that you can't slip between the cracks... that all you need to get somewhere in life and make a difference is to be a brilliant thinker- that's not how it works- the system is stacked against some people

    it's pseudo-intellectual elitists like you who made the system what it is today- fucked up- my family has always been on the wrong side of the tracks for anything of that sort
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The problem is that critical thinking is emotionally and socially painful.

    And we live in a society that is devoted to making us feel good. This is not bad in itself and in my opinion will lead to a society where critical thinking is more common.

    In particular, in a prosperous and democratic society the helping mode of child rearing is leading to more creative and empathic individuals who are able to think critically.

    In the meantime I think we need to preserve our democratic institutions and increase our prosperity, increase the size of the pie, and distribute the pie more equitably.

    In the short run most want consolation rather than critical thinking.
    CT is the art and science of good judgment!

    CT is an acronym for Critical Thinking. Everybody considers themselves to be a critical thinker. That is why we need to differentiate among different levels of critical thinking.

    Most people fall in the category that I call Reagan thinkers—trust but verify. Then there are those who have taken the basic college course taught by the philosophy dept that I call Logic 101. This is a credit course that teaches the basic principles of reasoning. Of course, a person need not take the college course and can learn the matter on their own effort, but I suspect few do that.

    The third level I call CT (Critical Thinking). CT includes the knowledge of Logic 101 and also the knowledge that focuses upon the intellectual character and attitude of critical thinking. It includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.

    Most decisions we have to make are judgment calls. A judgment call is made when we must make a decision when there is no “true” or “false” answers. When we make a judgment call our decision is bad, good, or better.

    Many factors are involved: there are the available facts, assumptions, skills, knowledge, and especially personal experience and attitude. I think that the two most important elements in the mix are personal experience and attitude.


    When we study math we learn how to use various algorithms to facilitate our skill in dealing with quantities. If we never studied math we could deal with quantity on a primary level but our quantifying ability would be minimal. Likewise with making judgments; if we study the art and science of good judgment we can make better decisions and if we never study the art and science of judgment our decision ability will remain minimal.

    I am convinced that a fundamental problem we have in this country (USA) is that our citizens have never learned the art and science of good judgment. Before the recent introduction of CT into our schools and colleges our young people have been taught primarily what to think and not how to think. All of us graduated with insufficient comprehension of the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary for the formulation of good judgment. The result of this inability to make good judgment is evident and is dangerous.


    I am primarily interested in the judgment that adults exercise in regard to public issues. Of course, any improvement in judgment generally will affect both personal and community matters.

    To put the matter into a nut shell:
    1. Normal men and women can significantly improve their ability to make judgments.
    2. CT is the domain of knowledge that delineates the knowledge, skills, and intellectual character demanded for good judgment.
    3. CT has been introduced into our schools and colleges slowly in the last two or three decades.
    4. Few of today’s adults were ever taught CT.
    5. I suspect that at least another two generations will pass before our society reaps significant rewards resulting from teaching CT to our children.
    6. Can our democracy survive that long?
    7. I think that every effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they need to study and learn CT on their own. I am not suggesting that adults find a teacher but I am suggesting that adults become self-actualizing learners.
    8. I am convinced that learning the art and science of Critical Thinking is an important step toward becoming a better citizen in today’s democratic society.



    Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking

    “ABSTRACT: The ideal of critical thinking is a central one in Russell's philosophy, though this is not yet generally recognized in the literature on critical thinking. For Russell, the ideal is embedded in the fabric of philosophy, science, liberalism and rationality, and this paper reconstructs Russell's account, which is scattered throughout numerous papers and books. It appears that he has developed a rich conception, involving a complex set of skills, dispositions and attitudes, which together delineate a virtue which has both intellectual and moral aspects. It is a view which is rooted in Russell's epistemological conviction that knowledge is difficult but not impossible to attain, and in his ethical conviction that freedom and independence in inquiry are vital. Russell's account anticipates many of the insights to be found in the recent critical thinking literature, and his views on critical thinking are of enormous importance in understanding the nature of educational aims. Moreover, it is argued that Russell manages to avoid many of the objections which have been raised against recent accounts. With respect to impartiality, thinking for oneself, the importance of feelings and relational skills, the connection with action, and the problem of generalizability, Russell shows a deep understanding of problems and issues which have been at the forefront of recent debate.”
    20th WCP: Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking

  3. #43
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Critical thinking can't be taught.
    I think working on raising standards of literacy and numeracy around the world would have a better effect, then critical thinking will come.
    People have to face the facts that there's an awful lot of people who can't read the fine print, let alone understand it.
    If you understand the fine print, then you begin to think about it, then critical thinking comes.
    However I do agree, adults have to keep learning and educating themselves through life, however I'm preaching to the converted here. I pretty sure most people on this site are pretty dedicated to continually learning.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireyPheonix View Post
    I pretty sure most people on this site are pretty dedicated to continually learning.
    Yes, most here are dedicated to continually learning and that is the problem.

    The next step is to question what we have learnt.

    So if we are continually learning, we will not take the next step and question our learning. We will not question the assumptions of our learning.

    So rather than continue to learn, we need to learn about learning.

  5. #45
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Continually questioning everything you learn, means you don't play well with others. I don't think people on this site have a problem with challenging established thinking either. Some just do it more politely than others.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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  6. #46
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Yes, most here are dedicated to continually learning and that is the problem.

    The next step is to question what we have learnt.

    So if we are continually learning, we will not take the next step and question our learning. We will not question the assumptions of our learning.

    So rather than continue to learn, we need to learn about learning.
    Jeez. On some level I agree with Victor. Although I doubt I would agree with anything else you might say on this issue.

    Not many people question their presuppositions.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Jeez. On some level I agree with Victor. Although I doubt I would agree with anything else you might say on this issue.

    Not many people question their presuppositions.
    We learn often by our mistakes. However, if we fail to make a proper evaluation of our mistakes we fail to learn the correct lesson.

    CT is the art and science of good judgment. Without learning CT we often make a poor judgment as to what the true mistake was.

    A good example is when we think that Critical Thinking cannot be taught.

  8. #48
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    The United States with 5% of the global population, which consumes 25% of the global production of petroleum, becomes tarred with petroleum; that is poetic justice!

  9. #49
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    We learn often by our mistakes. However, if we fail to make a proper evaluation of our mistakes we fail to learn the correct lesson.
    Agreed. Without reflection someone who says they have 20 years experience in an area is more likely to have one year's experience in the area 20 times.

    CT is the art and science of good judgment. Without learning CT we often make a poor judgment as to what the true mistake was.

    A good example is when we think that Critical Thinking cannot be taught.
    I'm sorry. How does the last sentence follow from the previous two sentences?

    Edit: ftr I just stumbled into this thread w/o reading any of the former posts.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  10. #50
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    We learn often by our mistakes. However, if we fail to make a proper evaluation of our mistakes we fail to learn the correct lesson.

    CT is the art and science of good judgment. Without learning CT we often make a poor judgment as to what the true mistake was.

    A good example is when we think that Critical Thinking cannot be taught.
    Why is my conclusion is such a bad judgement?
    If I place importance on information that either you do not have, or you don't consider important, it does not make it less valid a conclusion, or less logical.
    Explain?
    You can wax lyrical about how people lack critical thinking skills, but if they can't even understand a mortgage agreement, or the fine print on a credit card, or even frackin' count back change without having a brain haemorrhage, how can you expect them analyse their choices?
    If you want to learn, and you self educate you're half way there...but showering people who can barely comprehend the newspaper, much less care what's in it, with information about logical thinking, you might as well be preaching quantum mechanics to a field of sheep.

    You got to start thinking there's more to life than just mere survival. To do that, you have to have the basic tools to obtain different world views and facts and also have the desire to do so. Only then will you start questioning the establishment. It is innate in some people, but not others. Some people are happy just surviving and dealing with day to day concerns. Other people aren't.
    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink.
    You can hone critical thinking in a person with aptitude, but you cannot teach it to people unwilling to learn, but I do think making a more concerted effort to teach the basic skills of our society would considerably improve things.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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