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  1. #51
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    May 2010


    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.
    I have somewhat mixed feelings on this. On the one hand we have pop psychologists telling linear thinkers that if they follow his processes they will become natural lateral thinkers. Hogwash!! If they have to arrive at it in a linear way then they are unlikely to learn the leaps of association that constitutes natural lateral thinking.

    On the other hand, I tell my students that I love it when they make big mistakes. Action and consequence are far better teachers than rote learning and then not being able to solve problems. Making a big mistake in the rarified atmosphere of the college situation is much better than doing so where the consequence might be significant loss of money and subsequent loss of employment.

    The mistake, and its future prevention, is likely to be remembered for some time to come and certainly will become more imprinted in memory than something that is learnt for a moment and then never used.

    I believe critical thinking is a combination of recognition of action and consequence AND the ability to think laterally, naturally.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

  2. #52
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Wiki says: “Poetic justice is a literary device in which virtue is ultimately rewarded or vice punished, often in modern literature by an ironic twist of fate intimately related to the character's own conduct."

    To call this situation poetic justice is not to say that it is justice that this should happen to the United States. It is to say that if this was a literary novel and this happened to a country in the same manner then we could evaluate it to be poetic justice.

    To say that this is poetic justice is to point this out so that we all might learn something very important about human actions in the real world. We Americans go blindly along "jus doin what comes naturally" without ever analyzing our actions in a critical and sophisticated manner.

  3. #53
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    “The religious believer assigns dignity to whatever his religion holds sacred—a set of moral laws, a way of life, or particular objects of worship. He grows angry when the dignity of what he holds sacred is violated.” Quote from “The End of History and the Last Man”.

    To what does the non believer assign dignity? If the non believer does not assign dignity to rationality, upon what foundation does s/he stand? If the non believer does depend upon rationality for dignity how is it possible that so few know anything about rationality?

    Our schools and colleges are beginning to introduce our young people to the domain of knowledge called Critical Thinking. CT is taught because our educators have begun to recognize that teaching a young person what to think is not sufficient for the citizens of a democracy in an age of high technology. CT is an attempt to teach young people how to think. Like the adage about giving a man a fish versus teaching him how to fish, a youngster who knows how to think is prepared for a lifetime rather than for a day.

    What about today’s adult? Today’s adult was educated in a time when schools and colleges never gave universal instruction in the art and science of thinking—rationality.

    If today’s adult wishes to learn CT s/he must learn it on their own nickel. I think a good read to begin with is this one
    20th WCP: Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking

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