Blog: Thoughts on Critical Thinking

Welcome to the interactive blog of distinguished authorities on critical thinking, Dr. Linda Elder and Dr. Gerald Nosich, Senior Fellows of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. Join us here often – we will share personal readings we find helpful to our own development, instructional designs and processes we recommend, and strategies for applying critical thinking to everyday life situations.

Through this blog, we will also recommend videos and movies that can help you, your students, your colleagues, and your family internalize and contextualize critical thinking principles, or identify where and how critical thinking is missing. Look for our tips and questions connected with our recommendations.

We will also showcase in our blog articles by our scholars and by community members that are exemplary in advancing critical thinking. If you would like to recommend articles for showcasing here that you believe are exemplary, please forward them to us at
Richard Paul Archives
Nov 23, 2021 • 4d ago
Theme of the 12th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking (Part 4 of 5)

{"ops":[{"insert":"The following article appeared in the program for the 12"},{"attributes":{"script":"super"},"insert":"th"},{"insert":" Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking (1992) and discussed the theme of the event. It contained five sections:\n\n1. Introduction"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"2. Three Essential Insights"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"3. Knowledge Is Embedded in Thinking"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"4. The Ability to Reason: A Defining Feature of Humans"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"5. Teaching and Assessing the Dimensions of Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe fourth of these appear below.\n\n \nOur capacity to reason is at the heart of all disciplined thinking. It explains how we alone of all the creatures of the earth have been able to develop full-fledged academic disciplines: biology, physics, botany, zoology, chemistry, geography, history, psychology, sociology, etc. We can go beyond immediate, instinctive reactions to reflective, reasoned responses precisely because we are able to develop small-scale and large-scale systems in which to intellectually operate and act. These systems enable us to mentally manipulate our possible responses to situations – to formulate them explicitly, to hold them at intellectual arm's length, to analyze and critique them, and to decide what their implications are for us. Let me explain."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"We understand the various particulars of everyday life by constructing abstract models or systems that abridge and summarize their features. In simplest form, we call these models or systems ideas. For example, our abstract concept of a bird is a model or system for thinking about actual birds in order to make sense of their behavior – in contrast to the behavior, say, of cats, dogs, turtles, beetles, and people. As we construct these abstract systems or models, we are enabled to use the reasoning power of our minds to go beyond a bare unconceptualized noticing of things to the making of inward interpretations of them, and hence derivations from them. In short, our concepts provide our minds with systems in which to experience and think; our minds operate (reason) within them to invest the world we experience with meanings rich in implications and consequences. Much of this is done, of course, quite automatically and subconsciously. I can reason to any number of conclusions as the result of my having one simple model for a thing. For example, if I recognize a creature to be a dog, I can quickly infer it will:"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"1) bark rather than meow or chirp"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"2) wag its tail when pleased"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"3) growl when irritated"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"4) be unable to fly"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"5) have no feathers"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"6) be unable to live under water"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"7) be carnivorous"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"8) need oxygen"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"9) have teeth"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"10) have paws rather than feet, etc."},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"This word ('dog') is part of a much larger logical map upon which our minds can move in virtue of our capacity to reason. As we act bodily in the world, we act intellectually in our minds. These intellectual moves guide our actions in the world. Without these maps and the capacity to locate particulars on them, we would either thrash about aimlessly or be paralyzed by the bewildering mystery of things and events before us. In every situation in our lives we \"construct\" a response that results from how we are modeling the situation in our minds. Hence, put us in any situation and we start to give it meaning, to figure it out with the logical structures we have at our disposal. So quickly and automatically do we make inferences – as the result of the way we are modeling the situation in our minds – that we do not typically notice those inferences."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"For example, we see dark clouds and infer rain. We hear the door slam and infer someone has arrived. We see a frowning face and infer the person is angry. Our friend is late and we infer she is being inconsiderate. We meet a tall boy and infer he is good at basketball, an Asian and infer he will be good at math. We read a book, and infer what the various sentences and paragraphs, indeed what the whole book, is saying. We listen to what people say, and make a continual series of inferences as to what they mean. As we write we make inferences as to what others will make of what we are writing. We make inferences as to the clarity of what we are saying, as to what needs further explanation, as to what needs exemplification or illustration. We could not do this without \"logical structures\" by means of which to draw our inferences."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"Many of our inferences are justified and reasonable. But, of course, many are not. One of the most important critical thinking skills is the skill of noticing and reconstructing the inferences we make, so that the various ways in which we inferentially shape our experiences become more and more apparent to us. This skill, this sensitivity or ability, enables us to separate our experiences into analyzed parts. We learn to distinguish the raw data of our experience from our interpretations of those data (in other words, from the inferences we are making about them). Eventually we realize that the inferences we make are heavily influenced by our point of view and the assumptions we have made. This puts us in the position of being able to broaden the scope of our outlook, to see situations from more than one point of view, to become more open-minded. This requires that we recognize our point of view as a \"logical system\" that guides our inferences, a system that we can exchange for another (an alternative point of view), depending on our assumptions."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"Often, then, different people make different inferences because they bring to situations a different point of view. They see the data differently. Or, to put it another way, they have different assumptions about what they see. For example, if two people see a man lying in a gutter, one might infer, \"There's a drunken bum.\" The other might infer, \"There's a man in need of help.\" These inferences are based on different assumptions about the conditions under which people end up in gutters and these assumptions are connected to the point of view about people that each has formed. The first person assumes: \"Only drunks are to be found in gutters.\" The second person assumes: \"People lying in the gutter are in need of help.\" The first person may have developed the point of view that people are fundamentally responsible for what happens to them and ought to be able to take care of themselves. The second may have developed the point of view that the problems people have are often caused by forces and events beyond their control. The two are modeling the situation differently. They are using a different system for experiencing it."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"In any case, if we want our students to become good reasoners, we must become concerned to help them begin to notice the inferences they are making, the assumptions they are basing those inferences on, and the point of view about the world they are taking – hence the systems in which they are thinking. To help our students do this, we need to give them clear examples of simple cases, and lots and lots of practice analyzing and reconstructing them. For example, we could display the above inferences in the following way:"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Person One:"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" Situation: \"A man is lying in the gutter.\""},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" Assumption: \"Only bums lie in gutters.\""},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" Inference: ''That man's a bum.\""},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"Person Two:"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" Situation: \"A man is lying in the gutter.\""},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" Assumption: \"Anyone lying in the gutter is in need of help.\""},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" Inference: \"That man is in need of help.\""},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Our goal of sensitizing students to the inferences they make and to the assumptions that underlie their thinking enables them to begin to gain command over their thinking (the way they are using logical structures to model the world). Of course, it may seem odd to put any effort into making explicit such obvious examples. In the harder instances, however, the value of the explication becomes more evident. In any case, because all human thinking is inferential in nature, and all inferences are embedded in a system, we cannot gain command of our thinking unless we can recognize, one way or another, the inferences embedded in it and the assumptions that underlie it."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"Consider the way in which we plan and think our way through everyday events. We think of ourselves as washing up, eating our breakfast, getting ready for work, arriving on time, sitting down at our desks, making plans for lunch, paying bills, engaging in small talk, etc. Another way, to put this is to say that we are continually interpreting our actions, giving them meanings – making inferences within a system we have created – about what is going on in our lives."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"And this is to say that we must choose among a variety of possible systems for thinking about things. Again, consider some simple cases. As I am sitting in my easy chair, am I \"relaxing\" or \"wasting time\"? Am I being \"determined\" or \"stubborn\", or worse, \"pig-headed\"? Did I \"join\" the conversation or \"butt in\"? Is Jack \"laughing with me\" or \"laughing at me\"? Am I \"helping him\" or \"being taken advantage of\"? Every time I interpret my actions within one of these systems that each word in the language represents, every time I give them a meaning, I make one or more inferences on the basis of one or more assumptions within some point of view."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Imagine a ballet dancer improving her ballet without knowing that she is a dancer or how and when she is dancing. Imagine a chess player who does not know she is playing chess. Or a tennis player who does not know she is playing tennis. We can hardly imagine people developing these physical and intellectual abilities without high consciousness of how and what they are doing in the doing of it. Yet we expect students to develop the ability to reason well without any mindfulness of the nature of reasoning, the elements of reasoning, or the criteria for assessing reasoning. We expect students to become good reasoners, in other words, without any knowledge of the logic of reasoning. Not surprisingly, our approach doesn't work. Most students are very poor reasoners."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"}]}

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Linda Elder
Nov 21, 2021 • 6d ago
Critical Thinking and Music

{"ops":[{"insert":"In my last blog I pointed out that critical thinking should not be viewed in a narrow way, with sole emphasis on finding problems in reasoning, or even for solving problems and making good decisions. Of course, the tools of critical thinking can and should be used in specific, directed ways to improve reasoning for a given purpose. But critical thinking, to maximize its potency, should be used across all of your life, broadly and deeply, to achieve the highest levels of self-fulfillment and self-expression. To go beyond conceptualizing critical thinking as a simple, prescribed set of skills, we need to consider how critical thinking can help us in all the domains of our lives. I will explore some of these ways in this and some upcoming blogs.\n\nConsider, for instance, music as a way of finding meaning, relieving stress, and achieving mental well-being. For many people, music is an essential part of life. They may express their connection to music by playing an instrument, singing, listening to music, dancing, and so forth. Research into the importance of music to humans (and other species) has developed in the last decade or more. Since every person is unique, the responsibility lies with each of us to figure out what makes us happy and healthy. If music is important to your peace of mind, how do have your music needs met? Are you bringing enough music into your life? Are you neglecting this part of yourself? If so, why? What can you do to bring music back into your life? Do you play an instrument? Do you want to play an instrument? If so, what is stopping you?\n\nThere are many ways in which you can achieve balance and sense of well-being through music. When I write, I always listen to classical instrumental music. Without this music I am easily distracted, and with the music, my thoughts seem to flow better. I do not mean at all to imply that every person needs music. I do mean to assert that each of us must find our own path to happiness and sense of wellbeing through the active decisions we make, whether about music or anything else.\n\nFor those of you interested in traditional music, I suggest these lovely pieces:\n\nAdagio by Il Divo\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#0563c1","link":""},"insert":""},{"insert":"\n\nWe Will Meet Once Again by Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#0563c1","link":""},"insert":""},{"insert":"\n\nAve Maria by Il Volo\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#0563c1","link":""},"insert":""},{"insert":"\n"}]}

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Richard Paul Archives
Nov 16, 2021 • 11d ago
Theme of the 12th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking (Parts 1-3 of 5)

{"ops":[{"insert":"The following article appeared in the program for the 12"},{"attributes":{"script":"super"},"insert":"th"},{"insert":" Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking (1992) and discussed the theme of the event. It contained five sections:\n\n1. Introduction"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"2. Three Essential Insights"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"3. Knowledge Is Embedded in Thinking"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"4. The Ability to Reason: A Defining Feature of Humans"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"5. Teaching and Assessing the Dimensions of Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe first three of these appear below.\n\n \nEach year a conference theme is selected to give participants a central concept that provides a thread of continuity between the various presentations. This year the focus is on the cultivation of reasoning minds and the important interrelated problems of teaching for reasoning, internalizing standards appropriate to it, and testing and assessing it. Only a mind which reasons as it learns can learn rationally and deeply, and only some modes of teaching, testing, and assessment are appropriate to reason's development."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"Integral to all three – its teaching, testing, and assessment – are intellectual criteria and standards, for the evaluation of reasoning requires intellectual criteria, mindfully applied. Unfortunately, most teachers, as well as most professors, have received an education deficient in intellectual criteria and standards. And since we teach as we were taught, classes today typically proceed with little or no reference to intellectual standards. Students don't learn through them and are not tested by them. They do not use reasoning as a tool of learning; they do not read or write with the structure of reasoning in mind; and they do not speak or listen as if what they were saying or hearing had an intellectual organization or foundation."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"They write and speak, yes, but not as though the parts of what they utter should be informed by the general character of the whole of their utterance, nor even that that whole should have a general (and unifying) character which all of its parts reflect. They form no intellectual values, make no intellectual commitments, develop no intellectual canons or principles which stand as authorities in their minds. And, what is more, they are at peace in this state of intellectual malaise, as if there were no need for such values, no serious void created by the lack of such commitments, and no deep and abiding pathology signaled by the absence of such canons and principles."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"size":"large","bold":true},"insert":"Three Essential Insights"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"Educators today lack three fundamental insights, that: 1) thought and knowledge of content must be developed together, 2) both presuppose the utilization of intellectual standards, and 3) we cannot internalize intellectual standards without disciplining our minds in the process. Let us briefly consider the interrelation of these insights."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"There is no such thing as \"content-less\" thinking or content that can be mastered without thought. Hence, there is no need to choose between an emphasis on content and an emphasis on thinking. Furthermore, students can master content only through disciplined thinking. Thinking, in turn, can be disciplined only insofar as the mind is guided in its judgments by defensible intellectual standards. To think well, we must reason well. To reason well, we must strive to be reasonable in our judgments. To strive for reasonability in our judgments, we must make a commitment to clarity, precision, accuracy, relevance, consistency, logicalness, depth, breadth, completeness, significance, adequacy, and fairness of thought, and hence we must learn how to detect unclarity, imprecision, vagueness, inaccuracy, irrelevance, inconsistency, illogicalness, superficiality, narrowness, incompleteness, triviality, inadequacy, bias or one-sidedness of thought. To highlight these insights let us examine the implications that follow from the fact that all knowledge is embedded in thinking."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"size":"large"},"insert":"Knowledge Is Embedded in Thinking"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"We often talk of knowledge as if it could be divorced from thinking, as if it could be gathered up by one person and given to another in the form of a collection of sentences to remember. When we talk in this way, we forget that knowledge by its very nature depends on thought. Knowledge is produced by thought, analyzed by thought, comprehended by thought, organized, evaluated, maintained, and transformed by thought. Knowledge exists, properly speaking, only in minds that have comprehended and justified it through thought. And when we say thought we mean critical thought. Knowledge is not to be confused with belief nor with the mere symbolic representation of belief. Humans are quite capable of believing things that are false or believing things to be true without knowing them to be so. A book contains knowledge only in a derivative sense, only because minds can thoughtfully read it and through that process gain knowledge. We often forget this and design instruction as if recall were equivalent to knowledge."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"We need to remember that all knowledge exists in and through critical thought. All the subject areas – mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and so on – are not simply modes of thinking, but, more precisely, modes of disciplined thinking. We know mathematics not to the extent that we can recite mathematical formulas and \"mindlessly\" apply them when asked, but only to the extent that we can think with mathematical discipline. We know science not to the extent that we can recall sentences from our science textbooks, but only to the extent that we can think with scientific discipline. We understand sociology only to the extent that we can think with sociological discipline, history only to the extent that we can think with historical discipline, and philosophy only to the extent that we can think with philosophical discipline."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n\n"},{"insert":"When we teach each subject in such a way that students pass courses without having to discipline their thinking to achieve the knowledge that each makes possible, students leave their courses without any more knowledge than they had when they entered them. When we sacrifice disciplined thought to gain coverage, we sacrifice knowledge at the same time. The issue is not, \"Shall we sacrifice knowledge to spend time on intellectual discipline?\", but, \"Shall we continue to sacrifice both knowledge and intellectual discipline for the mere appearance of learning, for mis-learning, for fragmentary learning, for transitory learning, for inert, confused learning?”"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"}]}

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Linda Elder
Nov 10, 2021 • 17d ago
Nelson Mandela: Exemplar of Critical Thinking

{"ops":[{"insert":"In a previous blog I mentioned that people frequently ask me for examples of critical thinkers in history. Of course, again, no one is "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"always"},{"insert":" a critical thinker, as this would mean she or he is a perfect thinker. Everyone falls prey to their egocentric and sociocentric tendencies, as well as to simple, but sometimes deadly, mistakes in thinking. Yet we can identify some important thinkers in history who exemplify critical thinking in significant ways. And we can learn from these high-level thinkers. One such person was Nelson Mandela, who stood apart as a reasoner from many others in the anti-apartheid movement of the 20"},{"attributes":{"script":"super"},"insert":"th"},{"insert":" century and who became South Africa’s first black president after being imprisoned for 27 years. To see many examples of Mandela’s critical thinking abilities and characteristics, I recommend his autobiography:  "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Long Walk to Freedom"},{"insert":" (which includes numerous examples of survival and prevailing over harsh conditions through mental strength).\n \nWhen facing the court, for instance, Mandela (1995) says:\n \nI would say that the whole life of any thinking African in this country drives him continuously to a conflict between his conscience on the one hand and the law on the other. This is not a conflict peculiar to this country… The conflict arises for men of conscience, for men who think and feel deeply in every country… The law as it is applied, the law as it has been developed over a long period of history, and especially the law as it is written and designed by the Nationalist government is a law which, in our views, is immoral, unjust, and intolerable. Our consciences dictate that we must protest against it, that we must oppose it and that we must attempt to alter it… I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience (pp. 330-331)."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"It has not been easy for me during the past period to separate myself from my wife and children, to say goodbye to the good old days when, at the end of a strenuous day at an office I could look forward to joining my family at the dinner table, instead to take up the life of a man hunted continuously by the police, living separated from those who are closest to me, in my own country, facing continually the hazards of detection and of arrest… But there comes a time, as it came in my life, when a man is denied the right to live a normal life, when he can only live the life of an outlaw because the government has so decreed to use the law to impose a state of outlawry upon…(pp. 330-331)."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"I do not believe, your worship, that this court, in inflicting penalties on me for the crimes for which I am convicted should be moved by the belief that penalties will deter men from the course that they believe is right. History shows that penalties do not deter men when their conscience is aroused… I have done my duty to my people and to South Africa. I have no doubt that posterity will pronounce that was innocent and that the criminals that should have been brought before this court are the members of the government (p 332)."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nHistory did prove Mandela right, but the suffering caused in the meantime was enormous, as is always the case with oppressive, self-serving governments. Still, we can and should learn from the thinking of those willing to put their lives on the line to help realize our inalienable rights. I look forward to your comments on this autobiography – look especially for examples of failures in critical thinking and for examples of fairminded critical thinking. And ask this: How can I think and live better having read this book?\n\n---\nReferences for this blog were taken from "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela"},{"insert":", 1995 (NY: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Co).\n"}]}

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Linda Elder
Oct 26, 2021 • 31d ago
Critical thinking, spontaneity, and happiness; Join my next webinar November 4!

{"ops":[{"insert":"There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions about the concept of critical thinking beyond the best scholarship in the field. Many people have the erroneous idea that critical thinking merely seeks mistakes in thinking, or in other words, "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"criticizes"},{"insert":". Or they think of it only as a toolbox for improving their ability to reason through everyday life or professional problems. Some stereotype critical thinking as cold and calculating, having nothing to do with emotions. Some academicians conceptualize their field as "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"the"},{"insert":" field that defines critical thinking and how it should be contextualized.\n\nAll of these ways of looking at critical thinking are incorrect. Instead, critical thinking is a rich set of interconnected ideas that, if internalized and systematically employed, help us live better across our lives, and in every part. The hallmark of the fairminded critical thinker is the commitment to, and embodiment of, intellectual virtues such as intellectual integrity, intellectual empathy, intellectual courage, intellectual autonomy, confidence and reason, and intellectual humility. When we steadfastly cultivate these virtues in ourselves, over time we develop intellectual and ethical character, which in turn leads to self-actualization. When we achieve self-actualization, we are more spontaneous because we are less concerned with what others think of us, and we are happier because we have greater control of both our thinking and our actions. We see ourselves as worthy, while recognizing we are fallible. We accept that we can never be perfect, while continually working toward the ideal. We recognize that a primary purpose in life is happiness. Through our critical thinking we seek the highest and most noble paths toward happiness. This includes, for instance giving of yourself to others while also making sure to take care of yourself. It requires not beating yourself up or denigrating yourself. It means believing in the potency of your own mind. It entails appreciating your unique set of characteristics and working to develop the maximum capacities of your mind.\n\nIn my next webinar, we will explore some of the important relationships between critical thinking, spontaneity and happiness using the tools of critical thinking. Please join me through the link found at this page"},{"attributes":{"color":"red"},"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"color":"#0563c1","link":""},"insert":""},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"red"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\nOne part of the webinar will entail exploring the opposites of the following barriers to fairminded critical societies. In doing so, we will together develop an opposing list which we might title "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"20 essential ingredients in critical societies"},{"insert":", most if not all of which have implications for human happiness.\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"red"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#0069ab"},"insert":"20 BARRIERS TO CRITICAL SOCIETIES"},{"insert":"\nTo illustrate the fact that we as humans tend not to take thinking seriously in today’s cultures, consider the following 20 barriers to critical societies and to human happiness.\n\nMost people:\n1. are only superficially aware of critical thinking.\n2. cannot clearly articulate the ideal of critical thinking, know of it only as a positive buzz term, and\nin any case, habitually violate its standards in multiple ways. Most humans, in other words, have\nnot aspired to the ideal of critical thought, and most who have done so (having only an implicit\nidea of it) have succeeded only modestly.\n3. uncritically accept the traditional, mainstream views and beliefs of their culture.\n4. are “culture bound” (enslaved within social conventions).\n5. uncritically accept the views of authority figures.\n6. are not aware of, and do not attempt to explicitly use, intellectual standards in their thinking.\n7. do not understand human thinking (their own or others’) or the impediments to reasonability.\n8. (unconsciously) believe much that is arbitrary or irrational.\n9. uncritically accept bureaucratic rules, procedures, and formulas.\n10. accept a variety of forms of authoritarianism (such as blindly following a religious ideology).\n11. are uncreative and unoriginal.\n12. are trapped in their social class.\n13. never come to think well within any subject and have no sense of what it is to think beyond\nsubject-matter compartments.\n14. do not believe in freedom of thought and speech or in a wide range of other inalienable freedoms.\n15. are biased on questions of gender, culture, species, and politics.\n16. use their intellects only superficially.\n17. have little command over their primitive emotions and desires; rather, they tend to be at the mercy\nof their own irrational impulses and passions.\n18. do not value true spontaneity, naturalness, or artlessness.\n19. are unable and/or unwilling to think within the viewpoints of others who hold a different\nworldview.\n20. are unable to achieve self-actualization, self-command, or enlightenment because they lack\ncommand of their thoughts, as well as understanding of the relationship between thoughts and\nemotions.\n\n________________________________________________________________________________________________\n\nThe "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"20 Barriers to Critical Societies"},{"insert":" section in this blog was slightly modified from the content on page of "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, eight edition"},{"insert":", by Richard Paul and Linda Elder, 2020, (NY: Rowman & Littlefield, p. 46).\n\n"}]}

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Gerald Nosich
Oct 20, 2021 • 38d ago
Chess, Formal Logic, and Critical Thinking

{"ops":[{"insert":"I recently watched the movie titled "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Critical Thinking"},{"insert":".  To me, it seemed OK as a movie, with an overly familiar plot of an uplifting story. In the movie, a group of underprivileged high school students compete, against all odds, in chess tournaments in Florida against highly privileged students from elite schools. It is based on a true story. You can guess the ending for yourself.\n \nThe chess teacher labels his classroom “Critical Thinking.” So, internally, that is where the title of the movie comes from. But externally, the title of the movie comes from the fact that many people make a connection, both consciously and unconsciously, between chess and critical thinking. I’ve found that this or related ideas are widespread, even in educational circles. In all four editions of my second book, "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Learning to Think Things Through"},{"insert":", the publishers chose a chess game as their cover art. The book is on how to think critically in a field or discipline, and an implication of the cover art is that there is somehow a connection between playing chess and learning to think critically about or within biology, psychology, literature, social work, nursing, business, or dozens of other fields. \n \nLet me begin by saying that there is virtually no connection at all. Thinking critically in a field such as biology means internalizing a great number of complex concepts, reasoning through life issues in terms of biological systems, and examining innumerable assumptions and implications in any substantive biology-related issue.  Additionally, it requires keeping multiple purposes in mind (not just the one of winning the game).\n \nDon’t get me wrong.  I like chess. A lot of kids and adults play it often. And it requires a fair amount of thinking.  (At a chess-master’s level, it requires a huge amount of careful thinking.) So there’s that.\n \nBut chess is so limited that it can’t serve as an exemplar of critical thinking. Consider just two aspects of how limited it is. There are just 64 squares and the pieces can move only in prescribed ways. That is nothing like thinking critically about something important in your life. There is far more complexity in something as ordinary as writing a paragraph than there is in chess. Chess aficionados often cite the huge number of possible legal moves that can be made in chess (something like 10 to the 40"},{"attributes":{"script":"super"},"insert":"th"},{"insert":"). That’s a lot of moves. Or, more precisely: that’s a lot of moves for a "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"board game."},{"insert":"  \n \nThink of the virtually unlimited moves you can make when writing a paragraph. To choose just the most simpleminded example: You start your paragraph with the word “The.” How many words can you choose to follow that opening? Then how many words in English could you choose for the next word? And the next word? The staff of the "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Oxford English Dictionary"},{"insert":" says it is not possible to count the number of words in a language, but the "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"OED"},{"insert":" lists 171,476 headwords. Though of course many of them could not grammatically follow the “the,” a crude guess would estimate a hundred thousand that could. And starting with “The” is only one “opening” for a paragraph.  Mathematically, there are 20 possible opening moves in chess. How many opening words can you start a paragraph with? (This short blog contains XXX.) \n \nIt takes "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"years"},{"insert":" for students to learn even the basics of writing a paragraph. I don’t mean only a creative, highly polished paragraph; I mean any fair-sized grammatical paragraph. How long does it take to learn the basics of playing chess? Two or three afternoons should be enough. (Sometimes learning legal moves for the knight takes a little longer—but not nearly as long as learning how to use a semicolon or to avoid writing “just between you and I.”)\n \nWhy then does chess seem so complicated?  I believe that, in part, it’s because we tend to overlook all those years of learning that went into learning to write simple sentences.  But more importantly, I believe it’s because we tend not to notice the enormous complexity of important everyday issues. That’s one of the reasons we hear so many simplistic ideas about how to solve political, social, economic, educational or personal problems.  Critical thinking (unlike chess) leads us to notice and then address complexities in real-life issues.\n \nA second aspect of how limited chess is as a model for critical thinking has to do with knowledge. Chess is what is called “a perfect knowledge game”: Both players have complete knowledge of where all the pieces are (in contrast to poker, say, where one player has cards that the other players can’t see).  \n \nContrast that with situations where critical thinking is essential: decisions you have to make, situations you have to navigate through, problems you have to address, relationships you want to further, novels you want to understand, fields of study you hope to grasp, …. even paragraphs you have to write.  I can’t think of a single realistic example of a critical-thinking situation where we have anything like perfect knowledge. We can’t see all the pieces, we can’t figure out all the moves, we usually can’t even specify how many “players” there are. \n \nNotice how closely the chess example is related to formal logic—still one of the most widely used approaches to teaching critical thinking. Formal logic, like chess, is a perfect knowledge game, one that allows only an extremely limited set of moves, a minuscule set of “pieces” (the logical constants) that can be manipulated only in rule-bound ways, one where you don’t have to take account of anyone’s motives or well-being.\n \nI write this in part to argue that critical thinking is not confined and delimited the way board-games are—or more centrally, how confined and delimited formal logic is.  But really my goal is larger. I don’t think that critical thinking can be taught without confronting situations that are inherently messy, situations where we have highly imperfect knowledge, where egocentricity and sociocentricity (our own as well as others’) enter in, where fairmindedness enters in an essential way.\n \nCritical thinking contains concepts and processes, traits and skills, ones that by their nature are directly relevant for addressing real-life issues, often with all the rich complexities those issues involve.\n"}]}

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Linda Elder
Oct 10, 2021 • 48d ago
Who Exemplifies Critical Thinking? One Such Person is Jane Goodall

{"ops":[{"insert":"\nPeople frequently ask us for examples of people who are “critical thinkers.” First it is important to realize that unless we are with people throughout every day and observe their behavior in all parts of their lives, we cannot determine that they are “critical thinkers.” People frequently behave differently in one part of their life than other parts, so any given person may be excellent in thinking about X while being very poor at thinking about Y (fill in the X and Y with any domains of thought). This is because we are frequently compartmentalized as thinkers. Second, no one is a perfect “critical thinker” because all of us fall prey to egocentric and sociocentric thinking. It is best to realize that critical thinking exists on a continuum in every person, and that we think better in some parts of our lives than other parts.\n\nStill, there are examples of people who demonstrate critical thinking in commendable ways that offer examples to others. One such person is Jane Goodall, who has worked throughout her life to bring awareness to the importance of preserving natural habitats of not only Chimpanzees but habitats for all wild animals. She has a deep understanding of the importance of ethics in our treatment of animals across the board. And she has written several books worth reading. I suggest all of her books incluging “In the Shadow of Man,” and her more recent book “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times.”\n"}]}

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Gerald Nosich
Oct 01, 2021 • 57d ago
Of Course Critical Thinking Can Be Taught

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":"It always distresses me (and, I confess, also makes me angry) to read accounts that say critical thinking can’t be taught. I met a former provost from UCLA who said the same kind of thing. That even some cognitive scientists say so, makes it only that much worse."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":"It's bizarre. People who make such claims write about critical thinking as if there's this block of a thing, “critical thinking,” that gets taught—or not. The question itself—“Can  critical thinking be taught?”—makes no sense. It's like asking if \"Understanding Science\" can be taught, and then concluding it can't because of the evidence that, after taking a class in one of the sciences, most students do not understand science."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":"The proper question is: Can students be taught to think "},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a","italic":true},"insert":"more"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" critically? Can they be taught to think more critically than they do now?"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":"And it's obvious and completely testable that they can. For example, a cognitive scientist who doubts whether critical thinking can actually be taught lists several aspects of critical thinking. The first one he lists is that critical thinking includes seeing both sides of an issue.  "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":"So here’s a test. Take students who have been explicitly taught to describe both sides of issues. (They are taught the importance of it; they are required to do so not just once but repeatedly; they receive feedback on how well they did; they are given grades or marks on how accurately and clearly they describe both sides; and so forth.) Here's the question then: Take students who have explicitly been taught to see both sides of an issue: Will they be better able to see both sides of an issue than students who haven't been so taught? An exam will give direct evidence."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":"As a control group, take another group of students who have not been taught this at all. (They've taken a normal course in biology, say, or math, or cognitive science, or formal logic.)"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":"I have frequently tested this in my classes. In one section of a course I've taught a certain skill--identifying assumptions in an argument, for example--and in another section I have focused instead on other critical thinking skills. The results are straightforward: Students who are taught how to identify assumptions are spectacularly better at identifying assumptions than students who have not been taught how to identify assumptions. In general, teaching students how to do X makes them better at doing X than not teaching them how to do X."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#1a1a1a"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\nIt is clear that critical thinking can be taught—not just individual skills but whole arrays of intellectual traits of mind as well. The problem is that most faculty do not have an explicit conception of critical thinking and therefore have little actual tools for fostering critical thinking.\n"}]}

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Richard Paul Archives
Sep 28, 2021 • 60d ago
Reflections on the Nature of Critical Thinking, Its History, Politics, and Barriers, and on Its Status across the College-University Curriculum Part I (Part 8 of 8)

{"ops":[{"insert":"This article was published in the Fall 2011 issue of Sonoma State University’s"},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":" Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines"},{"insert":" (vol. 26, no. 3) and was titled, “Reflections on the Nature of Critical Thinking, Its History, Politics, and Barriers, and on Its Status across the College/University Curriculum Part I.” (Part II was published in the Spring 2012 issue.)\n \nThe piece was divided into eight sections:\n\nAbstract"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Introduction"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"I. My Intellectual Journey"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"II. Barriers to the Cultivation of Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"III. Forms and Manifestations of Critical Thinking, Mapping the Field"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"IV. The Establishment of the Center and Foundation for Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"V. Academic Departments, Faculty and Administrators Generally Fail to Foster Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"VI Conclusion"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe last of these appears below.\n \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"VI. Conclusion"},{"insert":"\n\nMy fundamental goal in part one of this two-part paper is to alert my readers to some important realities in the “big picture” intrinsic to the problem of integrating critical thinking principles across the disciplines and into everyday life. This goal defines a messy multi-layered problem. What is more, the layers interact and, in doing so, make the problem highly complex. Each of the questions (immediately below) has been addressed in part one, though not all at the same level of depth and finality. What is more, many of my answers to these questions are being presented as at the level of “perception” and “interpretation,” rather than at the level of rigorous “proof.” Nevertheless, an important set of “answers” that I offer remain, are verifiable, and suggest important needs in the field of Critical Thinking Studies:\n\n• What do the last 35 years of critical thinking look like from my personal point of view?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What has happened in the field of critical thinking studies historically, politically, and theoretically?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• To what extent has the field developed; and what problems have plagued the effort to establish a three-fold tradition covering: theory of the concept of critical thinking, theory of the pedagogy of critical thinking, and theory of the application of critical thinking into the problems of everyday life?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What are the problems, issues and realities that have made developments in the field difficult?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What have been and are the most formidable barriers to the cultivation of critical thinking?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What insights about the nature of critical thinking can we glean from its history from Socrates to the present?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• To what extent has the history of critical thinking been a struggle between force and reason?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What does the history tell us, in general, about the role of money and politics in education?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is there evidence of bad faith in the process by which philosophy departments in the United States have gained control (to the extent that they have) of university-wide critical thinking courses?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is the argument by some philosophers that philosophy has a proprietary right to critical thinking an exercise in bad faith?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is it true that philosophy faculty are not expected by their departments to do any research on critical thinking? Is it true that they are not expected to study research into critical thinking pedagogy? Is it true that philosophy chairs do not expect philosophers to attend critical thinking conferences?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is it true that the policies followed by philosophy departments (that have gained them control of university critical thinking requirements) are undermining critical thinking (university-wide)?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is it true that administrators rarely ask academic departments to explain how they are fostering critical thinking in their various courses?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is it true that administrators nevertheless include in mission statements the claim that critical thinking is a primary university goal (and expected outcome) of the institution? Is it true that university administrators allow those involved in teaching critical thinking to make of critical thinking what they will?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is it true that some theoreticians (mostly philosophers) assume that reasoning and argumentation are the only constructions in which critical thinking is manifested?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is it true that research indicates that most university faculty lack explicit understanding of critical thinking?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is it true that few faculty and administrators take a long-term approach to critical thinking? "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nThese questions, and others related to them, suggest important needs and problems in the field of Critical Thinking Studies. The future will tell us the extent to which those in critical thinking studies have taken them seriously.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"References"},{"insert":"\n\nArum, R., & Roska, J. (2011). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Academically adrift. "},{"insert":"Chicago: University of Chicago Press.\n \nBlaich, C. (2007). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Overview of findings from the first year of the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education. "},{"insert":"Wabash College, Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts. of_Findings_from_the_First_Year_web_07.17.09.pdf\n \n \nBok, D. (2006). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Our underachieving colleges: A candid look at how much students learn and why they should be learning more. "},{"insert":"Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.\n \nCasner-Lotto, J., & Benner, M. (2006). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Are they really ready to work? Employers’ perspectives on the basic knowledge and applied skills of new entrants to the 21st century U.S. Workforce. "},{"insert":"Conference Board, Inc.\n \nCopi, I. (1954). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Symbolic logic. "},{"insert":"New York: Macmillan.\n \nCosgrove, R. (2011). Critical thinking in the Oxford tutorial: A call for an explicit and systematic approach. "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Higher Education Research & Development, 30"},{"insert":"(3), 343-356.\n \nElder, L. 2010. "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Achieving critical mass. Times Higher Education. "},{"insert":"London: TSL Education Ltd.\n \nEnnis, R. (2011a). Critical thinking: Reflection and perspective, Part I. "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"INQUIRY "},{"insert":"(Spring 2011).\n \nEnnis, R. (2011b). Critical thinking: Reflection and perspective, Part II. "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"INQUIRY "},{"insert":"(Summer 2011).\n \nGardiner, L. (1995). Redesigning higher education: Producing dramatic gains in student learning. "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"ASHEERIC Higher Education Report, 23"},{"insert":"(7). Washington: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.\n \nHale, E. (2008). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"A critical analysis of Richard Paul’s Substantive Trans-disciplinary Conception of Critical Thinking. "},{"insert":"Unpublished dissertation: Union Institute and University.\n \nKidd, I. G. (1967). Socrates. In P. Edwards (ed.), "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"The encyclopedia of philosophy, "},{"insert":"New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 7.\n \nLazere, D. (1987). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Critical thinking in college English studies"},{"insert":". Urbana, IL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills.\n \nNosich, G. (2011). From argument and philosophy to critical thinking across the curriculum. "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"INQUIRY: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, 25"},{"insert":"(3).\n \nPaul, R (1990). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world. "},{"insert":"Santa Rosa, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking Press.\n \nPaul, R. Elder, L. Bartell, T. (1997). California Teacher Preparation for Instruction in Critical Thinking: Research Findings and Policy Recommendations. State of California, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.\n \nPayne, James. (2004). A History of Force: Exploring the Worldwide Movement Against Habits of Coercion, Bloodshed, and Mayhem. Lytton Publishing.\n \nPhillips, C. & S. Green. (2011) Faculty as critical thinkers: challenging assumptions. "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"INQUIRY: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, 26"},{"insert":"(2), 44-50.\n \nThomas, P. (1999). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Critical thinking instruction in selected Great Los Angeles area high schools. "},{"insert":"Unpublished dissertation.\n \nWalters, K. (1994). "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Re-thinking reason: New perspectives in critical thinking. "},{"insert":"New York: State University of New York Press.\n"}]}

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Linda Elder
Sep 26, 2021 • 61d ago
Beware the Pharmaceutical Cure for the Mind; Instead Use Critical Thinking

{"ops":[{"insert":"As aspiring critical thinkers one important dimension of our thought is understanding our own psychology with emphasis on how it impedes our development as thinkers, primarily through our egocentric and sociocentric thinking. When we lose control of our thinking we enter into realms of darkness that lead us to behave in ways that are destructive – to ourselves and/or others. There are many activities in our community you can work through, which will help you gain control of your thinking and move in the direction of self-actualization and fulfillment. You will find activities focused on understanding the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and desires here: \nYou will find activities that will help you gain command of your egocentric and sociocentric tendencies here:\n \n\nIf you are experiencing depression, anxiety or any number of other unproductive emotional states that seem to have you under their control, you can seek help through the works of those in Rebt, originally developed by Albert Ellis (I recommend "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"A Guide to Rational Living"},{"insert":" by Ellis and Robert Harper). And of course you may need to seek professional help if you are in immediate danger of losing, at least for the moment, control over your mind. But where would you go to get the help you need, and what if you don't get help, but instead get addicted to pharmaceuticals over the long run?\n\nInstead of using the tools of critical thinking to help clients gain command of the thinking controlling their behavior, psychiatry and psychology, for the most part, have bought into the seriously flawed medical model for understanding problems in human psychology. This has led to gross overuse of pharmaceuticals and gross over dependence on medications for solving what are in fact problems of the mind. One of our community members sent the following notice to us about an upcoming one-day conference on the destructive propaganda of the mental health industry, held by the "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"International Society For Ethical Psychology And Psychiatry"},{"insert":"; in case you would like to expand your understanding in this area, I am happy to share it with you. What follows is their description and information:\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"  "},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"The Destructive Propaganda of the Mental Health Industry: "},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"How Did We Get Here?"},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Where Are We Going?"},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"October 9-10, 2021"},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Hosted by the"},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"International Society For Ethical Psychology And Psychiatry"},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Since the dawn of civilization, the human species has struggled with the \"other,\" the foreign, the different, the unusual, the suffering,\nthe mad, the crazy, the psychotic, and those deemed \"less than,\" sometimes kindly, many times with great cruelty.\n \nJoin us a we critically examine how Big Pharma and Psychiatry influence our lives and our thinking.\n \nRead more and register:\n"}]}

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