Critical Thinker Habitually Pulls Back the Curtain

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by coberst, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Coberst





    When the great Cuban world champion José Raúl Capablanca was asked how far ahead he sees in the game he replied one move, but it is always the best.

    Capablanca simply could see the board as it is and not get lost in details. Strategy as you know refers to the truth of the board and tactics is the means by which it is actualized.

    Critical thinking is the same but we are not able to experience life as a whole so get lost in details. Critical thought in the ultimate sense begins when we have the inner freedom to experience life as a whole and respond in the courageous manner worthy of the name Man.

    But there are many chess players but few Capablancas and there are many men but few worthy of the name MAN.
     
  2. coberst

    coberst New Member

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    juantoo

    CT can be taught and can be learned with a teacher. CT can also be learned like any other domain of knowledge by reading books.

    Our (USA) educational system has begun an effort to teach CT but it appears to meet a strong head wind. This is because few adults have any idea of what this is abut and thus provide little support for the effort. Likewise, I suspect few teachers know anything about this matter and thus they must start the self-learning process also.

    I suspect there are many strong voices in the community that oppose any form of CT being taught in the schools. I suspect that the powers who often determine public policy have little desire for a Critical Thinking citizenry.

    The only way out of this mess, in my opinion, is to start a bottom-up action. That is to say that somehow we must try to enlighten people about the nature and importance of CT with the hope that some will start the self-learning process. That is what I am trying to start via these Internet forums.

    Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs to be:
    1) Biological and Physiological (water, food, shelter, air, sex, etc.)
    2) Safety (security, law and order, stability, etc.)
    3) Belonging and love (family, affection, community, etc.)
    4) Esteem (self-esteem, independence, prestige, achievement, etc.)
    5) Self-Actualization (self-fulfillment, personal growth, realizing personal potential, etc.)

    This hierarchy makes us conscious of the obvious fact that we did not fret about the absence of self-esteem if we did not already have security nor did we worry about security if we did not have water to drink or air to breath.

    “Maslow says there are two processes necessary for self-actualization: self exploration and action. The deeper the self exploration, the closer one comes to self-actualization.”

    "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization ... It refers to man's desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming ..."

    I think that the area in which Western society fails most egregiously is in the matter of an intellectual life after schooling. We have a marvelous brain that goes into the attic after schooling is complete and is brought out only occasionally on the job or when we try to play bridge or chess.

    It appears to me that the fundamental problem faced by most Western democracies is a lack of intellectual sophistication of the total population. Our colleges and universities have prepared young people to become good producers and consumers. The college graduate has a large specialized database that allows that individual to quickly enter the corporate world as a useful cog in the machine. The results display themselves in our thriving high standard of living, high technology corporate driven life styles.


    We are excellent at instrumental rationality and deficient at developing the rationality and understanding required for determining normative values. It seems to me that our societies are not prepared intellectually for the demanding task ahead. The only solution seems to be a change that will significantly increase the intellectual sophistication of the society as a whole. We need a rising tide of intellectual sophistication and Self-Actualization might be the way for our adults to add an intellectual life to their acquisitions.
     
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Ah Maslow, one of my favorite thinkers. Notice that before his death he added Self Transcendence. Not really relevant here but interesting nonetheless
    I submit that those who have not reached the upper levels of the pyramid cannot be critical thinkers. Why? Well if you give any credence to the work Clare Graves did it would seem that true critical thinking in all areas would set up an inner conflict with hard-wired belief systems.
     
  4. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    If only Maslow had owned a dog, everything would have been different. He would have learned how often dogs sacrifice their security and biological needs for the love of their master putting a new wrinkle into the pyramid. Such is life.
     
  5. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    What a heart-felt sentiment! You old softie you ;)
     
  6. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    I have the highest regard for dogs and believe in many ways they are underestimated. Consider this dog's heroic efforts not even related to its master. It can't be strictly mother love since there is a great difference between cats and dogs. Yet this dog risks its life to protect kittens. This cannot be pure conditioning but if not: why? It is an example of something in some dogs IMO psychology has yet to grasp.

    Hero dog saves kittens from fire - Wonderful World
     
  7. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you aren't a fan of critical thinking if it includes a critical enquiry into your personal belief system.
     
  8. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    It is funny that you say that because my path includes critical thinking. Back in my college days I reached a stand off with the educators. As much as they tried to convert me, I gave them gray hairs. I could always find the flaw in the usual religion and philosophy courses. It was only when I discovered my path and its perspective that everything made sense from the point of view of critical thought.

    Simone Weil studied CT with Emile Chartier in France and it was his specialty. He is quoted as saying: "There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them." Real CT requires one to be open to ideas. An objective belief system must include the way in which they can be included and reconciled rather than hated and denied.
     
  9. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Well that might be true Nick, but from where I stand you seem rather entrenched in your beliefs.
     
  10. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    I have an entrenched belief in mathematics. Is there something wrong with this? My path asserts certain scientific and psychological observations pertaining to universal structure and human meaning and purpose that a person can verify through efforts of the ancient practice: Know thyself. If something is personally verified as with mathematical truths, why deny it? It is far more courageous to come to admit some unpleasant truths about our human condition and make the necessary efforts to sacrifice imagination for the greater good.
     
  11. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Do you often feel as though people are judging you?
     
  12. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    People always judge people. My beliefs are not the norm so are naturally judged more. If not, I believe like mark Twain that I'd be missing something important.

     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. Mark Twain...

    The feller was a humorist, a satirist, he liked to write poignant points inside of a joke....and this has that aspect...but it isn't anything to actually have as a mantra, imo.

    I mean when everyone said you can't fly...orville and wilbru, davinci and others disagreed...they had a mescaline party and with critical thinking developed a flying machine... concensus today is that with mechanical assistance you can fly....should we now say we can't?? nah...
     

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