A grittier version of my preferred definition of critical thinking: “The art of being right.”
“An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn’t learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.”
Elizabeth Anscombe, a friend and pupil of Wittgenstein:
“Why do people say that it was natural to think that the
sun went round the earth rather than that the earth turned on its
axis?” I replied: “I suppose, because it looked as if the sun went round the
earth.” “Well, he asked, what would it have looked like if it had
looked as if the earth turned on its axis?”
Gist: critical thinking needs access to good factual information, information that has itself been derived through a process of (relatively, at least) good CT. We have been accumulating a very large amount of such factual information (i.e., scientific knowledge). This is mostly publicly-funded. People should have access to that information, but it is hidden behind “toll booths” of journal fees.
Interesting use of handwriting and drawing in a PowerPoint-type format.
The search for truth
is a cooperative, unending endeavour. We can, and should, engage
in it to the extent we can and encourage others to do so as
well, seeking to free ourselves from constraints imposed by
coercive institutions, dogma, irrationality, excessive conformity
and lack of initiative and imagination, and numerous other obstacles.
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