How To Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills

How To Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills-48
So if the classic view of critical thinking is wrong, what’s the right way of doing it?I think there’s two broad approaches that will work to make better decisions: This first strategy is to recognize what you’re actually doing when you’re reasoning about things and uses this knowledge to try to avoid making common mistakes.Many well-known problems of human reasoning disappear once you get a group of people together and let them talk about it.

So if the classic view of critical thinking is wrong, what’s the right way of doing it?

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While there’s some benefit of this, most of the work of learning a language is learning specific vocabulary.

Thus, if you want to learn Japanese, you’re best off learning Japanese vocabulary—mastering Latin first won’t help too much.

Critical thinking skills – like all skills – take time, patience, and practice to develop. Consider also how you can work on those areas that are not so well-developed at the moment.

As a university student, it’s important to start trying to engage critically with your classmates, your lecturers and tutors, and your learning materials, even if you feel that this does not come easily or naturally to you.

The problem is that this theory of the mind doesn’t work. Instead of general, abstract faculties that can be improved with non-specific training, improvements to the mind tend to be extremely specific.

General improvements, when they happen, tend to result out of the accumulation of many, many specific improvements, rather than unrelated and general ones. The faculty view says that learning Latin will improve your linguistic faculties.The intelligence comes from throughout the brain, via mostly intuitive modules which are specific and trained through practice, rather than some mystical faculty that does critical thinking.If this theory is correct, then another reason critical thinking is hard to improve is that we’re mostly not coming up with more intelligent decisions when we think critically, but trying to create more appealing arguments for our positions (or more incisive attacks on the arguments of others).Given what we know about how reason works, there’s a few things you can do: Since reason tends to be more to justify than to generate the right judgement, one way to avoid making mistakes is to reason about the same problem in a lot of different contexts.The modular theory of mind says that rather than a single coordinated function, the brain consists of a lot of semi-autonomous modules that all “vote” their preferred action into the brain.Similarly, critical thinking isn’t just a single monolithic ability that reduces to abstract logical forms.Instead it’s numerous facts, inferences, heuristics and context-specific abilities that must be built up through voluminous exposure to real situations.In order to critically engage with the theories, ideas, words, or work of others, you must develop self-awareness: an understanding and awareness of yourself. Try to reflect honestly on how well these dispositions describe you, and why and when they might be useful for you as a student.The argumentative theory of reason, which I covered in depth here, suggests that the seeming failure of many types of human reason are misinterpreted because they don’t recognize reason’s true function.Instead of a general-purpose way of making better decisions, reason is a faculty for generating explanations and evaluating those of others.


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