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  • "Give someone a fish and they'll eat that day.

  • Teach them how to catch a fish and they'll never go hungry"

  • Proverbs like this remind us how learning skills

  • helps to move us towards self-reliance.

  • This is never more true than with critical thinking.

  • Memorize the solution to a problem

  • and you may master that particular problem.

  • Improve your critical thinking

  • and you'll give yourself the tools

  • to create your own effective solutions

  • to a multitude of unfamiliar problems.

  • Critical thinking refers to a diverse range

  • of intellectual skills and activities

  • concerned with evaluating information - as well as our own thought -

  • in a disciplined way.

  • When we're willing and able to examine our own capability as thinkers

  • acknowledging problems and weaknesses

  • this can help us refine our thought processes

  • so that we learn to think and assess information

  • in a more comprehensive way

  • that increases our ability to identify and reject false ideas and ideologies.

  • Critical thinking isn't just 'thinking a lot'.

  • A person may spend a great deal of intellectual energy

  • defending a flawed position

  • or pursuing a question that actually needs reformulating

  • before progress can begin.

  • If they never examine possible flaws and biases behind their approach

  • that's not thinking critically.

  • We must want to be better at thinking;

  • to pinpoint and minimise any biasing influence on our thought

  • from culture and upbringing;

  • to seek out and be guided by knowledge and evidence

  • that fits with reality, even if it refutes our cherished beliefs.

  • Indeed, when we think critically

  • beliefs tend not to be cherished

  • but held on the understanding that if they're shown to be unfounded

  • a change of position is the most appropriate response.

  • Critical thinkers cultivate an attitude of curiosity

  • and eagerness to widen their perspective and broaden their knowledge

  • and they're willing to do the work required

  • to keep themselves properly informed about a subject.

  • They recognise that explanations must actually explain

  • and be testable to be worthy of serious consideration;

  • and that legitimate theories

  • clearly define the circumstances in which they will concede defeat.

  • Critical thinking embraces scepticism.

  • Scepticism doesn't mean an indiscriminate rejection of ideas

  • as some mistakenly believe.

  • It refers to doubting

  • and suspending our judgment about claims with which we're presented

  • so that we don't simply accept claims that may be unjustified

  • but first take the time to understand them

  • examining the reasoning and possible assumptions and biases behind them.

  • Reasoning behind factual claims should be based in sound, consistent logic

  • not on emotions and social pressure

  • because the truth-value of factual claims isn’t determined

  • by the emotion that accompanies them

  • or the fact that they may be believed by certain social groups.

  • Sometimes people try to persuade us that reason has no value

  • but that's an untenable position.

  • Arguing against reason is cutting off the branch on which you sit

  • using the very thing you're dismissing

  • in order to construct a case against it.

  • Reason has an intrinsic role in the decisions and judgments we make

  • as we negotiate our way through life

  • whether they be momentous or trivial.

  • If a particular line of reasoning is flawed, what will increase our understanding?

  • Dismissing the value of reason or looking honestly at the flaws?

  • A lack of respect for reason or evidence

  • or any number of obstructive character traits

  • will sabotage one's capacity for critical thought.

  • One of the biggest barriers to critical thinking

  • is an unwillingness to see complex issues

  • in anything other than black and white terms.

  • If one sees only two options, when more exist

  • this constitutes a false dichotomy.

  • Consciousness is often presented as something

  • that's either an eternal immaterial entity

  • or reducible and identical to brain states

  • when in fact there are various other positions...

  • Many divide people into those who accept evolution

  • and those who believe in specific gods

  • when these categories are not mutually exclusive.

  • If we think in false dichotomies, we'll tend to draw false conclusions

  • for example, by judging that if option A is false

  • option B must be true.

  • We may also misrepresent others by wrongly assuming

  • that if they don't hold attitude X they must hold attitude Y.

  • Black and white thinking often reflects

  • an underlying reluctance or refusal

  • to deal with the uncertainty that results from complexity

  • and an absence of definite answers.

  • But leaping to flawed conclusions

  • because you can't tolerate the ambiguity of not knowing

  • is not about truth or curiosity, but comfort.

  • The critical thinker can handle uncertainty

  • preferring to be aware of their own areas of ignorance

  • and they can wait for valid evidence and evidence-based answers.

  • Critical thinking provides each of us

  • with keys for unlocking our own intellectual independence

  • leaving us willing and able to explore and solve problems for ourselves.

  • It moves us away from rash conclusions, mystification

  • and a reluctance to question received wisdom, authority and tradition.

  • And it moves us towards intellectual discipline

  • the clear expression of ideas

  • and the acceptance of personal responsibility for our own thinking.

  • Communities in which individuals are eager to acquire and apply the best knowledge

  • and reason in all fields

  • and willing to acknowledge and correct flaws in their own thinking

  • are better equipped to create more profoundly effective solutions

  • to the challenges we face in living and living together.

  • When we teach and encourage critical thinking

  • we empower individual lives

  • and invest in our collective future.

"Give someone a fish and they'll eat that day.

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B1 中級

批判性思維 (Critical Thinking)

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    Wendy Lin 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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