Reasons to take Critical Thinking


  1. "In the early days I was having lunch with Bill Gates, and we were talking about how hard it was to find people, and he said he was having great success with philosophy students," says Jim Phillips, chairman and executive director of the center. "They think logically." (from here; found by Stefan Senyk)
  2. Taken from R. Kuhn, 2003, Macroscope: Science as democratizer, American Scientist. (link)
    "Critical Thinking and Democracy

    How might science engender democracy? I'd like to suggest two mechanisms: first, by changing the way people think; second, by altering the interaction among those who make up the community. The more scientifically literate people become, the more they will expect, even demand to participate in the political process, and the more effective they will be at it. Such social evolution may be slow, nonlinear and chaotic, and periodically may even reverse course, but it is probably also inexorable, as the recent history of the former Soviet Union and other Communist countries in Europe shows.

    A key to changing the way people think is "critical thinking," the ability to draw logical conclusions, or (more often, in the messy world of social issues) the reverse—to discern gaps in logic, to detect broken conceptual links in the causative chain of, say, campaign promises. Science amplifies our power of discernment; the scientific way of thinking enables us to assess whether facts fit theories, or, in the political arena, whether actual circumstances support proffered positions. Critical thinking is the essence of the scientific method. Knowing the difference between assumption and deduction, and between presumption and proof, can alter one's outlook and transform an electorate. The cognitive skill to distinguish among hope, faith, possibility, probability and certitude are potent weapons in anyone's political survival kit and can be applied in all areas of life and society."

  3. Did you know that in 1994 it was claimed that "Every year since 1950, the number of American children gunned down has doubled." Well... as discussed in this article, critical thinking can help you distinguish good from bad statistics - something which might help you avoid accepting that 35 trillion children were killed in 1994 (which is what that statistic suggests). See here for an explanation (From the Chronicle of Higher Education).

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