Critical Thinking can be broken down into a 4 step process:
- Identify Assumptions Informing Thoughts & Actions
- Check Assumptions for Accuracy & Validity
- View Ideas & Actions from Alternative Perspectives
- Take Informed Action
Identify Assumptions Informing Thoughts
Why are you thinking what or how you're thinking? Who started that? Where did that come from? We often think from being trained by society, parents, teachers, peers, fools and the guy on the corner. I do an absolutely annoying thing to people constantly---I ask them where or how they got that thought.
Ignorance of one's own mind and where the detritus in it is the road to ignorance.
In Personal Power 2 Anthony Robbins teaches about being conscious of what we allow into our minds, questioning each nugget as carefully as we might examine the food we put into our bodies.
Check Assumptions for Accuracy & Validity
I might be able to challenge that on a date, if you have dinner at a restaurant at least 50 blocks from your house, at a reasonable time and somehow slip into the conversation that you'll be going home alone. Suddenly your "everyone" doesn't hold water.
View Ideas & Actions from Alternative Perspective
What we'd be doing together is exploring alternative perspectives to arrive at new thoughts/answers.
Critical Thinking is ultimately mental masturbation is you don't do step four. Without step four you're in a spiral or a factory (if you're doing it with a group) when there is no action.
"Everyone knows that men won't pay for dinner when you go out with them without you having to be sexual with them afterwards."
Most people avoid true Critical Thinking because it might require doing something. Real Ideology examined and then Liberation to being and doing new things that have an effect upon your own world will require risk. Therefore, true critical thinking is exampled in the by-product of risk. Now you have followed through in a process that has really defined what critical thinking is and you can apply this to anything from waffles to world affairs. The question is though: how many of your thoughts are flexible enough to be examined, reexamined and perhaps up ended to change?
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