The first challenge is to see the value of an idea without romanticizing away its limitations. The second challenge is to see the limitations of an idea without losing the ability to make constructive use of its value. Most fallacies are not the result of placing faith in bad ideas, but in making too much or… Continue reading Not too much, Not too little
Spread the ideas that turn you on, not the ones you think people will like you for; not the ones that create the fewest amount of enemies; not the ones that grant you immunity from ever being thought of as strange, odd, or eccentric. The risk-free stuff is already spoken for. The world is already… Continue reading Be a person, not a parrot
The Myth: “If I disagree with an idea, it’s not worth contemplating. If I can find the flaws in an idea, then it’s a waste of time to analyze it.” Not so fast! Does it make you think? Does it force you to achieve greater clarity about your own views? Does it challenge you to… Continue reading Does it make you think?
There’s always another way to look at things. This observation doesn’t mean, however, that the conventional and traditional ways are wrongheaded, silly, and meaningless. An alternative isn’t always the same as an antithesis. Critical thinking is the ability to entertain new possibilities without arbitrarily closing our minds to what remains useful in our previously held… Continue reading Entertaining Possibilities Without Prejudice
Polygots often speak of the worlds of art and literature that are made available to them upon learning a new language. An English-speaking person who studies French, for instance, is able to be inspired and informed by a larger population of films, books, songs, and conversations. They are able to laugh at jokes that were… Continue reading Thinking in Different Philosophies