Critical Thinking Is Becoming A Lost Skill

Critical thinking is a useful life skill. It tends to keep you firmly attached to reality.

It involves the assessment of evidence, opinion, and experimental results. It involves hypotheses and seeking to prove or disprove them. It is humble. It seeks what is not what you would prefer it to be.

Thomas Sowell had a thought on this three decades ago, “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling”

Thinking or Feeling?

If you have been trained to think critically and know how to organize information to reach a decision you might find that odd. When I first saw the thought years ago, I had some trouble accepting it. Thinking and feeling are not so similar that they can be confused.

It seems I am wrong.

I am not so sure yet that feeling can replace thinking, but it seems there are educated people who think there is an advantage to “deconstructionism” If you turn critical thinking into critique thinking you’ll get the idea. Nothing is beyond critique. Your thoughts and feelings matter too. It is about experience not about reality.

I came on this article “Why Johnny Can’t Think”  It provides some history to the change.

It seems that critical thinking has become critique thinking

You have likely noticed some of the ideas becoming newsworthy. Things like “Math is racist” “Gender is fluid.”

It denies the idea of objective reality because not everyone experiences reality the same way and everyone’s feelings matter. I probably don’t care much that Hemingway’s “The Old Man And The Sea” or Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” can be interpreted at many levels and in many ways. I do care that someone knows, objectively, how strong the concrete in the foundation of  20-story building should be. I especially think the people who build bridges, nuclear reactors, airplanes, and ships, have standards that are proven. Objectively proven. We can predict their outcome.

Feelings are not predictable

The choice of critique over critical is madness. Reality becomes random.

It might be wise to see how your children are doing. The way we are going critical thinking will become a super-power. Better they possess it.

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