Week 5, prompt option #4: Valuable Intellectual Traits
Though it has focused on arguments, this course is not merely designed to give skills and tools for creating arguments; it is designed to create critical thinkers. Critical thinking is not merely a set of tools, but a habit of mind based on carefully reasoning about what is true and how best to live. It is an approach to life based in careful thought (Vic Le vine, 2012). In other words, it is possible to use the lessons from this course to genuinely live better and smarter lives. This discussion is designed to explore some of the virtues of mind that one can develop as a result of developing the habit of critical thinking.
Prepare: In addition to using the readings and scenarios of this course, take a close look at the web pages associated with the Foundation for Critical Thinking website.
Reflect: Search within the website for the pages associated with the options below, and reflect how each can help you to live a better life. Choose one of the three topics below and develop the ideas in the page into a plan for implementing it into your life more.
Write: Choose one of the topics below from the Critical Thinking Community website and address the prompts underneath.
*Purpose, Point of View, and Decisions
Outline a problem that you currently face or have faced recently. Define the assumptions that you have about this issue. Explain your point of view, and outline the information that you have analyzed in relation to this problem. Finally, explain the implications that have arisen or will arise when you respond to this problem. How can critical thinking help you to address this problem in a healthier and more intelligent manner? (Here is a good example of such an approach: Steven Brookfield on Critical Thinking [link to video: http://vimeo.com/65688214]).
*Valuable Intellectual Traits
Of the valuable intellectual traits listed in the online readings from this week, identify three of them that you can further strengthen. Explain the traits, and then describe how you will attempt to implement actions in your life that will maximize those intellectual virtues. How can each of them make your life better? Will you be more likely to find truth by developing them?
Using the online reading “Open-minded Inquiry,” identify what you consider to be the three most important attributes that one must have as he or she approaches problems. Explain why you think these attributes are the three most important, and describe examples from your own life, or from the lives of those you know, in which people failed to display those attributes. How will learning this virtue improve your life and relationships with others? Will it help you to find more truth?
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