I took the VIA Survey of Character Strengths and Judgement, critical thinking, and open mindedness came as my top strength. This is what they say about it:
Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You don't jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.
I am looking for resources that help me with the process of critical thinking. Open mindedness is a state and so is judgement but critical thinking (although I do it naturally) is a skill that can be developed and something I have never studied. I'm aware that although I think things through carefully and logically this has never been through a particular framework and I certainly couldn't engage fully in a skillful debate with someone who has a good understanding of critical thinking. I also don't understand exactly how I am breaking something down when I'm being critical and without an understanding of the processes I am probably a bit inconsistent. As such:
Thanks in advanced everyone. I know there are a lot of critical thinkers here on AoM.
In the realm of logic in particular, there are a few out-of-print books by Raymond Smullyan that provide some fun logic puzzles that increase in complexity:
What is the Name of This Book?
The Lady or the Tiger?
Here's a simple puzzle from Chapter 3 of What is the Name of this Book? in which you are on the Island of Knights and Knaves. Knights always tell the truth while Knaves always lie.
There is a wide variety of puzzles about an island in which
certain inhabitants called " knights" always tell the truth,
and others called "knaves" always lie. It is assumed that
every inhabitant of the island is either a knight or a knave. I
shall start with a well-known puzzle of this type and then
follow it with a variety of puzzles of my own.
According to this old problem, three of the inhabitants-A,
B, and C-were standing together in a garden. A stranger
passed by and asked A, "Are you a knight or a knave?" A
answered, but rather indistinctly, so the stranger could not
make out what he said. The stranger than asked B, "What
did A say?" B replied, "A said that he is a knave." At this
point the third man, C, said, "Don' t believe B; he is lying!"
The question is, what are B and C?
Later in the chapter a third character, called a Normal, is introduced. Normals sometimes lie and sometimes tell the truth, making the puzzles more complex.
The Lady or the Tiger? presents puzzles after a brief introduction to Frank Stockton's short story of the same name in which a prisoner must choose between two doors, one containing a tiger who will eat him, and one containing the most beautiful woman in the kingdom whom he will marry immediately. Smullyan constructed many puzzles based on this dilemma such as the following:
In this trial, the king explained that, again, the signs were
either both true or both false. Here are the signs:
I: EITHER A TIGER IS IN THIS ROOM OR A LADY IS IN THE OTHER ROOM
II: A LADY IS IN THE OTHER ROOM
Does the first room contain a lady or a tiger? What about
the other room?
Now this seems like exactly my kind of thing and very brain stretching.
How to think about weird things: Critical thinking in a New Age - Theodore Schick ,Lewis Vaughn
Once you get pass the sort of subliminal bias in the examples of explaining fallacies, it's not too bad a read.
Thank you, I have bookmarked it.
I often find the less thinking I do, the better.
Thinking for thinking's sake can prevent action.
I do try and jump into things fairly quickly and reflect as I go. Rather than over plan before hand and never get around to doing anything.
What areas would I recommend. Critical thinking is profoundly important for jobs - life and relationships. Where to start is where you are weak. Take an inventory of where you are not open minded - issues and areas where you don't want to be confused with the facts - that you are happy just to go with your gut. Ask yourself why this is the case. Is it emotional - social - psychological? Why would you be unwilling to see things from all prospective? This will tell you the where your deficits to understanding might be and Knowing where your blocks are is as important or more important than having a step by step framework to process data. You will never be a good critical thinker if you don't apply critical thinking to your whole life. Because no one can know everything or even a fraction of what he or she might want to know, it's important to be able to objectively decide what is not worth your time - what battle is worth the fight -and what deep down just doesn't make sense. I hope this might be helpful.
Yes, that is an interesting idea. I'll definitely give that a go.
I can't cite the specific resources, but my job has exposed me to rather numerous tomes and presentations on how to be a critical thinker.
Most of it boils down to using these truisms:
Nobody else thinks exactly the same way my social/work circle and I do.
Am I even asking the correct question?
What are the inherent biases of my position?
What are the inherent biases of my data sources?
Why doesn't that "outside the box" hypothesis make "logical" sense to me?
Obviously, my biases on critical thinking are largely based on my work experiences.
One ever present bias is being focused on using critical thinking technique to solve specific problems or answer specific questions.
I see people, including my self, get tripped up by that first one (one of the logical fallacies) all the time.
Thank you for your insight. Those truisms seem like a good place to start and very easy to apply.
Less Wrong is my absolute favorite resource for critical thinking. I highly recommend working through the sequences.
Thanks, I've had a quick look and really like this.