The Thinker's Guide for Conscientious Citizens to Detect by Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder

By Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder

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The best interpretations take the most evidence into account. Critical thinkers recognize their interpretations, distinguish them from evidence, consider alternative interpretations, and reconsider their interpretations in the light of new evidence. multilogical (multidimensional) problems: Problems that can be analyzed and approached from more than one, often conflicting, points of view or frames of reference. For example, many ecological problems have a variety of dimensions: historical, social, economic, biological, chemical, moral, political, and so on.

Data: Facts, figures, and information from which conclusions can be inferred, or upon which interpretations or theories can be based. As critical thinkers, we must make certain to distinguish hard data from the inferences or conclusions we draw from them. egocentricity: A tendency to view everything in relationship to oneself; to confuse immediate perception (how things seem) with reality; the tendency to be self-centered or to consider only oneself and one’s own interests; selfishness. One’s desires, values, and beliefs (seeming to be self-evidently correct, or superior to those of others) are often uncritically used as the norm of all judgment and experience.

Intellectual humility: Awareness of the limits of one’s knowledge, including sensitivity to circumstances in which one’s native egocentrism is likely to function self-deceptively; sensitivity to bias and prejudice in, and limitations of, one’s viewpoint. Intellectual humility is based on the recognition that no one should claim more than he or she actually knows. It does not imply spinelessness or submissiveness. It implies the lack of intellectual pretentiousness, boastfulness, or conceit, combined with insight into the strengths or weaknesses of the logical foundations of one’s beliefs.

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