Best 183 quotes in «critical thinking quotes» category

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    When everything impossible had been eliminated and what remains is supernatural, then someone is lying.

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    When my husband was a little boy, his uncle Buddy in Hope, Arkansas, liked to say "Anybody who tries to make you mad and stops you from thinking is not your friend. There's a lot to be said for thinking.

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    When my husband was a little boy, his uncle Buddy in Hope, Arkansas, liked to say "Anybody who tries to make you mad and story you from thinking is not your friend. There's a lot to be said for thinking.

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    When our children are old enough, and if we can afford to, we send them to college, where despite the recent proliferation of courses on 'happiness' and 'positive psychology,' the point is to acquire the skills not of positive thinking but of *critical* thinking, and critical thinking is inherently skeptical. The best students -- and in good colleges, also the most successful -- are the ones who raise sharp questions, even at the risk of making a professor momentarily uncomfortable. Whether the subject is literature or engineering, graduates should be capable of challenging authority figures, going against the views of their classmates, and defending novel points of view.

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    When students learn to wrestle with questions about purpose, audience, and genre, they develop a conceptual view of writing that has lifelong usefulness in any communicative context.

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    ...when we cease asking questions, when we stop being self-critical, and when we no longer engage with others, then we surrender our ability to grow--to progress. Let's begin the conversation.

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    When we characterize talk as hot air, we mean that what comes out of the speaker’s mouth is only that. It is mere vapor. His speech is empty, without substance or content. His use of language, accordingly, does not contribute to the purpose it purports to serve. No more information is communicated than if the speaker had merely exhaled. There are similarities between hot air and excrement, incidentally, which make hot air seem an especially suitable equivalent for bullshit. Just as hot air is speech that has been emptied of all informative content, so excrement is matter from which everything nutritive has been removed. Excrement may be regarded as the corpse of nourishment, what remains when the vital elements in food have been exhausted. […] In any event, it cannot serve the purposes of sustenance, any more than hot air can serve those of communication.

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    When you go with first principles, a giant light goes off in what you think is a city and turns out to be an insane asylum.

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    Woodrow Wilson claimed that history endows us with the "invaluable mental power we call judgment.

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    You must be able to say "I understand," before you can say "I agree," or "I disagree," or "I suspend judgment.

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    You know, I don't believe that religions are religions. No, I believe they are philosophies with some good ideas and some fuckin' weird ones.

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    A fool will always rely on what someone else says, however an intelligent person would use critical thinking to justify the rationality of statements made by others before embracing their influence.

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    You need to answer questions on where, when and what to do

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    A book can tell me anything it wants to, but I sure as shit don't have to believe it.

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    Actions & statements made on the basis of critical analysis & discernment are not the same as divisiveness. Know the difference.

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    A great truth wants to be criticized not idolized

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    It is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.

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    A definition of a term indicates its original meaning from the language the person reads, writes and speaks in daily life settings. However, an intellectual persons interpretation and perspective can modify its context so he or she can sound creative and compelling when he or she educates his or her audience by forming a connection with a particular vocabulary word scholars/ innovative thinkers would use specifically in a particular field of study.

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    A god that created me free and autonomous, yet, tells me how and what I should think. - On Religion and Free Will

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    Johnson is a radical skeptic, insisting, in the best Socratic tradition, that everything be put on the table for examination. By contrast, most skeptics opposed to him are selective skeptics, applying their skepticism to the things they dislike (notably religion) and refusing to apply their skepticism to the things they do like (notably Darwinism). On two occasions I’ve urged Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, to put me on its editorial board as the resident skeptic of Darwinism. Though Shermer and I know each other and are quite friendly, he never got back to me about joining his editorial board.

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    a large-scale policy mandating a mono-cultural curriculum – focused on teaching to the job may very well create a society of trained workers; but it will fail at creating a learning society. If we want to maintain a position of being inventive and vibrant and robust, we need an inventive, vibrant and robust educational philosophy. Just as teaching to the test distorts the learning process in ways that are often directly in opposition to the desired outcomes of the test, a teaching policy aimed at jobs alone may very well end up destroying jobs, or at the very least compromising a truly innovative culture.

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    All great people had critics but they still believe in the beauty of their dreams, fully persuaded to stay focused and determined for the realisation of their dreams.

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    All believers assert that they were lucky enough to be born in the religious community to which they belong. All other religions are mystification and distortion of reality. No other community can be as moral as their community, because they don’t obey the divine rules as their community, and they destroy them more or less. That is why for believers only their religious community can be an ideal example for imitation of others, only their holy scriptures and texts hold the absolute truth concerning everything. Similarly, all patriots believe that they are lucky that they were born in the society to which they belong. They sincerely believe that only their historical texts, with their interpretation, can be absolutely correct. No other social community can be as brave and humanistic as they are. For patriots, their social community can be or must have been the center of global historical progress. As a result, both religion and history give you self-confidence and honor, but instead take critical thinking from you. What is first-rate for a reasonable agnostic? — to be self-confident and proud, or increase an intuition that there must be something wrong and illusory moments in any religious or historical ideology. The difference between ideology and science, which may be the only criteria for a reasonable agnostic, is that any ideology divides humans into yours and ours, bad and good, respectively, but for science such badness and goodness don’t exist -- there are only individuals with the brain and mind, desires and emotions, and so on, and so forth.

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    An idle mind does not think.

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    Always assess the situation before completing a task or taking action to resolve a conflict.

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    All your thoughts, imagination, feelings, emotions and sensation are part of the mechanical process that can be understood, at the state of self-realization.

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    A man goes to a foreign country and kills somebody who's not aggressing against him; in a Hawaiian shirt he's a criminal, in a green costume he's a hero who gets a parade and a pension. So that, as a culture, we remain in a state of moral insanity. To point out these contradictions to people in society is to be labeled insane. This is how insane society remains, that anybody who points out logical opposites in the most essential human topic of ethics, is considered to be insane.

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    But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method.

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    As students cross the threshold from outside to insider, they also cross the threshold from superficial learning motivated by grades to deep learning motivated by engagement with questions. Their transformation entails an awakening--even, perhaps, a falling in love.

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    Both [P. T.] Barnum and H. L. Mencken are said to have made the depressing observation that no one ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. The remark has worldwide application. But the lack is not in intelligence, which is in plentiful supply; rather, the scarce commodity is systematic training in critical thinking.

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    A question is far more subversive, biblically, than a statement.

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    A rich person is just a poor person with a crown and elaborate clothing, and a poor person is just a rich person with a crownless head and ragged clothing.

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    As every good marxist already knows, the ideological shift toward a terminally optimistic humanism was vital to the rise of bourgeoisie, and the decline of aristocracy.

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    Asking questions were the most important thing.

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    A static conformist mind is hardly a creative mind, now a radiating mind, that is something worth gazing into for this is where great ideas leap from. - On Not Being Challenged Enough

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    Before accepting your guess just based on how you feel, let's admit we just don't know, and discover if it's real.

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    Calling a book "Young Adult" is just a fancy way of saying the book is censored. People used to say they like to read books about romance, true crime, comedy, horror or science fiction. But these days people simply say they like to read "Young Adult" books. As if that were a topic. But that's the thing: Young Adult is not a topic, it's a level of censorship. Saying "I like Young Adult books" is just another way of saying "I like books that have been dumbed down for children. I like books with no big words and no difficult abstract concepts. Nothing that will strain my brain." People like to brag that they used to start reading at an early age, as if that were a badge of honor, a sign of intelligence. Nobody brags about when they started to watch TV. But books are being dumbed down so much these days, it's really not a sign of great intelligence when you're a grown up and you struggle your way through Green Eggs and Ham.

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    Certainly we can say that the pace of modern life, increased and supported by our technology in general and our personal electronics in particular, has resulted in a short attention span and an addiction to the influx of information. A mind so conditioned has little opportunity to think critically, and even less chance to experience life deeply by being in the present moment. A complex life with complicated activities, relationships and commitments implies a reflexive busy-ness that supplants true thinking and feeling with knee-jerk reactions. It is a life high in stress and light on substance, at least in the spiritually meaningful dimensions of being.

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    Chester, listen to me!” Uncle Jeff said, holding his face. “It’s a sacrifice, for God.” “This is so wrong!” Chester fought back. “Chester! Be quiet!” he heard his mother’s voice from the living room. “Believe me, Chester. The animal doesn’t feel a thing.” Uncle Jeff tried to calm him down. “Its soul departs for heaven even before the blade touches its skin.” he explained. “Nice way to rationalize murder,” said Chester, walking towards the stairs.

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    Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief. Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false. Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it; for doubt is a testing of belief. The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing; For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure. He that would silence doubt is filled with fear; the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands. But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock. He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge; the work of his hands shall endure. Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help: It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth.

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    Children are rarely taught critical thinking anymore, and society has become so antirational that basic reason and evidence are the new counterculture: thought is the new punk.

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    Critical voices have to care about history. We have to care about the way in which things get controlled in the past because that's when the damage gets done and if we don't keep that historical memory, we will allow them to do it again next time.

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    Complex thinkers attempt to extend to others the same self-forgiving bias that they offer themselves.

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    Creating consent (hegemony) is never a simple act. It is rather the result of the social structures and the cultural patterns that dictates for each group its behavior and for each institutions its practices.

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    Critical thinking doesn’t mean we disparage everything; it means that we try to distinguish between claims with evidence and those without.

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    Critical Thinking is also called structured thinking.

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    Critical Thinking narrows and creative thinking expands, but they must work in tandem for problem solving and decision making.

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    Critical Thinking has the potential to be a deeply creative process.

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    Critical Thinking is not automatic thinking. It takes extra effort to think critically.

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    Critics are not creators. They rarely write great novels, invent new technologies, or come up with a great business idea.

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