Look up the definitions listed below. Several of them can be found at http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/glossary-of-critical-thinking-terms/496, select one quality you feel you possess and describe how you embody this quality.Characteristics of Fair-Minded Thinkers:
- Intellectual autonomy
- Intellectual courage
- Intellectual empathy
- Intellectual humility
- Intellectual integrity
- Intellectual perseverance
- Intellectual sense of justice
- Intellectual confidence in reason
HU260 Week 3 Lecture
Welcome to critical thinking, week three!
Intellectual autonomy is a big part of critical thinking. It means having rational control of one’s beliefs, values and inferences. The ideal of critical thinking is to learn to think for oneself to gain command over one’s thought processes. This means that you have developed and studied topic or industry enough that you’re comfortable and can come to a place where you can have your own beliefs, values and inferences. That doesn’t mean that you are biased. It means that you have studied the topic and you have a belief about what should be done to create a solution that might be needed relating to the topic. You have an opinion about which direction people should go as far as different choices around a topic. It’s not coming with an uneducated bias based only in experience. It’s coming with an understanding of the topic after having studied it in depth. It is being able to infer a solution, direction or an argument based from a higher level of thought and opinion. That comes from an academic background. That comes from being part of an industry for a while and having a deep understanding of it before any inferences or beliefs are made about it.
This leads to intellectual courage which is the willingness to face and fairly assess ideas, beliefs or viewpoints to which we have not given a serious hearing, regardless of our strong negative reactions to them. This means that you may feel very passionately about the topic you are exploring. You may feel that you are right and that the arguments and thinking critical thinking that you’re presenting are 100% percent true and correct to be based upon a lot of academic knowledge. But you still will have the willingness to face and fairly assess differing beliefs and viewpoints. Mostly because you just have not really given that viewpoint or belief a serious hearing or serious time to really look into it. It’s not a seeing it as you’re wrong or right but seeing the gray area, the in between area, where different ideas can help and support each other. This is how science works. We could not have developed so many different things if scientists were not open to their theories being disproven. That’s how theories are tested, how they stand up and how they are adopted by so many people. They have considered all angles and options that might happen of the idea with a study or with a formula, etc. They have to consider the other side they have to consider side effects. That’s the only way you can really understand and know what you’re presenting is right. If you don’t consider the other side then it is not really intellectual discourse. you really need to be open and have the courage to face the possibility that maybe what you put out is not 100% correct and you may need to revamp what you’ve been doing based on new information. Intellectual courage is a big part of being respected and of help in your industries.
Intellectual empathy is an understanding the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others to genuinely understand them. You must recognize our egocentric tendency to identify truth with our immediate perceptions or long-standing beliefs. We need to understand where other people are coming from in their arguments and be able to identify with them. So our work can be of use to others we need to understand where they’re coming from and what information that they may need surrounding a topic to help them either understands it or adopt it to make it a helpful part of their life.
Intellectual humility is 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. It’s being able to know that you don’t know it all and there will always be something more to learn. This is great because you want to keep developing your ideas, theories and arguments. We tend to have a desire to know it all and be right about what we are saying and discussing. It gives us a real feeling of control when we know what’s right and what’s wrong. but if it’s in this kind of field, in this kind of work, you need to be able to be more fluid than that and be open to other ideas, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, theories and arguments that are out there. This will help keep you from becoming rigid and limited in what you are presenting. If you become rigid everyone else will just pass you by. Things are always growing and changing. There is always new information coming out and you have to be able to roll with the times and grow. You need to be able to grow your theories and arguments in the process as well. Intellectual integrity is the recognition of the need to be true to one’s own thinking, to be consistent in the intellectual standards one applies, to hold oneself to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to which one holds one’s antagonists and to practice what one advocates for others. You need to do be able to stand behind what you have said. But you also need to make sure that you open yourself to the standards that you’re holding everybody else to. You need to make sure that you have a certain set of values and standards about what you are presenting and doing. You need to apply that set of standards not only to people who are your adversaries are people but also apply them to yourself and your work. You need to have evidence and proof of your points, opinions and theories just as you would expect of other people who are also presenting in your topic or in your field. You need to be sure that your work holds up and that you have a sense of integrity so you can stand behind it. You don’t want to fall like a house of cards and someone else comes in and starts picking apart your argument. Because that’s what all is in a critical thinking. It is about challenging each other on some levels and sort of keeping an eye at each other’s integrity standard.
Intellectual perseverance is the willingness and consciousness of the need to pursue intellectual insights and truths despite difficulties, obstacles and frustrations; the firm adherence to rational principles despite irrational opposition of others; a sense of the need to struggle with confusion and unsettled questions over extended period of time. You need to be able to first skip through all of the difficulties and obstacles just from trying to find the information you need to develop your argument. You need to sift through that and make sure you are using sources that are up to standards and be very critical of that as you’re going. Then you need to be able to deal with irrational opposition. There will always be someone willing to just oppose you that may not necessarily have a set of standards or solid evidence. They may just be coming from an emotional reaction to what you’re saying. They may just be going off their personal bias, beliefs and experiences and they may not be making much sense. They may even get more press or be in front of people more than you. So you need to know that your work stands up well and be able to, in some ways defend what you have presented. You need to have the perseverance to know what you have done stands on its own and to also stand up for it. Then is there also may be a sense of unsettled questions that come up later after you have presented your opinion. Say you presented an argument and it’s really good it, it stands up well. Someone else comes out with something that somewhat opposes your argument. That can lead you to question everything that you have presented your argument. You need to be able to work through that and see if there really are holes in your argument now that this new information has been brought out. You need to revise what you’ve done and be able to do that without a lot of emotional involvement, but be able to move and change with the times. Or perhaps it doesn’t really poke holes in your argument. It’s the same thing, just presented in a different way. That happens a lot as well. You just need to be grounded and centered enough to hear the opposition for what it is and be able to neutrally look at it, examine it and see how it affects your previous work, if at all.
With an intellectual sense of justice you need to have the willingness and consciousness of the need to entertain all viewpoints sympathetically and assess. Them with the same intellectual standards, without reference to one’s own feelings or vested interests. You need to see you be able in the beginning to use sources that hold up to this. That always helps. But you want to consider other opinions and ideas just to see how it could affect your argument or not. You should entertain them with intellectual standards because some of them may just be an emotional response. You don’t want to waste a lot of time with every single opinion and belief in things about a topic. You want to limit it to those with a set of standards and academic background. But you also want to make sure that you’re not selectively taking certain sources because they support your argument 100% you want to be sure you have a variety of sources and are being balanced and fair in the way you are pursuing your work.
Next, select two qualities you feel you need to improve upon.
Using the five step decision making process outlined below, create a plan of action to improve in those areas. Please be sure to outline the specific steps you’ll take to overcome any obstacles you face.
Your completed assignment should be written primarily in first person and should be 500-750 words in length. If you use sources in your writing, be sure to identify them. If you use any direct language from a source, be sure to place those words in quotation marks.
Decision Making Process
- Step One: As clearly as possible, define the decision you are faced with.
- Step Two: Consider each possible choice you have for resolving the issue.
- Step Three: Gather as much relevant information as time allows, and identify the pros and cons of each of the choices you have to solve your issue.
- Step Four: Based on your list of pros and cons, choose the best method for resolving the issue.
- Step Five: Construct a plan of action to implement your method (be sure to leave yourself enough flexibility to make adjustments as necessary).