Amongst spoon-feeding us with information, one thing that most schools fail to teach is how to think. How does one think rationally and at the same time, outside the box? Well, Daniel Dennett, being one of the world’s most foremost thinkers himself has seven top tips for thinking and arguing.
1.) Use your Mistakes. In his own words, our past’s stupidity must be appreciated as a new pillar of wisdom. We are privileged to be the only species that can think about the mere act of thinking and contemplate on our past so use this ability wisely.
2.)Respect your opponent. A successful critical commentary does involve pointing out contradicts and logical flaws but you should also list any points of agreement and mention what you’ve learnt from your opponent.
3.)The “Surely Klaxon”. According to Dennet, the use of certain words such as “surely” in any argument is as good as a weak point. In other words, if the person was really sure that the readers or audience agree, then the word wouldn’t be used.
4.) Answer rhetorical questions. We all know that rhetorical questions are not meant to be answered so you can imagine how much it would put your opponents out of their place if you did indeed answer them. So whenever you come across a rhetorical question, try to find an unobvious answer in your head.
5.)Employ Occam’s razor. Very simply; do not go with the unnecessarily complicated argument when you have a simpler one that works.
6.)Don’t waste your time on rubbish. Indeed, A lot of undistinguished work exist in every field whether it is science or art. Either go after the good stuff or leave it alone.
7.) Beware of deepities. This is any statement that appears to be true and meaningful but is only so because of its ambiguous nature. These can be difficult to pick up and analyze but great thinkers must always be wary of them.
That was just a brief summary but to read about all the seven tips in detail click on the image.
Tagged: #science #philosophy #daniel dennet #how to think #science blog #philosophy blog #debating #debating tips #thinking tips #tips #7 tips #genius #writing blog #arguing #reasoning #thinking #brain
5:00:43 @ 5/21/2013