I have not read other books which purpose to present the reader with information used to build a good critical thinking process. Therefore, I cannot honestly evaluate the book’s quality with reference to other works on the same subject. However, the book does seem to cover quite a breath of aspects that do impact the art and science of critical thinking.
After reading the book the thoughts that come to mind are the following. Critical thinking is hard work! The authors were successful to break down the many elements of thought and levels of thought and the different sociological dynamics at work, both internally and externally, that must be considered. Putting one’s mind to work to consider all the input places a high demand on one’s intellectual capacity (at least on my intellectual capacity). At the same time, this book offers some good templates that can serve the developing critical thinker to improve his/her abilities.
Engaging a critical thinking lifestyle is very time consuming! Perhaps the rigors will gain speed with practice and experience, but it still seems that much time needs to be invested to carefully exhaust the plethora of checks required to maintain an approach which has integrity. Much of the time is spent personally to check for clarity, assumptions, purpose, etc., but then it is important to engage others in the process so that the perspectives of others can be leveraged to acheive critical thinking excellence. Developing the intellectual virtues takes time and practice.
The most imporant message of the book for me is the practical and spiritual value of a process that begins with such academic rigor. Much of the early process is intellectual, especially the early steps to acheive clarity and accuracy of thought. But, as the process develops the thoughts must be tested and evaluated which requires the practical engagement of communication. This makes the hard work and time invested worth while! I like the idea of entering the market place of ideas well prepared with a critical thinking foundation. Personally, my journey is not to fullfill a purely academic pursuit. Knowing that developing my critical thinking skills will improve my ministry communication skills is the real benefit! And, the spiritual development that must accompany this process is icing on the cake. Developing intellectual virtures requires honing one’s spiritual values.
This is a valuable book. I am glad to have read it and it will be more valuable in the coming days as reference material.
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