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Critical Thinking. Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Richard W. Paul , Linda Elder

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Kurzbeschreibung

Mai 2002
Critical Thinking is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life: in your career, and as a consumer, citizen, friend, parent, and lover. Discover the core skills of effective thinking; then analyze your own thought processes, identify weaknesses, and overcome them. Learn how to translate more effective thinking into better decisions, less frustration, more wealth N and above all, greater confidence to pursue and achieve your most important goals in life.

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Synopsis

Critical Thinking is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life: in your career, and as a consumer, citizen, friend, parent, and lover. Discover the core skills of effective thinking; then analyze your own thought processes, identify weaknesses, and overcome them. Learn how to translate more effective thinking into better decisions, less frustration, more wealth and above all, greater confidence to pursue and achieve your most important goals in life.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

DR. RICHARD W. PAUL is Director of Research and Professional Development at the Center for Critical Thinking and the Chair of the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking. He has authored six books and more than 200 articles on critical thinking. In over 35 years of teaching experience, he has won numerous awards and honors, including Distinguished Perry Lecturer for the year 2000. DR. LINDA ELDER is an educational psychologist, President for the Foundation for Critical Thinking, and Executive Director of the Center for Critical Thinking. She is highly published and has done original research into the relation of thought and emotion. She is a regular keynoter at the International Conference on Critical Thinking and is a recognized leader in the field.

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Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  96 Rezensionen
130 von 140 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen 1st rule in business: Thou shalt not B.S. thyself 25. Juli 2004
Von John C. Dunbar - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book presents a process of analytical thinking that will help you make rational decisions. It also presents many thinking exercises you can apply immediately. Of great importance is the author's descriptions of how the brain tricks itself into making wrong decisions.

The writing is very readable and generally keeps you riveted to the material. However, you must frequently stop and think about the ramifications of what the author is presenting. Each sentence, paragraph, section, chapter is deeply thought out. There is great detail and information to consider.

The exercises were useful, although there were a few that were too simplistic. Sometimes the exercises were too repetitive to material just presented in the text (repetition of the same questions, in the same order). But overall, the exercises were most valuable and I will probably return there on later readings of this book.

There is one reviewer of this book that took issue with the sections discussing how to analyze controversial issues. I had the same reservations. After presenting detailed logic on how to think through issues objectively, I thought the authors let their own anarchist biases effect their proposed analyses of controversial issues, turning these sections into a rhetoric for their political positions. If they had said that their logic was just one analysis of the issues then that would be OK, but instead they presented their controversial analyses as the correct one. These really detracted from the power of the material as I thought of many poor assumptions made on their part.

But fortunately, the political rhetoric and controversial issues section of the book was small... at most 2 chapters.

However, there is so much to like about this book. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn a process for critical thinking. It is so easy for our minds to let non-rational factors determine our decisions. Worse, we often don't realize that our mind is playing tricks on ourselves. And, this is to our detriment.

By applying the authors' rules and exercises you can help catch this flawed, mostly ego-centric thinking while its still in the midst of a crime.

John Dunbar

Sugar Land, TX
310 von 350 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Great expectations disappointed 28. Dezember 2002
Von Chapman Flack - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Richard Paul and Linda Elder are affiliated with the Center for Critical Thinking, which I discovered several years ago when it was operating under the auspices of Sonoma State University. I first encountered Dr. Paul's writing through several fine pieces on the CCT web site, and they established my expectations for this book.
I should mention my misgivings about the phrase 'critical thinking.' It has critical mass as a buzz-phrase, and is susceptible to all of the risks that go with that--chiefly the risk that an assortment of people advocating widely different intellectual practices all find it advantageous to paste that popular name on their disparate wares. Even worse, I have encountered people to whom 'critical thinking' turns on the sense of 'critical' that means captious or disputatious, and who think of it as something nice people don't do; another entire camp seems to maintain that 'critical thinking' is achieved by nothing more than disparagement of reason and an inclination to question and deconstruct everything in sight. Taken far enough, these divergent uses of any 'in' buzzword can threaten to strip it completely of meaning; one cannot be grateful enough that the Center for Critical Thinking is still around and pushing the real deal: rigorous intellectual standards, commitment to clarity and reason and fairmindedness, with all that commitment demands.
But this book makes a disappointing vehicle. Contributing not least to the disappointment are lapses of editing and proofreading that should never be seen in a finished book. Perhaps embarrassments of grammar, spelling, and punctuation do not count directly against the book's intellectual content--but they could lead many readers to underestimate what the book has to offer. That's too bad.
A more serious weakness is the want of exercises that genuinely test the reader's thinking. If learning to think critically is replacing comfortable modes of thought with modes that can be evaluated to standards, an important motivator may be to bump against those standards regularly. But many of the exercises are of the "write down something you think about X" variety notable for not having wrong answers. The questions are often good ones and the exercises are not all busy work, but neither are they as demanding as they could be, and some readers may find them condescending.
An extreme example is found in Chapter 7--The Standards for Thinking--with respect to the standard of 'logicalness,' which gets a treatment of barely one page. A space not much larger could present some rudiments of logic, but this treatment offers only a vague, intuitive appeal and an exercise to identify decisions "based on illogical thinking--thinking that didn't make sense to you." A reader's familiar, and possibly unexamined, judgments about what is "logical" will not necessarily be refined by this approach.
The whole of Chapter 14--The Power and Limits of Professional Knowledge--is likewise disappointing. It seems to promise a disciplined approach to the decision of how much deference is due the pronouncements of professionals on different occasions and topics but, beyond outlining general reasons for skepticism, it doesn't deliver. It offers little insight into how that skepticism should be sensibly qualified, and is a little incautious with some of its own claims: I was surprised to read (p. 260) in a 2002 book that "the medical field is highly resistant" to the role of viruses and bacteria in heart disease and cancer.
I am especially troubled by the Chapter 14 discussion of mathematics (and ought to reveal here that it was my undergraduate major). Here the authors seem to lose sight of their objective and, instead of addressing how mathematical 'expert opinion' should be received, treat instead the value of math education. They suggest that because (a) many are traumatized by doing poorly in math and (b) many who do well still do not cultivate the habit of applying mathematical insight in everyday life, perhaps curricula beyond basic arithmetic should not be mandatory. This despite the number of pressing issues that demand critical thought and require a mathematical understanding. In this one section the authors seem to verge on one of the debased senses of 'critical thinking.' I would go to the mat with them on this one, but there are more comments to make.
A near-disastrous feature of the book is the use made of charged, controversial issues. This is tricky business: of course the very point of critical thinking is to apply it to important issues, and without them the teaching would not be engaging or effective. The authors do well when they present a hot issue as the explicit focus of an exercise, asking the reader to think fairmindedly through all sides; "Thinking Broadly" on p. 105 is a good example. The "Reading Backwards" list is conscientiously selected and balanced. But controversial positions also appear in passing as examples of good or poor thinking, where the focus is elsewhere and a point of view is implicit. My point is not that I disagree with these positions: the authors' politics and mine might be largely compatible. But by failing to decide whether they are writing a book on critical thinking or a book of issue advocacy, the authors undermine their credibility and furnish a ready excuse for half the people who should read this book to dismiss it out of hand.
I would have loved to see Edward Tufte's books on clear and appropriate visual presentation included in the reading list. Regrettably, this book demonstrates many of the pitfalls Tufte identifies in "business graphics": elaborate, busy designs that exaggerate the depth of what is presented. This may be a house style of the publisher, Financial Times.
There is a genuine core of critical thinking instruction contained (sometimes concealed) in this book--perhaps enough to reward the effort of digging it out. Better books of this sort are urgently needed, and Paul and Elder should be able to write them. I hope they will.
49 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Major disappointment 21. März 2011
Von Gazzarini - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is a major disappointment. The writing is quite poor, grammatically and logically in places. The opening 3 or 4 chapters seem like nothing more than an advertisement for a a new type of spirituality. I felt like I was being preached at to find a higher pwer more than I was being talked to about ways to improve critical thinking. Perhaps the term "critical thinking" is the issue. It means different things to different people. To me it means thinking in a more analytical, questioning fashion to help you reach more well thought out conclusions. This book does not provide that.
62 von 76 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Not fit for critical thinking 11. September 2007
Von Milton Bulian - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Although the authors have plenty of authority in this field, the book comes across to me as marketing or propaganda. They have focused on what they view as the essence of critical thinking which they call "fairmindedness." However, their intent seems less about teaching people how to apply logic to life's situations and more about an agenda of promoting liberal, Humanist philosophy. They eschew emotion as counterproductive to "fairmindedness," yet the text is replete with emotionally charged words, symbols, and examples. I was very disappointed, and I struggled to find the nuggets of truth in the sea of philosophical pondering.
46 von 56 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tools & Concepts for Critical Thinking 7. Februar 2003
Von Gerald Nosich - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a book for business people, for people in a profession, and for people in any arena who simply want to learn how to live their lives in a more rational and ultimately more fulfilling way. In the authors' recurrent phrase, it contains abundant tools for taking charge of one's life. As such, it not only contains good business sense, it contains good sense for living a better life as well.
It's a crisp, clear, useful book. The authors consistently address the heart of each essential aspect of critical thinking in multiple domains. They explain each aspect clearly, trace out its implications, offer effective advice on how to deal with it both as an individual and as a professional. They even supply activities and questions-in inserts labeled "Test the Idea"-for applying that aspect of critical thinking to the reader's own unique circumstances.
The book combines strategic thinking, self-knowledge, fairness toward others, and a down-to-earth, usable ideal of justice. It shows not only how to advance in each, but how those qualities fit together with and further one another. So there is a sense in which the book is essentially about human fulfillment (though that isn't explicitly addressed as a main topic)-fulfillment for myself through understanding, honest self-assessment, and taking control of my life; fulfillment for others in ideals of fairmindedness and justice; fulfillment for the planet as a whole in how the qualities combine.
One of the most invigorating features of Critical Thinking is the way the book covers a whole range of topics clearly and explicitly. The coverage is brief and to the point, but it allows for a wealth of further application for those readers who are willing to incorporate the authors' guidelines into their day-to-day life.
For example, Paul and Elder devote only two pages to a clear, succinct discussion of understanding implications (one of the key elements of reasoning). Then there is a quick "Test the Idea" box. It asks the reader to describe a problem he or she is facing, to formulate alternative decisions to address that problem, and finally to think out the logical implications of each alternative decision. Notice two features of this that seem to go in almost opposite directions: first, how simple the activity is, how do-able, and second how life-transforming it would be if I consistently thought through my potential decisions in terms of a range of alternatives and a conscious awareness of the implications of each. The book consistently offers the same clarity coupled with profundity for each topic covered.
The actual topics covered in the book are just the ones people need to address to take charge of their lives:
-How to think realistically in a world full of change and danger.
-How to evaluate my own thinking across a range of dimensions:
* my skills and abilities
* my self-understanding
* my overall stage as a thinker
-How to improve my thinking-again in a range of dimensions, including:
* the parts of thinking
* the standards of good thinking
* making intelligent decisions
* thinking within corporate life
* increasing the level of my strategic thinking.
-How to deal with egocentrism and sociocentrism.
-How to think reasonably about and within the ethical dimension of our lives.
The book goes deep into the way our unconscious or barely conscious processes rule so much of our conscious thinking. It provides practical strategies for unveiling and confronting our irrational tendencies. Surprisingly in an age of extended therapies, the strategies are often simple and direct-and eminently useful. For example a "Test the Idea" section on "Unearthing Dysfunctional Egocentric Thinking" directs you to "think of a time when your desire to selfishly get what you wanted failed because of your egocentric behavior." It then asks you to describe the situation, to describe your resulting thoughts, wants and behavior, and then to describe a more rational way to think and behave in that situation.
This approach is related to Cognitive Therapy, except that the approach Paul and Elder take is more thorough-going and founded in a deeper and more robust conception of what healthy, reasonable thinking is. It is also a simple "visualization" technique, of the kind that is so effective in altering people's behavior. Only, instead of merely visualizing a healthier way to behave in a situation, I am directed now to use my whole mind (not just my visual imagination).
Another bright feature of the book is that the ethical dimension is covered so well. This is usually neglected in business-oriented books and even in personal-health books. The authors discuss and give "Test the Idea" activities in key aspects of ethical thought and action. The conception they teach is a profound one: being ethical is far different from simply accepting rules imposed on us from outside; it is also different from merely adhering to "codes of ethics" adopted by many professions. The authors' approach also shows what is wrong with simply looking inward to "find my values": "looking inward" is also guided by egocentric tendencies. It is very easy to consult my conscience and find there a justification for the actions that suit my self-interest: why it's all right to take out my anger at others; why my wants are ultimately more important than yours; why I seem so justified in feeling myself a victim of your actions. Paul and Elder consistently dispel such facile reasoning; they supply activities and thought experiments to guide the reader along, and they also provide numerous insights all along the way.
In sum, this is just the kind of book readers have come to expect from Paul and Elder, both of whom have worked for so long and in so many aspects of Critical Thinking. It contains the clear, distilled essence of the critical thinking concepts and tools for taking charge of one's life, professional and personal. The tools and concepts are presented always with an overview to keep the parts in context, full of lucid examples, references to more extended sources, and an abundance of applications.
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