Archive for the ‘critical thinking’ Category


Carmen Gloria Caamaño replied to my post Curiosity vanishes : “Very good post. That got me thinking that people stop asking questions so as not to show vulnerability. In the case of the Chileans are very few people ask. Will they not encouraged culturally? What can you do to change this? regards”

In this post I tried to answer her questions.

In my opinion, losing the ability to ask questions  is a deep, maybe instinctive feature of  adult people. It is more natural for adults not to ask questions than to ask them in many different cultures. Maybe a group needs a majority of non-questioning individuals for stability. From the other side, people with curiosity can discover new things. The ability to ask questions is an essential part of critical thinking. Nowadays critical thinking is more important than in the past because of two reason. The first is the rapid changes of our world, and the second is mass media and social media technologies which can be used and are used for more and more manipulations.

Can we change adults and make them ask more questions?  In this regard I am pessimistic. Adults can change but those changes are rare. The less bad consequences follow questioning the more questions people ask. Open society is a prerequisite for asking questions.

Children, from the other side, already have the ability to ask questions. They ask and we (parents, teachers) have to answer. If we don’t have an answer  we need to look for it or show a way to look for it. Children’s questions should be important for us. When a teenager says about his question “It’s not important” he lost something from his ability to ask questions.

Sometimes we don’t understand questions. Often a question is badly built. However, for parents and teachers “No silly questions” politics should be used. All questions must be welcome. It is our duty to find out what the child wanted to ask, and create an atmosphere  supporting curiosity.

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My English teacher once said to me. “What is wrong with you? In everything you have found a different point of view. Could you, once, simply agree with me?” And I agree with him .He is right. I have a problem. My problem is critical thinking.

Everyone has critical thinking. At least everybody I asked. Everyone knows what critical thinking is. At least everybody I asked. We all have the ability to be critical… about someone whom we dislike. It is more difficult to be critical towards our favorite actor or sports club and almost impossible toward ourselves. “Love is blind”. Strong feelings as hate and love hamper critical thinking. It is hard to see something good in something we hate and something bad in what we love.

Alien to his girlfriend: "My critical thinking says that you arethe most wonderful creature in universe."

On the other hand critical thinking could complicate our relationships. Agreement makes connections stronger. Usually it is much easier to agree than disagree. With critical thinking we often disagree. Few like that. But unanimity is boring. Consensus doesn’t bring new and only disagreement helps find another view on a situation.

P.S. It seems that those who disagree with the above have a different definition of critical thinking. Practice shows that this definition is a generally accepted disagreement.