The “Surely” Operator - Deepstash

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Daniel Dennett's Most Useful Critical Thinking Tools

The “Surely” Operator

Often the world “surely” is as good as a blinking light in locating a weak point in the argument.

Because it marks the very edge of what the author is actually sure about and hopes readers will also be sure about

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Critical thinkers need the knowledge first

Employers need critical thinkers, but they cannot find them.

Focussing on knowledge only in college does not seem to help. Neither does it help to only focus on intellectual and cognitive sk...

The focus of skills over knowledge

Considering the K-12 system, we see that the emphasis on skills over content has changed the curriculum. Students increasingly focus on learning skills, but they may not learn too much history or science.

Critical thinking is not enough on its own. It needs to be used to gain insight from studying meaningful subject matter, like history or economics or physics or chemistry.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a disciplined activity. It is not something we can acquire without intensive study and practice, nor can we isolate it from knowledge. Knowledge is foundational to provide the structure to do deep thinking.

Only with some background knowledge, can we apply the skills of critical thinking to problems and texts, understand the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and offer creative solutions.

Community Is Vital

Loneliness is not a problem in traditional societies. For 99% of human existence, we lived in small tribes. We were constantly surrounded by family and friends. 

Research links loneli...

"Mens sana in corpore sano"

Having a healthy body is essential to having a sound mind. Exercising is a habit that’s been shown to lead people to create other, often unrelated, good habits. Exercising is also a proven way to improve the rate of learning.

"Know Thyself"

Knowing yourself allows you to seize opportunities and make better decisions as well as know what you and others should expect from you and how to counteract your personal flaws.

Fan Fiction Writing
Fan Fiction Writing

... is found in the old and popular communities of the internet, working mostly on science-fiction and fantasy literature, with new story arcs of old worlds and characters.

The premise and ...

Familiar Worlds

As the content is based on an existing book, TV show, movie, video game, or something they already love, the participants have a genuine interest and personal identification with the topic.

Distributed Mentorship

Websites specializing in fan-fiction are using the existing bodies of work, playing and tinkering with it, while providing feedback to each other. In this process, the participants are learning and teaching each other to write well. The continuous, constructive feedback helps make fanfiction writing a collective effort, which is sometimes better than the original, in which only one mind was involved.

This kind of vast, community-based learning is called distributed mentorship.