Thinking for yourself, through others - Deepstash
Thinking for yourself, through others

Thinking for yourself, through others

We learn to think for ourselves by learning the thoughts of other people.

The person who claims to think for himself, but rejects studying from other sources, is influenced by a source he is unaware of. The way to really think independently is to gain enough knowledge so that you can discover hidden assumptions in your views.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THEARTICLE

Our culture praises originality and creativity. We want our students to think for themselves and not follow blindly.

But thinking for oneself does not mean zero input from others. It means, first, thinking through the ideas of other people. Creativity depends on copying others' ideas.

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Groupthink

It would be mistaken to think accumulating knowledge always lead to independent thought. We are all aware of groupthink and conformity.

But, conformity and groupthink are solved by more learning. The more you come in contact with ideas, the easier it is to notice faulty reasoning.

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Our confusion about thinking

Our confusion stems from philosopher Rene Descartes, who decided to withdraw into his room and discard any knowledge that could be faulty. He chose to work from first principles on things he knew to be true from experience.

His new philosophy was formulated as, "I think, therefore I am." Modern philosophy is set in motion by his idea, except that his statement was not that original. Isaac Beeckman may have suggested some of Descartes ideas.

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We all start as captives of the beliefs that are in our surroundings.

However, if you want to have independent thoughts, you have to learn more from both those with whom you agree and disagree.

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“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

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First Principles Thinking

Is the act of deconstructing something to the fundamental parts that you know are true and building up from there.

Also called reasoning from first principles, it effectively helps many great thinkers to break down complicated problems and generate original solutions while teaching how to think for oneself.

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