Critical Thinking


  • Bias from mere association seeing situations as identical because they seem similar.
  • Self-serving bias: Overly positive view of our abilities and future.
  • Confirmation bias: Looking for evidence that confirms our actions and beliefs.
  • Status quo bias and do-nothing syndrome: Keeping things the way they are. Includes minimizing effort and a preference for default options.
  • Bias from anchoring: Over-weighing certain initial information as a reference point for future decisions.
  • Bias from reciprocation tendency: Repaying in kind what others have done for or to us like favors, concessions, information and attitudes.
  • Bias from over-influence by liking tendency: Believing, trusting and agreeing with people we know and like.
  • Bias from over-influence by social proof: Imitating the behavior of many others or similar others. Includes crowd folly.
  • Bias from over-influence by authority: Trusting and obeying a perceived authority or expert.
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Problem Solving

Seeking Wisdom

by Peter Bevelin

Socratic questioning to establish first principles
  • Clarifying your thinking and explaining the origins of your ideas (Why do I think this?);
  • Challenging assumptions (How do I know this is true?)
  • Looking for evidence (How can I back this up? )
  • Considering alternative perspectives (What might others think?)
  • Examining consequences and implications (What if I am wrong?)
  • Questioning the original questions (Why did I think that?)


In 1967, Jacques Derrida introduced a new method to philosophy, which he called deconstruction. Put simply, this is the idea that if something is constructed it can be de-constructed. 

That applies to objects in the world, such as chairs, cars and houses, but it also applies to the concepts we use, such as truth, justice and God. These ‘things’, which we tend to assume are natural, are in fact culturally constructed. 

Importantly, deconstruction is not destruction. The concept or object is still there at the end.

Leonardo da Vinci believed you begin by learning how to restructure the problem by looking at it from many different angles.

In order to creatively solve a problem, the thinker should not use the usual approach that is based on past experience. Geniuses use several different perspectives to solve an existing problem and thereby also identify new ones.

This means that when you form an opinion, you make a list of conditions that would change your mind.

That keeps you honest, because once you get attached to an opinion, it’s really hard to let go. But if you identify factors that would change your mind up front, you keep yourself flexible.

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