“i know i have limitations and can easily be mistaken. And surely i will never find all the answers I’d like to. But i can observe a little more accurately, weight things a little more thoroughly, and make up my mind a little more carefully. If i do so, i will be a little closer to the turth.”
Beyond Feelings is designed to introduce you to the subject of critical thinking. The subject is undoubtedly new to you because it is not taught in most elementary and secondary schools. In fact, until fairly recently it was not taught in most colleges. During the 1960s and much of the 1970s the emphasis was more on subjectivity than on objectivity, more on feeling than on thought.
Over the past ten years, however, a number of studies of America’s schools have criticized the neglect of critical think, and a growing number of educators and leaders in business, industry, and the professions have urged the development of new courses and teaching materials to overcome that neglect.
It is no exaggeration to say that critical thinking is one of the most important subjects you will study in college regardless of your academic major. The quality of your schoolwork, your efforts in your career, your contributions to community life, and your conduct of personal affairs will all depend on your ability to solve problems and make decisions.
The book has four main sections. The first, “The Context,” will help you to understand such important concepts as individuality, thinking, truth, knowledge, and opinion and to overcome attitudes and ideas that obstruct critical thinking. The second section, “The Problems,” will teach you to recognize and avoid nine common errors that often occur, singly or in combination, during the thinking process. The third section, “A Strategy,” will help you acquire the various skills used in addressing problems and issues. This section includes tips on identifying and overcoming you personal intellectual weaknesses, as well as techniques for becoming more observant, clarifying issues and conducting inquiry, interpreting evidence, analyzing other people’s views, and making sound judgments.
At the end of each chapter you will find a number of applications to challenge your critical thinking and provide exercise for your skills. These applications cover problems and issues both timely and timeless. The fourth section of the book, “Some Contemporary Issues,” presents additional important issues that continue to occupy the attention of the best thinkers of our time.
In brief, Beyond Feelings is designed to help you acquire the intellectual skills necessary to solve the exciting problems of today and tomorrow.