Everyone thinks they think well. They might admit to being bad at maths, or bad with names, but I'm yet to meet someone who is happy to admit they are irrational.
Now I know you think well - I mean if only everyone thought as well as you did, then the world's problems would be solved. Wouldn't they?
Look around though (or in the mirror) and you'll see that that's just not the case. Browse your Twitter feed, read your local tabloid, turn on Fox News - you'll quickly see that thinking well is a rare commodity.
One challenge is that you just don't think like you think you think. We think we are rational but empiric evidence shows that we are not. We engage in motivated reasoning, suffer from confirmation bias, and struggle with conditional inferences.
Humans are amazing creatures. We have an amazing ability to find patterns in data and create stories to explain the world - things even the most powerful super computers and state of the art AIs can't. Yet we still struggle with simple things like basic math and logic.
But another challenge is learning how to think better. Our natural strengths of pattern matching and explanation are also our weaknesses when it come to inferring from reasons to conclusions. We are not biologically wired to perform these tasks well - thinking better takes deliberate practice.
Over the last few years of teaching critical thinking courses at university and delivering critical thinking workshops to organisations, it's become obvious to me that many people want to improve their thinking skills but there are few opportunities to do so apart from going back to university and getting a PhD in logic.
Which brings us here - a free course to thinking better. Sign up below and I'll send you a practical activity based on academic research every day to improve your critical thinking skills.
This short course is designed for people who want to improve their reasoning process but haven't had the opportunity to take a university course in logic, critical thinking, or epistemology. It assumes no prior knowledge and starts right at the beginning.
So sign up - it's free. And who knows, you might just learn something!
G'day, I'm Dave!
I work at the intersection of philosophy and technology. I'm a computational philosopher at the University of Queensland where I teach Critical Thinking, research digital pedagogies, and manage the UQ Critical Thinking Project. When I'm not thinking about thinking, I'm working on becoming a millionaire ski bum.
So far I've nailed the ski bumming bit.