How To Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills

To really develop your critical thinking skills, you may have to do some work on yourself! This can mean changing some long-standing practices, behaviours, or beliefs, and it’s not always easy. While this form of critical-reasoning-via-debate has great benefits for our collective knowledge, individually it doesn’t help quite so much.

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While there’s some benefit of this, most of the work of learning a language is learning specific vocabulary.

Thus, if you want to learn Japanese, you’re best off learning Japanese vocabulary—mastering Latin first won’t help too much.

You work through a few problem sets and, , I don’t think these methods deliver on their intended promise.

In particular, there’s a few facts about how our brain actually reasons that make this route to improved rationality a dubious one.

Critical thinking skills – like all skills – take time, patience, and practice to develop. Consider also how you can work on those areas that are not so well-developed at the moment.

As a university student, it’s important to start trying to engage critically with your classmates, your lecturers and tutors, and your learning materials, even if you feel that this does not come easily or naturally to you. The intelligence comes from throughout the brain, via mostly intuitive modules which are specific and trained through practice, rather than some mystical faculty that does critical thinking.If this theory is correct, then another reason critical thinking is hard to improve is that we’re mostly not coming up with more intelligent decisions when we think critically, but trying to create more appealing arguments for our positions (or more incisive attacks on the arguments of others).Being able to think critically is an essential skill. With that said, what’s the best way to improve your ability to think critically?You need to wade through what everyone is saying and pick out the truth from the nonsense. I’m going to start with what I believe is the wrong way to improve critical thinking, which is sadly the kind most often taught in schools.Similarly, critical thinking isn’t just a single monolithic ability that reduces to abstract logical forms.Instead it’s numerous facts, inferences, heuristics and context-specific abilities that must be built up through voluminous exposure to real situations.The problem is that this theory of the mind doesn’t work. Instead of general, abstract faculties that can be improved with non-specific training, improvements to the mind tend to be extremely specific.General improvements, when they happen, tend to result out of the accumulation of many, many specific improvements, rather than unrelated and general ones. The faculty view says that learning Latin will improve your linguistic faculties.Critical thinking isn’t just for detecting fake news, however. This approach starts by teaching you some basic rules of logical deduction, modus ponens, some examples of fallacies and a whole bunch of Latin terminology that philosophers use. Each of these decisions is difficult and important, so being able to think critically about them can make a huge difference in your life.


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