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Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension.But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, whichever one it is, you’re in deep trouble.” (Carl Sagan, In this quote, Carl Sagan offers a sensitive analysis of a tension within the idea of critical thinking.
It’s a combination of several skills and habits such as: Curious people are never content with their current understanding of the world, but are driven to raise questions and pursue the answers.
Curiosity is endless — the better you understand a given topic, the more you realize how much more there is to learn!
This is closely connected to curiosity — if you’re arrogant and think you know everything already, then you have no reason to be curious.
But a humble person always recognizes the limitations and gaps in their knowledge.
After all, rejecting tradition Traditions provide valuable resources for critical thinking, and without them it would be impossible.
Think about this: the English language is a tradition, and without it you wouldn’t be sitting there reading these (hopefully useful) words about critical thinking!He points out that skepticism is extremely important to critical thinking, but at the same time it can go too far and become an obstacle.Notice, too, that you could replace the word “new” with “old” in this quote and it would still make sense.Critical thinkers need to be both open to new ideas and skeptical of them; similarly, they need to have a balanced attitude toward old and traditional ideas as well.Critical thinking has emerged as a cultural value in various times and places, from the Islamic scholars of medieval Central Asia to the secular philosophers of 18th-century America or the scientists and engineers of 21st-century Japan.Through curiosity and probable skepticism, he not only worked out the basic rules for matter and energy in the universe — he also realized that the force causing objects to fall was the same as the force causing celestial objects to orbit around each other (thus discovering the modern theory of gravity).He was also known for having a big ego and being a little arrogant with those he considered beneath his intellect — but even Newton had enough humility to recognize that he wasn’t doing it alone.Skepticism keeps you on the lookout for bad arguments, and rationality helps you figure out exactly arguments when you see them, and then to move beyond them and understand their further implications.It’s not enough to just be skeptical and knock the holes in every argument that you hear.So critical thinking absolutely depends on traditions.There’s no question that critical thinking means something Until Einstein, no physicist was ever more influential than Isaac Newton.