Critical thinking

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”.

By Richard Feynman, in: “What is Science?”, presented at the fifteenth annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, in New York City (1966) published in The Physics Teacher Vol. 7, issue 6 (1969)

I write a lot about critical thinking. The most comprehensive discussion is in two chapters in The Discovery of Freedom (draft manuscript here). Here are a few blog posts that illustrate this concept.

My rule regarding gods: If your god is not answerable to me, I can not be answerable to your god.

A blog post I recently published on alternative medicine – with other links.

Trust no one – but yourself

I’m am amateur and I delight in it

EVERYTHING that ANY human being has EVER thought about or proposed can be tested by ANY other human being who puts his/her mind to it.

While you struggle with these silly ideas about “competence” I focus on asking questions and finding answers. While I may go wrong this way once in a bluemoon, you will go wrong 1000s of times since there is NO “competent” person in this universe and you are forced to trust someone’s claims of “competence”.

Clearly you are unable to ask questions – a condition attributable to the socialist system of rote learning you’ve gone through. Fortunately I not only did the rote (pretty well) but from a very early age read enormous quantities of philosophy and learnt to think for myself.

I haven’t found many people like me in India and VERY few even in the West – who think through everything of significance themselves. But without that capacity you are a mere robot (which you actually claim you are, so good on you). I’m actually a human, which means – I think therefore I am. Not because someone says so.

Addendum (David Hume’s impact on causation – Hume is very close to Charvaka, believing that “we cannot go beyond experience when it comes to investigating the nature of reality”)
The Role of the Individual in Science and Religion (a good distinction between the importance of knowledge vs. importance of a ‘founder’)
Think different (about Clay Christensen’s book, The Innovator’s Dilemma). Mr Christensen and his colleagues list five habits of mind that characterise disruptive innovators:
  • associating,
  • questioning,
  • observing,
  • networking and
  • experimenting.