Unlike any other time in history, we are inundated with information from many sources of media, and depending on one's ideology, the results can be fractious. Everyone's racing to catch up to what is reliable, dependable, and true - all the while, feeling deep, emotional, attachments to our personal understanding of important issues. It has unfortunately become fashionable to claim that what people feel about issues should be taken as seriously as the facts about those issues. Emotional attachment to specific viewpoints and the facts about the world are often two completely different things, and we need to keep them distinct. The skill set of Critical Thinking allows us to better separate facts from feelings and acknowledges that there is value to our beliefs, our ideas, and our opinions and that some are simply better than others. But what makes these objects of the mind and influences of behavior good, bad, better, or worse? Luckily, much of the hard work has already been done. Philosophers, mathematicians, logicians, scientists, writers, and many others have developed the Critical Thinking tools that require all of us to make such valued distinctions. Here, DiCarlo has taken six of the most important tools and distilled them into a skill set that is easy to remember and practical to apply in everyday life. This skill set provides anyone with the capacity to be mature, diplomatic, and fair, and to disagree in a civil manner. For the majority of us, developing such skills will not happen overnight ... or in a week, or a month. It is something that is ongoing and requires continuous practice, development, and use. And in today's age of immediacy, with information and opinion just a click away, there seems to be less and less time in which to practice such skills. Perhaps this is one of the reasons so many people are feeling their way through issues rather than thinking critically about them. With a better understanding of the tenets of critical thinking, though, readers will come away from this book with a renewed sense of engagement with thoughts, opinions, feelings, and facts.
About the Author
Christopher W. DiCarlo, PhD, is a philosopher, educator, and author. He often teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Toronto (in Scarborough) and at the Life Institute at Ryerson Univesity in Toronto. He is also a lifetime member of Humanist Canada and an Expert Advisor for the Centre for Inquiry Canada. He has been invited to speak at numerous national and international conferences and written many scholarly papers ranging from bioethics to cognitive evolution. He is the author of How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Asking the Right Questions. He is a past Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences: Department of Anthropology and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. DiCarlo is the Principal and Founder of Critical Thinking Solutions, a consulting business for individuals, corporations, and not-for-profits in both the private and public sectors. He is also the developer of the first Pilot Project in Canada to introduce Universal Critical Thinking skills into the Ontario Public High School curriculum. DiCarlo is also the Ethics Chair for the Canadian Mental Health Association (Waterloo/Wellington) and the Critical Thinking Advisor and Writer at Pixel Dreams Creative Agency in Toronto.