Debunking Myths about Creative Thinking

One of the trickiest things about discussing creativity is its personal, subjective nature. If I claim that whatever I’m doing is creative, who are you to contradict me? Or, if I feel that creativity isn’t something I’m capable of, what does it matter if you feel differently? For some people, the idea of teaching creativityContinue reading “Debunking Myths about Creative Thinking”

When should, and shouldn’t, you think twice?

One common misunderstanding when it comes to critical thinking is the assumption that human emotions and instincts are inherently faulty or unreliable – and that thinking critically thus means trying to overcome them. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with following your instincts in most everyday situations. Indeed, attempting constantly to distrust your own feelings andContinue reading “When should, and shouldn’t, you think twice?”

The vital art of questioning your assumptions

Assumptions are those things we take for granted: whatever we don’t explicitly spell out, but that our thinking relies upon. They’re also extremely important. Indeed, it’s the existence of shared assumptions that makes communication (and much else) possible. As I write these words, I’m assuming they mean approximately the same thing to you as theyContinue reading “The vital art of questioning your assumptions”

Rethinking the Way We Talk about Tech

Almost every aspect of our individual and collective lives, today, is touched upon or mediated by technology. But this doesn’t make technology something easily or inherently comprehensible, whether or not we are digital natives (a phrase that conceals as much as it reveals). Indeed, many of the systems we use every day are specifically designedContinue reading “Rethinking the Way We Talk about Tech”

The Importance of Thinking Charitably

There’s something paradoxical about the power of reasoning. The more you disagree with someone – or the more different their worldview is to yours – the more valuable it often is to be as thorough as possible when considering their perspective. To understand why, consider the alternative. Imagine that someone presents me with this observation:Continue reading “The Importance of Thinking Charitably”

Why Clarity Matters

Here’s one of my favourite lines from the philosopher John Searle: “Where questions of style and exposition are concerned I try to follow a simple maxim: if you can’t say it clearly you don’t understand it yourself.” It comes from the introduction to his 1983 book Intentionality, and embodies something I’ve come to think ofContinue reading “Why Clarity Matters”