Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking

By Diane F. Halpern | Go to book overview
There is no substitute for information about the problem. You may have the potential to become a truly great architect or writer, but without knowledge of these fields, it is unlikely that you will design an innovative structure or write a truly great novel. In the problem about the merchant's daughter that was told in this chapter, there would have been no creative answer if she had not used her knowledge about the dishonest money lender to watch closely when he picked up the pebbles. Similarly, a careful consideration of the particular aspects of any problem is needed for finding problems and for finding solutions. Begin the creative process by listing the "givens."3. Which Thinking Skill or Skills Will Get You to Your Goal? This is really the question of how we can be creative. Numerous skills were suggested to guide the creative thinking process. The skill you select will depend on the nature of the problem. For example, visualizing the problem is more likely to be helpful with problems that have a spatial aspect to them, such as geometry problems or terrain problems. The skill of generating a list of topic-relevant words can be helpful in a variety of situations, but seems particularly well suited for writing and composing. Creative thinking checklists are useful in design problems; whereas "plus, minus, interesting" can be used anytime you find that you don't know how to begin finding a solution.The following creative thinking skills were developed in this chapter. Review each skill and be sure that you understand how to use each one:
Defining a problem in multiple ways.
Brainstorming to increase the number of ideas produced.
Working with people from different backgrounds in order to increase the probability of bisociative thinking.
Considering the physical changes listed in the creative ideas checklist.
Arranging the environment to maximize intrinsic motivation.
Encouraging an attitude of risk taking.
Evaluating possible solutions using the questions suggested by Parnes ( 1967).
Listing and combining attributes to devise a novel product.
Forming sentences about the problem using relational words.
Evaluating solutions and other aspects of the problem along the dimensions of plus, minus, interesting.
Listing terms that are related to the problem before you attempt a solution.
Gathering additional information.
Using analogies to make the unfamiliar known and distorting analogies to make the familiar unknown.
Visualizing the problem.
4. Have You Reached Your Goal? Because the creative process is judged by its outcome, the solution or product will need to be evaluated along the twin dimensions of originality and appropriateness. The evaluation is also a component in the creative process. If it fails on either of these dimensions, then the thinking process will have to begin again until a creative outcome is produced.
CHAPTER SUMMARY
1. Creativity involves the dual notion of unusual or unique and good or useful. It always involves judgment, and people may not agree on which actions or outcomes deserve to be labeled "creative."

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Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Acknowledgments for the First Edition xiii
  • 1 - Thinking: an Introduction 1
  • Chapter Summary 32
  • 2 - Memory: The Acquisition Retention, and Retrieval of Knowledge 36
  • Chapter Summary 70
  • 3 - The Relationship Between Thought and Language 75
  • Chapter Summary 115
  • 4 - Reasoning: Drawing Deductively Valid Conclusions 118
  • Chapter Summary 162
  • 5 - Analyzing Arguments 167
  • Chapter Summary 207
  • 6 - Thinking as Hypothesis Testing 212
  • Chapter Summary 237
  • 7 - Likelihood and Uncertainty: Understanding Probabilities 241
  • Chapter Summary 277
  • 8 - Decision Making 281
  • Chapter Summary 313
  • 9 - Development of Problem-Solving Skills 317
  • Chapter Summary 360
  • 10 - Creativethinking 364
  • Chapter Summary 389
  • 11 - The Last Word 393
  • References 395
  • Author Index 409
  • Subject Index 415
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