There is a wonderful surge of people talking about, and engaging in, the concept of “critical thinking”. It’s the objective analysis and evolution of an issue in order to form a judgment. Another page to the same story is “Hegel’s dialectics” which refers to the particular dialectical method of argument employed by 19th Century German philosopher G.H.F. Hegel, which, like other “dialectical” methods relies on a contradictory process between opposing sides.
In short, Hegel’s dialectical analysis functions as follows: ” Thesis versus Antitheses equals Synthesis”.
Present a basic concept known to you as a truth and that is the Thesis of this analysis. Then present the contrary of this subject to debate or debunk the theses. This then is the Antithesis. The summary analysis of the two concepts will provide a Synthesis, a conclusive truth ( until this too is debated). i.e Thesis: The color white is everything. Antithesis: The color black does exist. Synthesis: Gray is the synthesis of colors white and black as the facts were presented. This is a very simple example of how to apply Hegelian dialectics. It works beautifully with complex ideas.
Returning to our core subject which is critical thinking and the greatness of having this subject on the table, it’s worth mentioning the shortcoming of this ongoing conversation happens when the people opening the discussion or presenting the main subject aren’t applying Hegelian dialectics or even critical thinking to their basic premises. For example, claiming that American Democracy exists and continues to function as a base for a discussion denies the subsequent analysis since such democracy is no longer functional. The language needs to fit the facts or nothing is accomplished. How can we discuss a subject without verifying the core language and ideology? Well, let’s call it an ‘Oops’ and file it under ‘ Boloney happens’. The real problem starts when the mistake is called upon and the presenter of the Thesis covers the flawed thesis with another wrong concept. Critical thinking dies a slow death right there.
One of the greatest lessons is learning to enjoy discovering bigger, better truths, the Synthesis, when we are wrong. That’s why it’s called critical thinking, so it can be critiqued. Sometimes egos block the process. Being wrong only puts us on the path of learning the ultimate right. It’s actually a good place to be if you allow your mind to think through the process and move towards the right conclusions.
Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong. I will enjoy learning and exploring the next step. Thank you for reading.
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