Reflections on Critical and Creative Thinking

We have been discussing critical and creative thinking for nine weeks, and our ideas about these concepts have evolved considerably. We have looked at how we use these types of thinking to solve problems in our own lives, and how creative and critical thinking can be used to facilitate problem solving in social, economic, environmental, and other areas.

Now it is time to take what we have learned and apply it to the topics most people like to avoid—ethical, political, and moral issues. While everyone will certainly have their own opinions on these issues, using critical and creative thinking to answer political, ethical, and moral questions is important. The same rules of good argumentation—state your position clearly, look for errors in argumentation, support your points with reliable sources, detailed explanation, or clear examples—apply to more complex topics.

Discuss the following questions:

    How have your ideas about critical and creative thinking changed since the start of class? Have you found yourself thinking more about thinking? Please use a specific example.
    How would you respond to the following quote? Use critical thinking to evaluate the quote, agree or disagree with it, or just respond to it.

    “It is a great and dangerous error to suppose that all people are entitled to liberty. It is a reward to be earned, not a blessing to be gratuitously lavished on all alike;—a reward reserved for the intelligent, the patriotic, the virtuous, the deserving;—and not a boon to be bestowed on a people too ignorant, degraded, and vicious to be capable of appreciating it or enjoying it.” (John C. Calhoun)