Reading notes - Asking the right questions[1]

Asking the Right Questions——A Guide to Critical Thinking (8th Edition)

The benefit of asking the right question: reasoning(推理),critical thinking(思辨),judgement(判断),decision making(决策).

To give you the framework, method and steps to solve a problem.

CHAPTER 1 The Benefit of Asking the Right Questions

“Opinions are cheap; anyone can have one of those.”

True enough. If we can not tell important opinion from nonsense, that the opinion we’ve made might be rubbish as well.


“You need to build skills and attitudes that will enable you to decide for yourself which opinions to make your own.”

Yeah,we all have two choices, one is to ask and the other is to ignore everything. One is laborious and the other is convenient. It all depends.

Critical Thinking to the Rescue

Goal: use critical questions to identify the best decision available.

“A system of questions is more consistent with the spirit of curiosity, wonder, and intellectual adventure essential to critical thinking. “

“Critical questions provide a stimulus and direction for critical thinking.”

Can’t agree more. Asking a question is always the first step of solving a problem. Why? I didn’t have a clear thought about it, now the keyword “stimulus” and “direction” give me a clue. Another question, how? Keep your curiosity.

Critical thinking refers to the following:

1. awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions;

2. ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times; and the

3. desire to actively use the critical questions.”
There are two points that I feel hard to achieve. 1. ability to answer critical questions; 2. at appropriate times(时期). Keep them.

The Sponge and Panning for Gold: Alternative Thinking Styles

Sponge approach(knowledge acquisition): Absorb everything.

Interactive approach(active interaction with knowledge as it is being acquired): Take the question asking attitude.

“Such a thinking style requires active participation. The writer is trying to speak to you, and you should try to talk back to him.” “to ask frequent questions and to reflect on the answers. “

Note that these two approaches are complementary. The example of sponge reader is just another me:

“He memorizes the reasoning, but doesn’t evaluate it.”
Well, lots of efforts should be paid before becoming a Panning for Gold.

1. Why did he say so?

2. Are there any questions?

3. What about his answers?

4. My conclusions?

Remember, the better approach is interactive involvement. Let yourself be involved! Be a active reader and listener by asking questions.

Weak-Sense and Strong-Sense Critical Thinking

Weak-sense critical thinking is the use of critical thinking to defend your current beliefs. Strong-sense critical thinking is the use of the same skills to evaluate all claims and beliefs, especially your own.

We make decisions based on our “history”. When listen to others, put them on a shelf. That is to say, keep openness and leave your emotion temporary. Be willing to change your mind.

The interplay between out old answers and new ones provides a basis for our growth.

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