Friday, August 05, 2005

de Bono on Critical Thinking

In my first post featuring Edward de Bono, I warned you that he sometimes likes to provoke. Here's a really good one:

de Bono says: "Critical thinking is cheap thinking."

Give that one a good mull.

If you're like me, you might quickly notice that it's the kind of thing a cult leader, or a fuzzy thinker, would say; and you might be right.

You might also notice that it's the kind of thing someone might say to defend an action, or a line of thinking, that you've just criticised -- by trying to deflect you with a kind of metacriticism. You might even think it's a cop-out.

Accepting for the moment that de Bono's utterance is not any of those, what else could be going on here? What kinds of things might he be talking about?

In the spirit of the previous entry, let me remind you that de Bono is using a kind of shorthand here, and being descriptive. Look at the work of most "criticism" (in the vernacular sense) you see and hear in the world, and see if you can successfully apply this thing de Bono says.

I'll post a followup pretty soon. Contest winners are prohibited from spoiling this by blurting out the answer -- until a calendar week has passed. OK, Mr Bach? :)


Anonymous Steve M said...

Yes I think it is espicialy in the majority of cases:

critical thinking looks to discover what is wrong - what is the problem.

I don't know what Bono's alterntive is but I would suggest that "creative" thinking would be good

creative thinking would be to think of solutions to the problem - a lot harder but far more valueble than cheap critical thinking.

10 September, 2005 10:00  

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