There Is a Difference Between Critical Thinking and Skeptical Thinking – You Need Both


Indeed, as the coordinator for a think tank which happens to operate online, I always cringe when an academic tells me that they have critical thinking skills. This is because as a skeptical thinker, along with being a critical thinker and an intuitive thinker in times I see how many mistakes can be made from using linear thought wrapped around a critical thinking concept. You see, all too often we find those who claim critical thinking skills to start from false premises, and then they build their argument based on those.

Many would say the critical thinking skills are much better than intuitive thinking skills, but I disagree, in many regards they are two different ways at attacking the same problem, and often getting to the same answer. Having a skeptical mind also helps because it has you questioning the premises before you start. The reality is you should question everything you see, everywhere you go, and you shouldn’t be afraid to make judgments about what you observe, feel, see, or experience.

If you are to throw away all your observations in trade for what you call critical thinking, you could find yourself in a less than advantageous situation. Just because you used logic and critical processes in coming to a solution, answer, or the next step in a multilayered problem or challenge does not mean that you shouldn’t be skeptical of every sub-component along the way including your starting point.

Further, I find people who are using advanced critical thinking skills far too often are over self-confident with the conclusion they’ve produced, almost to the point that they will not use their critical thinking skills to question their own data points and the foundation of their very argument. I’d say if you want to be a good decision-maker you should keep a skeptical mind, use critical thinking skills early and often, and also trust your gut when something doesn’t feel right to go back and check the components of your answer, along with the givens, theories, or points of contention that you started out with.

Lastly, never let an academic who claims to own or possess the correct answer demand that they are right, when they base that conclusion on the fact that they use critical thinking skills in the process. The philosophy of what logic is, what it does, and what it’s capable of have been over embellished for generations, if not thousands of years. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it, so you make the very best decisions in your life, business, or any capacity that you are serving.


Source by Lance Winslow