Common Sense, Science, Beliefs, and Critical Thinking

Critical thinking refers to the general mode of thinking prevalent among reasonable persons (“Foundation for Critical Thinking”, 2013). It entails formulating reasonable judgments when dealing with a particular set of facts. Most often, critical thinking involves making objective decisions that are not biased in any way. Science, on the other hand, is the systematic mode of acquiring knowledge based on research. Research often involves gathering data, analyzing the data to draw conclusive facts that either prove or dispute specific theories. Common sense is the ability to arrive at various opinions based on common knowledge among the vast majority of the population in a given society (“Foundation for Critical Thinking”, 2013). Belief perseverance, on the other hand, is also concerned with personal beliefs about a particular concept.

All these concepts are tasked with influencing the various ideas and thinking of an individual. They also affect the various cognitive functions in the body of a human being. Another correlation about these concepts is that they elucidate the different behavioral characteristics and portray the psychology behind the various actions. These concepts also help understand the various mindsets that people have and the reasons for developing these divergent mindsets (“Foundation for Critical Thinking”, 2013).

Common sense, science, personal beliefs, and critical thinking influence the practice of scholarship (“Becoming A Critic Of Your Thinking”, 2013). The practice of scholarship involves trying to investigate or advance knowledge through teaching and research.  A scholar in a given discipline needs to ensure that they highlight how science and common sense are related to an underlying belief. In order to discern this relation, a scholar could employ critical thinking.

While conducting scholarly research, science often seeks to ascertain or dispute various facts, and this is through exhaustive experiments using the specific methodologies relevant for the particular research (“Becoming A Critic Of Your Thinking”, 2013). Science comes to play in instances where common sense fails to give clear or concise facts. Experiments are usually conducted to corroborate a particular belief that had been formed by an individual. Therefore, science provides the framework where various perceptions are investigated and a critical analysis employed to validate the perceptions. On the other hand, common sense cannot be explored because it varies from one person to another (“Becoming A Critic Of Your Thinking”, 2013).

Science has a procedural manner of proving various concepts, whereas common sense might prompt one to hold a particular view without any proof to back up these views. A case in point would involve a scenario where an individual seeks a spiritualist’s services to remedy a specific problem. When one is healed, they might state that their faith played a part in the healing process, whereas science would seek to evaluate the various processes that the person’s body underwent to be healed (“The Role Of Questions In Teaching, Thinking, And Le”, 2013). Therefore, science incorporates critical thinking and the necessary evidence, whereas common sense is based on certain beliefs.

Belief perseverance is the process of holding certain beliefs with as much as there are new facts that dispute these beliefs. Changing a person’s beliefs is often an uphill task since these perceptions are usually influenced by the prevalence of some facts or various customs (Anderson, 2007). Belief perseverance greatly affects the ability of a person to think critically. Most of the time, individuals’ inherent perceptions tend to cloud their judgment and prevent one from formulating a biased determination. Belief perseverance usually results in making fallacies due to the failure to appreciate any new evidence that contradicts an individual’s viewpoint.

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In order to think critically, one needs to comprehend various statements or concepts before acting upon them succinctly. Knowledge, therefore, is the appropriate strategy that enables anyone to think critically. Learning is defined as a justified true belief. This is because it involves a critical analysis of facts to arrive at a reasoned determination (“The Role Of Questions In Teaching, Thinking And Le”, 2013). In order to apply knowledge in reasoning, one needs to formulate rational arguments where all sides of a given concept are analyzed, and the pros and cons weighed. The faction that carries more weight based on evidence will be seen as the most appropriate determination (“The Role Of Questions In Teaching, Thinking And Le”, 2013). Knowledge, therefore, fosters critical thinking, which is an essential tool for avoiding fallacies.

In conclusion, there is a close relationship between science, common sense, belief perseverance, and critical thinking. All of these concepts can occur concurrently and usually influence how individuals arrive at their multiple determinations and affect their mindsets. Separating common sense and beliefs seems to be a daunting task since both occur concurrently and influence each other. The various ways people think make it clear to deduce their character and the psychology behind their actions. Therefore, it is evident that to arrive at reasonable determinations, one needs to ensure that they employ critical thinking. Critical thinking enables individuals to avoid misconceptions, which might alter the true meaning of a concept.

 

References

Anderson, C.A. (2007). Belief perseverance. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Social Psychology (pp. 109-110). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hare, W. (2013). Becoming a critic of your thinking. http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/becoming-a-critic-of-your-thinking/478

Foundation for Critical Thinking. (2013). Criticalthinking.org.

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/foundation-for-critical-thinking/883

The Role Of Questions In Teaching, Thinking And Le. (2013). https://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/the-role-of-socratic-questioning-in-thinking-teaching-learning/522