Archives For Thinking

 

This Saturday (Oct 20) is the birthday of philosopher and educator, John Dewey.

In honor of the occasion, we offer this excerpt from his helpful book:

How We Think
John Dewey

D.C. Heath, 1910.
*** FREE Ebook:
Kindle ] [ Various Formats – Project Gutenberg ]

 
 

WHAT IS THOUGHT?

§ 1. Varied Senses of the Term

 
Four senses of thought, from the wider to the limited

No words are oftener on our lips than thinking and thought. So profuse and varied, indeed, is our use of these words that it is not easy to define just what we mean by them. The aim of this chapter is to find a single consistent meaning. Assistance may be had by considering some typical ways in which the terms are employed. In the first place thought is used broadly, not to say loosely. Everything that comes to mind, that “goes through our heads,” is called a thought. To think of a thing is just to be conscious of it in any way whatsoever. Second, the term is restricted by excluding whatever is directly presented; we think (or think of) only such things as we do not directly see, hear, smell, or taste. Then, third, the meaning is further limited to beliefs that rest upon some kind of evidence or testimony. Of this third type, two kinds—or, rather, two degrees—must be discriminated. In some cases, a belief is accepted with slight or almost no attempt to state the grounds that support it. In other cases, the ground or basis for a belief is deliberately sought and its adequacy to support the belief examined. This process is called reflective thought; it alone is truly educative in value, and it forms, accordingly, the principal subject of this volume. We shall now briefly describe each of the four senses.
 
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One of this fall’s best new books is:
 

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds
Alan Jacobs

Hardback: Currency, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
 

*** Watch for our review of this book
     in our Advent 2017 magazine issue.
    SUBSCRIBE NOW, and make sure you receive this issue…

 
 

LISTEN to a brief radio interview
that Alan Jacobs did with Brandon Vogt:

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“My Lost Youth”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
And a verse of a Lapland song
Is haunting my memory still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

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