Russell Unpopular Essays Summary

Russell Unpopular Essays Summary-26
More needs to be said, however, to establish the significance of Russell's conception of critical thinking, which anticipates many of the insights in contemporary discussions and avoids many of the pitfalls which recent writers identify.Some factors, perhaps, obscure a ready appreciation of Russell's contribution.Chomsky, for example, reminds us of Russell's humanistic conception of education, which views the student as an independent person whose development is threatened by indoctrination.

More needs to be said, however, to establish the significance of Russell's conception of critical thinking, which anticipates many of the insights in contemporary discussions and avoids many of the pitfalls which recent writers identify.Some factors, perhaps, obscure a ready appreciation of Russell's contribution.Chomsky, for example, reminds us of Russell's humanistic conception of education, which views the student as an independent person whose development is threatened by indoctrination.

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Stander discusses Russell's claim that schooling all too often encourages the herd mentality, with its fanaticism and bigotry, failing to develop what Russell calls a "critical habit of mind".

The threat of indoctrination, the importance of individual judgment, and the prevalence of fanatical opinions all point up the need for what nowadays is called critical thinking; and Russell's work is valuable to anyone who wants to understand what this kind of thinking entails and why it matters in education.

Russell maintains that the kind of criticism aimed at is not that which seeks to reject, but that which considers apparent knowledge on its merits, retaining whatever survives critical scrutiny.

There is a pervasive emphasis in Russell's writings, as in much recent commentary, on the reasons and evidence which support, or undermine, a particular belief.

Russell's account anticipates many of the insights to be found in the recent critical thinking literature, and his views on critical thinking are of enormous importance in understanding the nature of educational aims.

Moreover, it is argued that Russell manages to avoid many of the objections which have been raised against recent accounts.

For Russell, critical thinking must include critical reflection on what passes for critical thinking.

Third, critical thinking is not essentially a negative enterprise, witness Russell's emphasis on constructive doubt, and his warning against practices which lead to children becoming destructively critical.

The ideal of critical thinking is, for Russell, embedded in the fabric of philosophy, science, rationality, liberalism and education, and his views emerge as he discusses these and other themes.

Russell's conception of critical thinking involves reference to a wide range of skills, dispositions and attitudes which together characterize a virtue which has both intellectual and moral aspects, and which serves to prevent the emergence of numerous vices, including dogmatism and prejudice.

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