The Unreflective thinker

Each Journal Entry will address one of these stages. Your challenge is to examine a situation in your own life experience that can serve as an example for each of these stages. If you cannot think of a personal example then research the stage in question and journal about that material.

Each upload should be about one page.

Stage One

We Begin as Unreflective Thinkers

We all begin as largely unreflective thinkers, fundamentally unaware of the determining role that thinking is playing in our lives. We dont realize, at this stage, the many ways that problems in thinking are causing problems in our lives. We unconsciously think of ourselves as the source of truth. We assume our own beliefs to be true. We unreflectively take in many absurd beliefs merely because they are believed by those around us. We have no intellectual standards worthy of the name. Wish fulfillment plays a significant role in what we believe. Whatever we want, we believe we should have. We create and maintain pleasant illusions. If it feels good to believe something, we believe it.

At this stage, we may think well intuitively within certain domains of our lives. For example, we may have high-quality thinking skills with respect to our work, or we may be good at balancing our personal budget, etc. But when there are problems in our thinking, we usually fail to recognize them as such. We have no knowledge of the “moves” our minds are making. Therefore, we cannot correct its errors.

We begin to move beyond this stage when we develop real insight into the “flawed” nature of our own thinking. This insight, to be effective, must be concrete and specific. Virtually everyone will agree in the abstract that they have some “prejudices” and that their thinking is “not perfect.” But these unelaborated admissions have no functional value to those who concede them. They are not based on any real knowledge of the nature of thinking. They are not based on a realistic sense of the skills they would need to develop to improve. They are not based on an accurate appraisal of the kinds of motivation they would have to develop to improve over an extended period of time.

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