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Critical Thinking

Why is it so difficult to define the first principles of critical thinking?


My beliefs

  • When assigning responsibility for life outcomes, there are two poles: one being a high-agency stance that treats individual freedom and responsbility as absolute, and the other a low-agency stance that treats choices as constrained so much by social structures that responsibility is best placed on the system as a whole. I think it's necessary to carry both of these positions simultaneously or else injustices will increase over time.
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  • Most questions have no answer (but asking them and talking about them anyway is often entertaining).
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  • I subscribe to Hume's Fork, which claims that there are two kinds of knowledge: matters of fact, and relations of ideas. Matters of fact aren’t accessible to usβ€”we can never know something for certain, only that it hasn't been proven wrong yet. We can only create a self-referencing network of ideas that are related to each other. '2 + 2 = 4' and 'My name is Buster' are both conclusively true if we agree to the definitions and relations between each word and symbol.
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  • Logic is a helpful tool, but has flaws and if relied on too heavily it can cause more problems than it solves.
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  • Even if absolute truth about matters of fact aren't accessible to us, it's still possible to get closer to it. Especially in the context of making better predictions on limited data.
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  • The human brain (in its current state of evolution) can't comprehend the universe.
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  • See all beliefs

Buster Benson (@buster) is a writer and builder of things. If you're new here, check the about page or see my entire life on a page.


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