This may be news to many readers of the blog, as I haven’t blogged about skepticism (except perhaps in my post on chiropractic, Herodotus: the father of handiwork) but I am a longtime skeptic. (Brian Dunning’s concise statement, What is Skepticism?, will give you a good idea of what I mean when I use the term.)
For my money, the one thing students need above all else is the ability to develop critical thinking skills, which encompasses such things as knowing how to assess information and being aware of common pitfalls to understanding (e.g., logical fallacies, emotional appeals, etc.). Too often my own students show a willingness to believe whatever I tell them, a tendency I exploit on a regular basis with humor in an effort to promote more critical thinking.
I don’t want to say much more right now, though I’m sure my position will be clear in the poll options below, but I’m interested to hear from others on the issue of critical thinking in the humanities, its relationship with the sciences, and potentially those in the humanities who are sympathetic to or interested in the skeptical viewpoint.
So without further ado, my (admittedly) awkward poll:
Results after the fold.
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