Chapter 15 tells us that our minds have 3 functions – thinking, feeling

Question 1:


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Chapter 15 tells us that our minds have 3 functions – thinking, feeling and desires (Paul & Elder, 2012). Our feelings definitely influence our thoughts and vice versa. Additionally, we also have to consider desires (behaviors based on thoughts and feelings) in that loop. It can be difficult to alter this cycle.

The following website depicts the connection and mutual influence of thoughts, feelings and desires/behaviors. While the example used is that of personal relationships, this connection and mutual influence is applicable in any situation.

If we alter just one of the three in the loop (thoughts, behavior/desires or feelings), we can effectively change the other two.  Which one of the 3 is most difficult for you to alter and why?

What is an example of a situation in which you are stuck in the loop?  What can you alter in order to change the loop? How can you use your critical thinking skills to help you do this?


Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2012). Critical thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life  (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.


Question 2


Why can we never be “ideal” critical thinkers?  Explain your reasoning.


Question 3



Authentic strategic thinking is thinking that takes a principle or idea from the theoretical plane and, following out its implications on the practical plane, develops a course of action designed to improve what we think, feel, or do. As you think through your behavior and patterns of thought that now rule your life, the important question is: How are you going to work important ideas into thinking so your behavior will change for the better? How will you move from abstract understanding to applying understanding to improve your life? Only when you are thinking strategically regularly – the strategic thinking outlined in this chapter – can you begin to improve significantly as a thinker (Paul & Elder, 2012).

Consider the following questions as you reflect on this class:

  • If someone asked you what you learned in this class, what would you tell them? 
  • What was the easiest thing for you to learn or overcome during this course? What was the most difficult?
  • What are some specific things that you will do on a daily basis to avoid the backward slide to a previous level of critical thinking? What is your game plan?

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