Organization of Thoughts Aids in Critical Thinking


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Organizing is a cornerstone of critical thinking. As humans, its our nature to think. However, we must be able to make sense of the continuous information that our brain receives. To understand the role of organizing in critical thinking we must look at a few areas, such as, origins of order, natural and mental orders, steps in organizing, and using orders.

The origins of order have been philosophized over hundreds of years by some influential thinkers. "Is order only in our minds? Is our mind born with its own patterns of organization? Can our mind create its own structures to fit its own needs?...Plato says we have innate ideas, Kant says space and time are structures of the mind...Chomsky says the mind has the natural ability to learn language and to produce and recognize meaning." ( Chp. 8, Kirby and Goodpaster, 1999) The definition of origins of order can be described as where a person's thoughts or feelings is coming from. Discovering the origin of the order of thinking an individual allows a person to become natural in the critical thinking process.

There are four typical orders, a natural and mental combination, that play a role in our daily lives. First up is topical order, this order deals with nature. Topical order suggests that everything in the universe has a natural place. A natural place could be the seasons, a trickling brook, or something as simple as directions to mom's house. Next up is analogical and chronological order. This order relates to noticing a likeness or similarity in something. An example would be the relation of a book and a square because they both have four sides or even the relation of fish to sea. Chronological order involves the occurrence of change over time. It is as simple as going to the store, changing your clothes or washing your car. Last but not least is Casual order. Casual order is the how and why behind change. For example, `Why is the doorbell ringing?' or `How did you get home from school?'. One must know how to use the orders in thinking. The easiest way to use the orders in thinking is to arrange the orders logically; if the order is casual, start with the causes and etc.

In order to process our information we must initiate a format that allows us to make sense of it all.

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Cluster, analyze, and prioritize are three steps that allow us to keep our information processing simple. Clustering your information into small groups can help make categorizing easier. Next analyze the small groups. Make any editions to the groups to further simplify the information. Lastly, prioritize by placing the small groups in essential order.

In Summary, identifying the natural and mental orders and applying the steps in organizing can help bring clarity to our thought process. We can discover more about the way we think and how we organize our thoughts if we take in account the process we go through to come to our conclusions. Everything we are surrounded by in our daily lives gives us the knowledge to increase our critical thinking skills.

References

Kirby, Goodpaster, & Levine. (1999). Critical thinking [UOP Custom Edition]. Needham Heights, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing.


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