The Conclusions of Some Intellectuals

Sir Francis Bacon possessed a
Sir Francis Bacon possessed a "desire to seek" and "patience to doubt." (¿ Bettmann/corbis)
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Sir Francis Bacon, 1605: For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things . . . and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture.

-- Military strategist Carl von Clausewitz, 19th century :[Critical thinking is] the ability to keep one's head at times of exceptional stress and violent emotion.

-- "Critical Thinking for the Military Professional,"

Air & Space Power Journal, by Col W. Michael Guillot

Education reformer John Dewey, 1909: [Critical thinking is] active, persistent and careful consideration of a belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds which support it and the further conclusions to which it tends.

-- "Critical Thinking: An Introduction," by Alec Fisher

Detec tive Sherlock Holmes: Before deciding that question I had grasped the significance of the silence of the dog, for one true inference invariably suggests others. The Simpson incident had shown me that a dog was kept in the stables, and yet, though some one had been in and had fetched out a horse, he had not barked enough to arouse the two lads in the loft. Obviously the midnight visitor was some one whom the dog knew well.

-- "Silver Blaze" from "The Memoirs

of Sherlock Holmes," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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