Do I know any quotable quotes worth quoting? Another good question! I know some quotes that I quote a lot and I think have a lot of value. Does that make them worth quoting? From my point of view, yes!
Here are some quotes that I think are quotable and worth pondering. The quotes are listed in bold Underlined font and each is followed by a related question and answer.
“There is a mysterious connection between language and thinking.”
How can we access our thinking?
Since it is difficult to think without using (one’s own) language, the natural way to access thinking is through language. The tool to use is the language arts. For example, to access and improve our political thinking, this language arts’ tool would have us: READ THE POLITICS, WRITE THE POLITICS, HEAR THE POLITICS, SPEAK THE POLITICS, therefore THINK THE POLITICS. This tool of language arts is useful as an aid to learn any disciplined way of thinking.
“Choose freely, live creatively, and think critically.”
What does this quote mean, in my opinion?
Choosing freely means you are choosing and accepting the responsibility of your choice. Living creatively means you are living in a way in which you are creating the meaning of life in your mind. Thinking critically means you are thinking about your thinking and assessing your thinking with good intellectual standards–clarity, relevancy, appropriateness, logicalness, etc.
As a problem-solver, citizen, parent, student, teacher, legislator, professional, or any other label one might have, the focus statement of “choose freely, live creatively, and think critically” can keep us directed toward rationality and becoming a rational person. By rationality I mean, conforming to principles of good reasoning, showing good judgment, being sensible, logical, and relevant.
“What you are becoming is often more important than what you are accomplishing.”
What are you becoming?
Hopefully, a life-long learner? Yes, but what are you learning? It’s important to “become” the learner that has good intellectual traits, such as intellectual empathy, intellectual courage, intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, and fair-mindedness. With good intellectual traits the thinker can be a life-long learner who is productive in a positive manner in a democratic society. The “becoming” is acquiring good intellectual traits and the “accomplishing” is life-long learning.
“Questions drive thinking.”
Why focus on questions instead of answers?
Asking questions is a sign of thinking. Questioning is necessary in order to keep your thinking active. Questions do not need to be asked to anyone but yourself. In fact, the goal, though not attainable in most situations, would be to answer all of your own questions.
For every question you ask, ideally your mind will generate two more. Therefore, if you start with one question and pursue your line of thinking, you end with many questions. Questions are a sign of an active mind and not a sign of ignorance. Use questions to drive thinking.
Who should assess our thinking?
Ultimately, each person must assess him/herself. As you know, you don’t always have another person to assess your thinking. We must constantly work toward the time in which we will assess our own thinking and decide for ourselves its clarity, accuracy, relevancy, appropriateness, etc. Self-assessment should be done on everything that represents one’s own thinking.
“Metaphorically speaking for all education, the journey is more important than the destination.”
When are we learning?
We are always learning. The question is, what are we learning? We must view our journey of life as the important time for learning and not just the end of our formal schooling as the time we are learned. Education is never-ending. It is like life, in the sense that as long as you are alive, you are also learning. The only destination is to be a life-long learner. When are you learning politics, mathematics, consumer science, language arts, science, history, current events, etc. ? ALWAYS!
Lastly, the following quote was recently delivered to my e-mail box by the Foundation For Critical Thinking. It is a quote from H. L. Menken about liberty. For this quote, I offer no questions or comments, but I am interested in what you think. Are you a libertarian? Are you a liberal? Are you a conservative? Do you have any thoughts regarding this quote?
Quotable Critical Thinking Quotes…
“I believe in liberty. And when I say liberty, I mean the thing in its widest imaginable sense — liberty up to the extreme limits of the feasible and tolerable. I am against forbidding anybody to do anything, or say anything, or think anything so long as it is at all possible to imagine a habitable world in which he would be free to do, say, and think it. The burden of proof, as I see it, is always upon the policeman, which is to say, upon the lawmaker, the theologian, the right-thinker. He must prove his case doubly, triply, quadruply, and then he must start all over and prove it again. The eye through which I view him is watery and jaundiced. He is the enemy of everything I admire and respect in this world — of everything that makes it various and amusing and charming. He impedes every honest search for the truth. He stands against every sort of good-will and common decency. I am against him until the last galoot’s ashore.”
—H.L Menken, 1923
So, why quote? To improve our quality of thought by bringing into our thinking other thoughtful points of view! OR, why not? :-)