June 21, 2020
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Tag: Thinking

Toilet Paper and the Human Intellect, Part 2

Part 1 of this essay began by noting the strange but amusing behavior of many Americans to the Coronavirus—rushing out and buying toilet paper. It ended by recalling Christopher Morley’s observation that humor can reveal how important and...

Toilet Paper and the Human Intellect

If an explorer from another galaxy happened to visit the U.S. within the last few weeks, she would surely have been puzzled at one public reaction to the Coronavirus—rushing out and buying toilet paper in greater quantities than almost any...

Truth: Yours, Mine, and THE

For millennia, people naturally, almost instinctively, understood that truth is objective rather than subjective. In other words, truth is what is actually so about something as distinguished from what people guess, feel, think, or believe is so...

A Teaching Moment Missed, Part II

Part I told the (true) story of Daniel, a high school junior whose correct answer to a test question was marked wrong and whose teacher refused to consider his explanation of the thought process that led to his answer. The teacher thus missed an...

A Teaching Moment Missed, Part I

Daniel is an 11th grade student who takes Advanced Placement courses in history, physics, English, calculus, and social studies and earns almost perfect grades. If he gets a single question wrong on a test, he is eager to learn where he went wrong...

Logic Was Once Held in High Regard

Once upon a time, logic was held in high regard. Most educated people were acquainted with its basic principles and had at least modest skill in separating sound arguments from unsound ones. For example, they would see the validity of “All human...

A Crucial Education Reform

With a new administration comes renewed hope of meaningful education reform. Among the most needed reforms is one that ought to be obvious but is seldom addressed—helping students achieve intellectual maturity by developing in them the habits of...

A Land of Noise and Confusion

An old Scottish nursery rhyme suggests that names or in a more general sense, words can never hurt anyone. It misses the point that language can be carefully crafted to control and manipulate an entire population into a state of social conformity...