This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on how to be smarter by thinking more clearly and effectively
One thing that is absolutely fundamental to clear thinking is to understand the nature of truth.
Most people intuitively understand what truth is, most of the time, but get all confused about it when it comes to issues of morality and religion.
But the nature of truth doesn’t change. True is true, no matter what you are talking about.
So it’s important to get a good understanding of what truth is if you want to train your mind to think clearly and logically.
Also, I mentioned in the last post that a good education should train a person to think well and properly. But what does that entail? What does it mean to think “well and properly”?
When you think about it, ther are a number of important “all purpose” skills of the mind that can help here, skills like:
- How to organize one’s thoughts
- How to make important distinctions and valid inferences
- How to formulate and defend positions with well thought out arguments
- How to stand up for your beliefs by being able to give coherent reasons for your position
- How to critically evaluate and challenge opposing viewpoints
- How to judge and weigh evidence
- How to distinguish the true from the false
- How to determine what is more or less probable
- How to ask intelligent questions and give intelligent answers
- How to evaluate arguments for consistency or inconsistency
Now all of the above are important for thinking properly. And the good news is… WE LEARN ALL OF THESE THROUGH THE STUDY OF LOGIC!
So I hope you can see that logic is a general “all purpose” subject with deep and far reaching implications. This is why St. Thomas Aquinas called logic “the art of arts”. In other words, logic is the mother of all subjects! This is because in logic we study the very act of thinking and reasoning itself, which in turn helps guide our thinking in all other subjects!
No matter what one’s profession is – everybody has to think! And that’s why the study of logic is so important.