Einstein - Intellectual Int

Intellectual Integrity

What Is Intellectual Integrity? Do you have an internal desire to uncover truth – real truth? Do you care about the accuracy of your knowledge, beliefs and claims? Does it bother you if you might be professing knowledge that’s wrong? Does reality matter to you? Do you feel the pursuit of truth deserves a thorough, honest approach and analysis? If so, then you definitely resonate with the concept of Intellectual Integrity. Intellectual Integrity has everything …

Intellectual Integrity Read More »

Stack of rustic books

The Benefits Of Being An Autodidact

What is autodidacticism and what can it mean for you being an autodidact? “Stack of Old Books” by Austin Kirk is licensed under CC BY 2.0 What’s an autodidact? Autodidactism is the process of self-learning, also called self-education.  An autodidact is a person who chooses (on their own) to identify a subject of interest and then learn everything possible about it; preferably researching and studying it in an objective manner.  It can be pursued as …

The Benefits Of Being An Autodidact Read More »

Conformity graphic image

Conformity

I could write a long article about Conformity, but really … what could be more convincing than this representative example? (video: Brain Games – Conformity (Waiting Room) ) If this is video link is no longer active, check the Wayback Machine here: https://web.archive.org/web/20170808041524/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9O9SokTTA8 Peer Pressure We are pressured and convinced through a lifetime of social conditioning to conform, get along, go along, agree with, regardless of the rationality. This isn’t complicated. You will have a …

Conformity Read More »

Brainwash Matrix image

Social Conditioning

Related very closely to the concept of Groupthink is a process called Social Conditioning .  However, where Groupthink relates to cognitive issues in a small group, Social Conditioning is concerned more with broad social implications – typically nationwide. Definition: Social conditioning is the sociological process of training individuals in a society to respond in a manner generally approved by the society in general and peer groups within society. Manifestations of social conditioning are vast, but …

Social Conditioning Read More »

Group of men image

Groupthink

In a continuing series of articles regarding barriers to Proper Thinking let’s address Groupthink. “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”  – Walter Lippmann What is Groupthink? Wikipedia:  “Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation …

Groupthink Read More »

Dogma graffitiimage

Dogma

What is Dogma? Dogma is any ideology that demands of its followers unquestioned loyalty and faith.  Faith in its doctrines . . . in its leaders . . . in its proclamations.  Behind its ‘scripture’ may stand elements of truths – some of which can (and are) useful at times.  However, it demands no questioning of its current tenets – particularly by laypersons and “outsiders.”  Violators of this edict are either ignored and/or ridiculed and …

Dogma Read More »

Digital brain image

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

I saw this on a car’s bumper sticker today: “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” It definitely struck me and resonated with what I continually try to focus upon.  Always question your basic beliefs and assumptions.  Objectively (truly objectively) look at all points of an argument or belief.  Use the Clinical Attitude whenever possible. Embrace intellectual integrity and be willing to admit that beliefs you’ve held for many years may be wrong when you’re presented with …

Don’t Believe Everything You Think Read More »

Buckminster Fuller image

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. . .

I love this quote: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  – Buckminster Fuller (Featured image by Steve Yelvington on Wikimedia Commons, licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)

Truth carved into a building image

All truth passes through three stages . . .

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”  – Arthur Schopenhauer (Featured image by Robert on flickr, licensed by CC BY-NC 2.0)

Question Everything image

Walking Question Mark

Rosicrucians, because of their world view of questioning everything, are frequently known as Walking Question Marks.  Some applicable quotes from the monograms include: “A true Rosicrucian is a walking question mark.” “A lack of explanations or obscure statements never satisfy a Rosicrucian.” “This is the spirit of the Rosicrucian – a person who is not so quick to accept as truth that which they are told is truth.  Rather, a Rosicrucian is one who is …

Walking Question Mark Read More »

Think - chalkboard image

The Clinical Attitude Toward Arguments by Peter Suber (an Incredible Truth Tool!)

I first ran across this article in 2008 and was struck by it’s simple yet deeply accurate assessment of critical thinking.  With many things in life, as I grow older the discoveries I made years ago that struck me at the time as extremely important are many times now less inspiring.  However, THIS article is not one of them. 🙂 Peter Suber’s 1,065 words reflect the best representation of intellectual integrity as anything I’ve read …

The Clinical Attitude Toward Arguments by Peter Suber (an Incredible Truth Tool!) Read More »

REAL image

Reality

You’ll find I periodically state, “Don’t deny reality.”  What does that mean and why is it important? What is Reality?   (basic definition) As it relates to the way I use it when I say, “Don’t deny reality,” I mean it from the simple perspective of Knowledge Adventuring: If you have facts and/or a preponderance of evidence staring you in the face, don’t delude yourself by denying its existence. Don’t ignore it.  Don’t default to Cognitive …

Reality Read More »

Cognitive Dissonance image

Cognitive Dissonance

Another critical barrier to “Proper Thinking” and intellectual integrity is the theory of Cognitive Dissonance. It’s important to understand that this cognitive weakness can be the reason for us to default to other barriers to accurate thinking such as Confirmation Bias and Rationalization. As part of our Knowledge Adventuring it will always serve us well to be aware of these thinking biases and adapt our attitude and approach to the pursuit of enlightenment and truth. …

Cognitive Dissonance Read More »

Rationalize image

Rationalization

Another personal impediment to “Proper Thinking” is Rationalization.  If we want to improve our intellectual integrity and thinking prowess we need to be on guard from making rationalizations. What is it? I like Neel Burton’s definition: The use of feeble but seemingly plausible arguments either to justify something that is difficult to accept (sour grapes) or to make it seem ‘not so bad after all’ (sweet lemons). We do something not so smart (a bad …

Rationalization Read More »

Bias graphic image

Confirmation Bias

This post, my inaugural entry to deal with one of the many specifics of “Proper Thinking,” will be devoted to Confirmation Bias. With regards to the How, Why and What of thinking, this falls into  How – honestly acknowledging a barrier to proper thinking in order to adapt and refine our adventuring path towards the pursuit of Truth. The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or …

Confirmation Bias Read More »

Upgrade Thinking chalkboard image

Proper Thinking – Realizing I Don’t Think Correctly

Poor Thinking Most people cruise through life with nary a thought about thought. And, really, why bother thinking about how well, or poorly, you think? What difference does it make?  That depends, really. Do you care if others think you’re stupid? Do YOU care if you look stupid? More importantly, do you care if you ARE stupid? Or the converse . . . do you worry people might think you’re too smart?  Will they treat …

Proper Thinking – Realizing I Don’t Think Correctly Read More »

Library book shelves opening to the sky

What is Knowledge Adventuring?

If I had to identify the most critical element of the shaping of my life and persona, it has to be my passion for the pursuit of truth/accuracy/reality.  At first I thought this was something that came about in my thirties. However, over the years in doing various exercises to identify my true mission and purpose in life, I realize I’ve always been hugely concerned with identifying, understanding and conveying what was truthful and accurate …

What is Knowledge Adventuring? Read More »