Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing By Matthew Allen

Smart Thinking is a skill and an attitude.

Smart Thinking is effective reasoning that requires the filtering of information.

Needless to say, Smart Thinking helps you become successful at work and in your everyday life.

What is Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking combines the way:

  • You reason and comprehend the complex world that you live in.
  • You access information, process information, analyze and express your ideas and critical thoughts.
  • You clearly communicate, present, classify and structure these ideas.
  • You illustrate these ideas.
  • You adapt your ideas to your audience and persuade them.
  • You understand someone else’s idea.
  • You discern useful information, sort out and understand general information.
  • You assess, make decisions, solve issues and predict the future based on your experiences, assumptions and biases.

What is required in Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking requires information and the proper use of claims

A claim is a written or spoken statement, true or false, that expresses the view of the world.

Therefore, claims are descriptive, reserve positive and negative value judgement.

To properly reason, claims are linked together and must be carefully structured.

How to reason effectively?

Reasoning effectively means avoiding errors, internally evaluating arguments and thoughts before expressing them.

In effective reasoning, clear, well-formed, well-founded and truthful claims are welcomed and are easily accepted by an audience.

To reason effectively, you must start with claims that are more acceptable and end with those that are less acceptable to an audience.

“Reasoning is not about answers […], but about the process of making answers more acceptable by giving appropriate reasons for them.”

Furthermore, using expertise, accurate examples or authoritative sources is a way to solidify a claim and make it more acceptable.

Another way to reason effectively would be to remain in control of your claim, aware of the context of the claim and believe that your claim is true before sharing it with an audience.

The different types of reasoning

There are five types of reasoning.

1. Causal reasoning

Causal reasoning employs common sense and allows reasoning from cause to effect.

2. Reasoning from generalization

Reasoning from generalization explains how a general event impacting general population leads to another event.

3. Reasoning from specific cases

Reasoning from specific cases takes specific events and provides a conclusion.

4. Reasoning from analogy

Reasoning from analogy uses an analogy to a given case to draw conclusions about that case.

5. Reasoning from terms

Reasoning from terms used the meaning of words from a given context.

Review

Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is a roadmap to critical thinking and analytical skills which are heavily required leadership.

Taken from practical experiences and Australian History, Matthew Allen explores the philosophical concept behind language, the importance of words, critical thinking and the reasoning process.

Matthew Allen teaches us ways to make our reasoning strong and effective. He shares the analytical structure of reasoning and consolidates every single one of his theories with exercises and comprehension tests in every chapter.

In addition, his book and examples are socially conscious when it comes to the treatment of Aborigines in Australian History.

Furthermore, Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is not the type of book that I’m used to reviewing. However, I recommend it for leaders seeking to build remarkable leadership and critical thinking skills.

After reading this book, you will want to consider issues in depth and within context, be smarter about the messages you convey, avoid making assumptions and make well-founded claims.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Reasoning is something we already do: all of us have be learnt, in one way or another, to think and to reason, to make connections and see relationships between various events and attitudes in our world. So, being a smart thinker is not about becoming a different sort of person, but about improving skills that you already have.

It is our responsibility to understand what is happening in society and to act where necessary to conserve or change, to get involved, to make things better, and to fight injustice. We can only pick our way through the complex tangle of opinions, assertions, ideas, and assumptions that make up the dominant social world in which we live.

We should never assume that there can be only one right view; we should not, in turn, presume that all views are right.

What makes assumptions dangerous is not their content […] but, rather, that they are not consciously considered and tested to see if they are correct.

What any one individual knows about world is extremely limited. People tend to be experts in certain small areas and ignorant in many others; their detailed knowledge is often applicable only in limited situations.

Ratings 3/5

About the author

Matthew Allen

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