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Posted on July 31st, 2012, by

Human beings are primarily thinking beings and it is very important that people were able to think critically, especially in regard to their social environment because under the impact of ideologies, biases and stereotypes, we can develop erroneous concept that will guide us throughout our life. In fact, it is not a secret that biases and stereotypes often define our perception of the surrounding world and our social environment (Summer, 1906). This is why it is extremely important to evaluate and think of the existing stereotypes and biases critically. In such a way, we will be able to perceive the surrounding world adequately and objectively.

At the same time, it should be pointed out that the adequate and objective perception of the surrounding reality and social environment, in particular, is based on critical thinking, which, in its turn, heavily relies on basics of logic.

What is meant here is the fact that logic is an essential condition of effective critical thinking. In fact, critical thinking is useless if it is deprived of any logic. For instance, a person may criticize everything and develop quite convincing argument, which though contradicts to logic. As a result, this person may sound quite convincing but such an application of critical thinking is useless because without logic it leads to the formation of the false perception of the surrounding world, its rules, norms, and erroneous biases and stereotypes (Summer, 1906).

In contrast, logic facilitates consistently the process of critical thinking and makes our perception of the surrounding world more objective. It proves beyond the doubt that logic leaves little room for the development of unreasonable or irrational views, beliefs, or statements because logic subordinate to strict rules which tend to exclude the possibility of error in the process of thinking. At any rate, logic makes critical thinking better structured and more rational since, as a rule, logic implies that the outcome of the process of thinking is true and rationally justified. In fact, people, who tend to critical thinking, “attempt to live rationally, reasonably, emphatically”¯ (Scriven and Richards, 2004).

On the other hand, logic alone cannot guarantee the total objectivity and correctness of critical thinking. For instance, sophists developed logical and very convincing formulas which made it possible to logically prove practically any statement, even the most meaningless, such as the famous statement that Plato is a cat, which sophist proved using their own logic. Consequently, it is important to apply logic in a combination with critical thinking in order to minimize the possibility of error in our perception. This means that logic and critical thinking can help consistently evaluate rationally events and facts that may affect our perception.

In this respect, I may refer to my personal experience since, as many other people my own perception of the surrounding reality was dramatically affected by various biases and stereotypes that created a strong perceptual blocks, which are imposed on me by my social environment (Summer, 1906). At the same time, I should say that the lack of logic and critical thinking contributed to rather irrational view on the surrounding reality, which should be carefully and critically examined, otherwise, people would live in “an uncritical, unjust, dangerous world”¯ (Scriven and Richards, 2004). To put it more precisely, I grew in the environment where I was hardly exposed to any serious danger. This is why, once, as I have been robbed, I have to evaluate my personal philosophy and my perception of the surrounding worlds as well as my place in it.

Before this event, I sincerely believed that crime is a problem that does not really matter for me and, what is more, I was almost convinced that this problem will never affect me in person. However, after the robbery I have perfectly realized that I am as exposed to this problem as any other person living in our society. In this respect, I should say that it has changed my self-perception consistently. I have realized that my self-perception, as a person that will never suffer from any crime, was erroneous and absolutely illogical. I have understood that the probability of being robbed is high and no one is absolutely secured. In such a way, my original views were illogical and irrational. In addition, after the robbery I have changed not only my perception but also my attitude to my own behavior and surrounding world, I became more careful and more critical in regard to other people.

At the beginning, I was really deceived by an offender whom I could have never though of as a criminal. At the same time, after the robbery I was really furious and I had a strong desire of revenge and punishment of the offender.

However, on profound reflections, applying logic and critical thinking I have realized that it is not actually my personal desire, but I am rather influenced by the existing stereotypes and ideology which promotes material prosperity and views the property rights as the backbone of our civilization. In fact, I thought over the causes of the actions of the offender and I understood that it was probably not only his fault since he might have needed some money simply to survive, while I was to careless in my behavior provoking him, in a way.

Thus, nowadays, my self-perception and my perception of the surrounding world have changed consistently. I became more critical, especially in relation to the existing stereotypes and my personal views. I attempt to critically evaluate them using principles of logic in order to make objective and correct judgments about me and the surrounding reality.

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