Role of Organizing in Critical Thinking

Topics: Thought, Mind, Critical thinking Pages: 3 (747 words) Published: March 13, 2006
Role of Organizing in Critical Thinking


Organizing plays an important role in the critical thought process. The process of taking raw pieces of information and organizing, or ordering, them it something meaningful is a powerful tool that comes naturally to humans. Though it is true that some may have to work harder than others to get more refined results, it is possible to take mere pieces of an "information" puzzle and assemble it's entirety through the process of natural and mental orders, and by organizing.

Origins of Order

As human beings, we have a tendency to seek out order where there is none, and to make sense of seemingly random bits of data. Are we born that way? Several scholars seem to think so. According to our text, Chomsky believed that the "mind has the natural ability to learn language and to produce and recognize meaning", and Hume thought, "cause and effect are the mind's way of ordering reality," (Kirby & Goodpaster, 1999). If true, this sets the stage for the organizing and ordering process of critical thinking. The ability to receive random data, process it through language, recognize cause and effect, all in an effort to assist order and organization of thought, is strictly a human capability.

Natural Orders

According to Kirby and Goodpaster, "much of the order within our mind seems to be learned from the natural order of the universe," (p.120). These orders are topical order, analogical order, chronological order and causal order. Topical order can be described as a thing's natural place in the universe (Kirby & Goodpaster, 1999). For example fish live in water, while humans live on land. These are their natural places in the universe. The human mind wouldn't expect to find a fish walking on land, or a human living in the ocean, would it? Analogical order is the similarities between two distinctly different things. The human mind is able to recognize the similarities, and therefore is able to organize...

References: Kirby, G.R., & Goodpaster, J.R. (1999). Thinking. New York: Prentice Hall.
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