‘What We Don’t Need Is Critical Thinking’ – Takedown Of A TEDx Talk On JREF’s Swift

Check out the excellent article Fluff Won’t Make The World A Better Place over on the JREF Swift blog:

One of my favorite sources of interesting content is TED. If you’re not sure what that is, I highly recommend watching a few of the talks posted online and read about it.

TEDx on the other hand… TEDx is a program which allows people to license the TED name to organize small (<100 attendees) TED-like events in their communities. Many TEDx talks are available online as well. Some are just as good as TED talks. Others are not. In fact, when a TEDx talk is bad, it’s usually very, very bad, like this one by Patrick Finn, faculty at the University of Calgary. His bio states that he teaches acting, story, and happiness. Yes, happiness. Oh, he also teaches a course on love. No, he’s not a psychologist.

Finn says, “What we need to get rid of is critical thinking.”

Yes, I’m going to criticize this.

Read the rest at http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1520-fluff-wont-make-the-world-a-better-place.html

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Retired Prodigy Bill

    I liken, “What we need to get rid of is critical thinking,” to, “What we need to get rid of is breathing.” Critical thinking works too well to abandon.

    Now I have no problem with something like the Six Hats system, where critiquing (identifying negative aspects) is limited to certain phases of group discussion. But I don’t think academics in university settings should be channeling Snuggles the Bear in order to get their pedagogical strategies.

    Unfortunately, Finn is not alone. I taught a few years at the university level, in my youth, and had a female colleague who opined that making students use reason and rationality in the classroom was exactly the same as rape.


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