读《beyond feelings》- Part3


Chapter14 Knowing yourself

开篇提到了knowing yourself 的重要性,对应着中国古语中的自知者明,随后给到了方法论。

The way to achieve self-knowledge is to ask lots of probing questions.



critical thinking inventory



how careful am I about separating hearsay and rumor from fact? About distinguishing the known from assumptions or guesses? how difficult is it for me to say “I don’t know.”

Using your inventory


how can you most effectively use your personal inventory to improve your critical thinking performance?

Strategy 如下:

  • Answer all the questions in the critical thinking inventory honestly and thoroughly, acknowledging not only the pleasant facts about yourself but also the unpleasant ones.
  • Reflect on your answers, noting the areas in which you are especially vulnerable.
  • Whenever you address an issue, anticipate what problems are likely to undermine your thinking at each stage of the thinking process and make a conscious effort to resist their influnence.

Challenge and reward


It is one thing to understand the steps necessary to improving your thinking and quite another to use them effectively. The latter task is a formidable challenge that will take continuing effort over a long period of time.

Is the challenge worth the effort?

Thinking skills play a crucial role in our personal lives. Noted psychologist Albert Ellis, founder of the Institute of Rational- Emotive Therapy, claims, “Man can live the most self-fulfilling, creative, and emotionally satisfying life by intelligently organizing and disciplining his thinking.


No other knid of self-improvement has the potential to effect every area of your life so positively.

Chapter15 Being observant

Clear and sound thinking often depends on subtleties that are revealed only by close observation – in other words, by attentive seeing and hearing.

The keener our observation, the less likely we will be to commit to stereotypes, oversimplifications, and unwarranted assumptions.



observing people


What people say and the way they say it (and sometimes what they omit saying) can be valuable clues to their unspoken views and attitudes. Noticing these things can help us decide which areas are sensitive for peo- ple, which areas their understanding seems weak in, and what approaches would be most fruitful in communicating with them.

we can conduct our critical thinking more effectively if we observe other people’s behavior carefully.

observation in science and medicine


the range of applicaiton

举了一系列的例子,说明close observation 在各个领域的学习和工作中带来的价值。

For most of us, being observant may not have the dramatic results it did for these individuals. Nevertheless, it can help us relate more meaningfully to people and learn more about the things around us. Most important, it can aid our critical thinking.

becoming more observant

the way to be observant is to use all five of your senses to keep your mind from wandering aimlessly.

observant people have learned how to get outside themselves, to be constantly in touch with what is happening around them.


A good way to start becoming more observant is to practice receiving sense impressions more attentively.


consider the connections among ideas, even apparently unrelated ones.

reflecting on your observations



to increase the number and quality of your insights by developing the habit of reflecting on your observations:

the best way to do this is to set aside a special time every day – early in the morning, perhaps, or late in the evening. It needn’t be long, ten or fifteen minutes may be enough. But be sure you are free of distractions. Review what you have seen and heard during the past twenty-four hours. Ask yourself what they mean, how they relate to other important matters, and how you can use them to improve yourself or to spurachievement.


Chapter16 Selecting an Issue



The term issue, in the context of critical thinking, means any matter about which people tend to disagree, in other words, it is almost synonymous with the word controversy.

critical thinkers understand that care in selecting issues for analysis is an important part of the thinking process.


The basic rule: less is more

less is more 简直是万能。

aiming for depth rather than breadth. [专注于深度而不是广度]

这里作者解释了为什么less is more. 我用我自己的理解来简单陈述下,越广的issue,涉及的层面也越广,受到的质疑也越多,因为同样的广度上,可能站着很多人,持着不同的观点,甚至他们比你了解的更多,随时准备反驳你的观点,而选择某个点深挖,一方面有那种深度研究的人并不多,另一方面你也可以更专注,不容易因为涉及太广而困惑,这其实是更稳妥的策略。

limit the scope of your analysis, for example, if the issue has five or ten important aspects, examine only one or two. you will then have sufficient space to address complexities, make important distinctions, and deal with subtleties.

How to limit an issue


  • list as many aspects of the issue as you can
  • decide exactly which aspects you will address
  • probe the aspects you are concerned with in one or more clear, carefully focused, questions

紧接着作者举了三个样例:pornography色情,boxing拳击,juvenile crime青少年犯罪,示范了如何运用这个方法来挑选issue。



should boxing be outlawed? [ 拳击应该被取缔吗?]

Aspect Questions
boxer’s right to earn a living would be outlawing of boxing be an unfair denial of the boxer’s right to earn a living?
Boxing and mental health is the expression of violence that takes place in boxing match an emotionally healthy experience for the fighters themselves? for the spectators?
the popularity of boxing How valid is the argument that boxing should be allowed to continue because it has historically been, and continues to be, very popular?
the classification of boxing as a sport is boxing properly classified as a sport? That is, does the fact that the contestants aim to strike potentially harmful blows disqualify it from that classification?
Overcoming the dangers is it possible, perhaps by modifying the rules or the equipment, to eliminate or at least reduce the physical danger to fighters?
effects of being punched Exactly what effect does a punch have on the human body, particularly the brain? What is the cumulative effect of the punches received during ten or fifteen rounds of boxing? during a career?

Narrowing the issue further


the fewer matters that are competing for your attention, the less the danger of becoming distracted or confused.

limiting your treatment will lessen the chance of your oversimplifying complex matters.

Chapter17 Conducting inquiry


inquiry is seeking answers to questions, investigating issues, and gathering information to help us draw conclusions.



  • inquiry into facts
  • inquiry into opinions

working with inconclusive results

because the state of human knowledge is imperfect, not every question is answerable when it is asked. some questions are even more resistant to inquiry. such as are there intelligent life-forms in our solar system or other planetary systems?

however resistant to resolution a question may be, though, inquiry is still useful. we shouldn’t be intimidated by difficult issues. we should merely be realistic about how complete and final our answers are likely to be.

where to look for information

通过哪些渠道去收集信息?这个在part 1 chapter6 evidence那一部分已经提到过一些,这里作者给到了一个参考的渠道列表,篇幅最大的,当然是我们伟大的internet,首推Google大神。


our own experience and observation。【我们自己的经验和观察】


  • background on the issue

  • facts and statistics

  • information about people【人物传记】

  • information about the English language【工具类书籍,牛津英语词典等】

  • articles in newspapers, magazines and journals

  • books

  • computer databases and abstracting servises

  • Internet resources



    • What is the purpose of the publication or web site?
    • what is the source’s point of view?
    • does the source engage in personal attacks?
    • does the source make extravagant assertions?
    • does the source present evidence for his or her assertions?
    • what criticisms have been made, or could be made, of the source’s assertions and evidence? how worthy are those criticisms?

不管信息来源是什么,记住一点:even honest, conscientious people can make mistakes.

keeping focused


Make a special effort to discipline your internet searches, focusing your attention on relevant material only and resisting the temptation to wander.


how much inquiry is enough?

怎样评估inquiry 已经足够了?

inquiry的目标是生成论据,所以很显然,回到了chapter 6中,判断evidence是否enough的标准也可以用来判断inquiry是否enough。


  • Evidence is sufficient when it permits a judgment to be made with certainty
  • if certainty is unattainable, evidence is sufficient if one view of the issue has been shown to have the force of probability
  • In all other cases, the evidence must be considered insufficient

这里需要提一下,critical thinking中有一个很大的挑战是当你发现一个知识渊博的人也支持你的论断时,就会觉得inquiry已经足够了,不需要继续了。但是圣人也会犯错啊。

one of the greatest challenges to critical thinking is the temptation to stop inquiring when you find a knowledgeable person who supports your bias.

managing lengthy material


These longer works are more difficult to evaluate because the core arguments are seldom presented neatly and compactly.



  • after reading the article or book, go back and identify the key assertions
  • Identify the author’s conclusion
  • notice any qualifying words used in the key assertions or the conclusion
  • note the amount, kinds, and sources of evidence used to support the assertions.
  • Notice the conditions the author includes
  • compose an accurate summary of the article or book from your analysis in steps 1~5

Chapter18 Forming a judgment

judgments are conclusions arrived at through examination of evidence and careful reasoning. they are the products of thinking.

but the fact that judgments are products of evaluation and reasoning does not guarantee their worth.



by knowing ourselves and being observant, we improve our perception and guard against error. by systematically clarifying issues and conducting inquiry, we rescue our thinking from preconceived notions and first impressions. by evaluating the evidence we have obtained, we determine what it means and how significant it is.


evaluation plays an important role in every fileds.

evaluating evidence


Evaluating evidence consists of asking and answering appropriate questions.


is this evidence relevant to the issue under consideration?


evaluating your sources’ arguments





taking time to ask appropriate questions has several benefits.

first , it prevents you from judging hastily, on the basis of first impressions. Second, it allows you to evaluate each part of the argument individually and thus to identify both strengths and weaknesses. Finally, taking the time to ask appropriate questions often provides a structure around which to arrange your thoughts.

making important distinctions


six kinds of distinctions that are necessary to avoid faulty evaluations:

  • between the person and the idea

  • between what is said and how it is said

  • between why people think as they do and whether what they think is correct

    The soundness of an idea doesn’t depend on the motivations of those who support it. It depends on how well the idea fits the realities of the situation.

  • between the individual and the group or class

  • between matters of preference and matters of judgment

  • between familiarity and correctness

expressing judgments

6 approaches to help you express all your judgments effectively:

  • strive for a balanced view

    a balanced view of an issue is one that reflects all the subtlety and complexity of the issue.

    when someone finally exercises the mental discipline to break the pattern and take a balanced look at the issue, the result is a refreshingly original, and often insightful, view.

    To achieve a balanced view of the issues you address, you must be willing to look for the neglected side of the issue and, when there is good reason to do so, to challenge the prevailing view.

  • deal with probability

    whenever you cannot achieve certanty, focus on probability.

  • make your subject appropriately specific


    choose the subjects of your judgments with care.

  • make your predicate exact



    God is dead.


    people no longer want to believe God exists.

    people no longer able to believe God exists.

    people no longer certain God exists.

    people no longer act as if God exists.

    people no longer care whether God exists.

    people no longer accept some particular conception of God.

  • include all appropriate qualifications



    includes not only qualifications of time but those of place and conditions as well.

    the more care you take to include the qualifications necessary to express your thoughts precisely, the more defensible your judgment is likely to be.

  • avoid exaggeration

    avoid all exaggeration.

    argue the more modest interpretation, the less extreme conclusion.


chapter 14~18中提到的strategy可用下面的列表来总结:

  • know yourself and remain mindful of the ways in which your habits of mind undermine your treatment of issues.
  • be observant and reflect on what you see and hear.
  • When you identify an issue, clarify it by listing its aspects and raising probing questions about each.
  • conduct a thorough inquiry, obtaining all relevant facts and informed opinions.
  • evaluate your findings, and then form the express your judgment.

a convenient checklist. : P

Chapter19 Persuading others


Presenting your view so effectively that people who have no position no the issue will be inclined to agree with you and those who disagree with you will be motivated to reconsider their own view.


thoughtful judgments deserve to be shared, and the way they are presented can strongly influence the way others react to them.


By learning the principles of persuasion and applying them in your writing and speaking ,you will extend the benefits of your critical thinking beyond the confines of your own mind.


  • respect your audience
  • understand your audience’s viewpoint
  • being from a position you have in common with your readers
  • taek a positive approach
  • understate your argument whenever possible
  • concede where the opposing side has a point
  • don’t ignore any relevant facts
  • don’t overwhelm your readers with arguments
  • focus on the arugment best calculated to persuade your audience
  • Never use an argument you don’t believe is sound or relevant
  • allow time for your view to gain acceptance


respect your audience




ask yourself what might account for their disagreement with your view. consider all the factors that can influence a person’s perspective, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, family background, religion, income level, political affilication, degree of education, and personal experience. if one or more of these could account for the difference in viewpoint, you will have good reason for regarding their disagreement as thoughtful and honest.


don’t feel you need to state your respect for your audience, such statements have a way of sounding insincere. Work on acting respectfully, if you can accomplish that, there will be no need to state it. it will show.

people will know.

understand your audience’s viewpoint




  • Situation1: you are writing for a single reader who has presented his or her ideas in an article, book, speech, or conversation

    review what your reader said, noting not only the person’s position but also the reasoning that supports it. Determine both the strengths and the weaknesses of the person’s position.

  • Situation2: you are writing for a single reader who has not, to your knowledge, expressed a view on the issue in question.

    use your imagination to produce relevant questions.[厉害的]

  • Situation3: you are writing not for a specific individual, but for all the people who hold an opposing view on the issue.

    study what has been expressed by people who hold the opposing view. look for frequently repeated arguments and themes.

    The most influential errors in thinking represent the greatest challenge to persuasion.

begin from a positions you have in common with your readers


beginning from a position of agreement with your reader is not an arbitrary requirement or a matter of courtesy or good form. it is a simple matter of psychology.

take a positive approach


whenever possible, build your case rather than tearing down the opposing case.

Keep in mind, however, that direct criticism of the opposing view will always seem harsher that it is to people who share that view, a brief criticism will seem protracted, and the mere perception that you are being negative will make your readers defensive.


article response1 response2
gun control legislation (a) penalizes the law-abiding more than the lawless, (b)denies citizens the most effective means of protecting self and property at a time when assaults on both are commonplace,(c) violates the U.S. Constitution. gun control legislation does not penalize the law-abiding more than the lawless, does not deny citizens the most effective means of protecting self and property at a time when assaults on both are commonplace,does not really violate the U.S. Constitution. gun control legislation discourages crime by making the mere possession of a gun an offense of some gravity. it stresses the role of the police, rather than the individual, in law enforcement. It follows the spirit, if not the letter, of the U.S. Constitution.

第一种反应就好像有一个人跟你说“you are wrong, you are wrong ,you are wrong”,但是却没有给出任何说明ta正确的论据。第二种没有直接的反对,而是提出了看待这个问题的另一种视角。

Whenever you can avoid direct refutation – that is, whenever you can effectively present and support your own views without direct reference to your reader’s opposing views — do so.

understate your argument whenever possible


if you overstate your position, you are bound to reinforce your readers’ conviction about their position rather than dispose them to question their conviction.



If college students are not given opportunities to exercise responsibility and make their own choices while they are in college, they will have to adjust all at once when they leave college. and such adjustment will be extremely difficult.

Understate: [more reasonable, more responsible]

If college students are not given some opportunities to exercise responsibility and make their own choices while they are in college, they will have to adjust rather quickly when they leave college. and such adjustment will usually be more difficult.

concede where the opposing side has a point


The natural tendency of all of us to value our own position too highly makes it difficult for us to admit that opposing views may also have merit.

overcoming this tnedency can be accomplished only by remembering that in most controversial issues no one side possesses the total truth.

remember that the readers are likely to be no more generous to you than you are to them. Only if you are open and honest in your concessions can you expect them to be son in theirs.

don’t ignore any relevant facts

The temptation is strong to ignore the facts that support the opposing position rather than our own, especially if the other person has apparently not discovered them. Using them, it would seem, could only weaken our position.

这里作者给出了很精彩的陈述,argument的目的,不是打败别人或者证明自己对,别人错,而是一起去发现事实的真相及其复杂性,如此,才是double win。

the purpose of argument is not to defeat others but, throught the exchange of views, to discover the truth in all its complexity. When that happens, everyone wins.

By presenting all the facts, even those that force you to modify your position, you impress your readers with your objectivity and honesty and invite them to show theirs.

don’t overwhelm your readers with arguments



to present only those arguments and that evidence that you feel are most relevant and most persuasive.


remember it is wiser to permit readers to make their own judgment, and no reader enjoy feeling the agreement with the writer is required in order to be considered a “reasonable person”.


  • 我呈现的这些论据看起来无可辩驳毫无疑问这个提议是有害的。
  • 任何一个明白事理的人,都会毫不犹豫支持这个论点。

focus on the argument best calculated to persuade your audience

it is important to use arguments that appeal to your readers.



never use an argument you do not believe is sound or relevant



allow tiem for your view to gain acceptance


The best you should hope for is that they will be moved to reconsider the issue in light of what you said and that your insights eventually will cause them to modify their view.

An unpersuasive presentation && a persuasive presentation


The end