Though I disagree with the conclusion that “today this isn’t so” this is not the place where I will describe my reasons. Instead I want to take the opposite tack, and write a response under the assumption that I agree strongly with it, and point out the seeming direct correlation with the much discussed decline in critical thinking overall in the US, and arguably the world’s population. Stripped of all the -isms philosophical schools generally share an interest in, and promote the use of, critical thinking in argumentation and analysis. Even those philosophies which reject analysis and/or do not believe in arguments, use critical thinking techniques and approaches to talk about their reasons why. In my mind it is essentially impossible to have a philsophical -ism without some grounding in the use of critical thinking. Whether the thinking is flawed or flawless or the criticisms weak or strong matters not, only that thinking and criticism both actually happen, does. The decline in critical thinking skills has been/is still blamed directly for the decline in overall quality and quantity of many of societies most valued members (scientists, teachers, doctors, etc.) and this loss is bemoaned. Why is the same decline not bemoaned for its impact on philosophy? The easy answer is because society does not value philosophy and the philosopher as it does those other professions. The better answer is that society does not understand them. Probably because of the loss of all those critical thinking skills. Lol!

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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