Top critical review
Different take on a well documented topic
Reviewed in Canada on February 20, 2021
This is a good book. I would have given it a better rating if much in the book had not already been documented by other authors. It covers the topic of critical thinking from the perspective of what we don’t know. Of course we can’t know what we don’t know, but I believe the author is suggesting we need to be aware of that which we don’t know. Inevitably you will come to the same critical thinking awareness that other authors have already arrived at.
There are some graphs that I found overly simplistic and a little contrived - but overall helpful.
On page 75 (hardcover edition) the author quotes excerpts of Ted Kaczynski’s (the Unabomber) manifesto. The author points out that you may not be “unsettled” if you read the entire document, then adds, “What’s disturbing is the level of conviction”. The author goes on to say, “If he had developed the capacity to discover that he was wrong, would he still have ended up doing something so wrong?”. But was Kaczynski wrong? Not entirely if you remove the level of conviction. There has been consequences from The Industrial Revolution; to some extent it has destabilized society; and it has inflicted greater damage on the natural world. If the author is attempting to arrive at a better truth by questioning what we know we know, then we need to be critical of the use of example so we don’t cherry pick ideas out of context. There is no doubt that Kaczynski was wrong to do what he did, but what he knew was not entirely wrong.
Other books I have read on this topic in order of copyright date:
On Being Certain, 2008, Robert A. Burton M.D.
Being Wrong, 2010, Kathryn Schulz
Willful Blindness, 2011, Margaret Heffernan
Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2011, Daniel Kahneman
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), 2015, Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson
The Memory Illusion, 2017, Dr. Julia Shaw
As an aside:
Quiet (The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking), 2012, Susan Cain