General Semantics Advanced Thinking
A System-Discipline Concerned with the Sanity of the Race & the Individual
New Essay: Critical Evaluating
Posted: 05.01.2016 | Categories: General Semantics, Publications, Writings

This essay titled “Critical Evaluating” — recently added to my website — was presented at the Eleventh International Interdisciplinary Conference on General Semantics held at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, in November 1995.

The paper was edited by Susan Presby-Kodish, then Director of Education for the Institute of General Semantics.

Here is a sample:

Without an awareness of what we are doing, and how we are doing what we do, we stand little chance of improvement. General-semantics ‘invites’ us ( among other things) to become more conscious of the ways we use language and the ways language uses us. It ‘invites’ us to become more conscious of ourselves as evaluators, map-makers, story tellers, individual and unique expressions of human consciousness, if we hope to improve our behavior to ourselves and others.

A criticism unavoidably involves comparisons: comparisons based on explicitly stated, or unstated goals, ideals, norms, standards, criteria, premises, frame of reference, expectations, traditions, etc., against which some person, behavior, situation, thing, statement, and so on, is measured. Unfortunately, very rarely does one come across a criticizer, critic, or school of critical thinking that emphasizes the importance of being explicit in stating, or that takes the time to mention the particular criteria, ideals, standards, etc., that ground a criticism; or that supports prescriptions and directions for developing skills in what is called critical thinking. I propose that addressing this neglect is especially urgent for advocates of critical thinking.

To read more, visit the Formal Essays & Handouts section of my website. You may also simply click here.

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