Critical thinking as essential for us to distinguish truth from falsehood and to make better choices

In his new book (‘Rationality: What it is. Why it seems scarce. Why it matters’), the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker has argued in favour of critical thinking being well-developed through education.

‘Just as citizens should grasp the basics of history, science, and the written word, they should command the intellectual tools of sound reasoning.’

These tools include critical thinking and they ‘are indispensable in avoiding folly in our personal lives and public policies. They help us calibrate risky choices, evaluate dubious claims, understand baffling paradoxes, and gain insight into life’s vicissitudes and tragedies.’

This emphasis on the public value of critical thinking fits perfectly with our mission at if…then which is to seek to ensure that its skills and dispositions are not only well developed but also used in a very wide range of contexts.

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