Garrett Hardin wrote a book called ‘Filters Against Folly’ where he describes his approach to rational thinking. My initial goal for this post was to simply finish a post on critical thinking but I soon realized that the thought process Hardin outlines is useful and relates directly to an earlier post I did on “How to Read a Book.” So you might want to check out that post to see how it all fits together.
His approach can be summarized by literacy, numeracy and ecolacy.
Where litearcy essentially means what is being said? Or what do the words mean.
Numeracy means what are the quanities involved.
Ecolacy begs the question, and then what?
It’s really quite a simple approach but could prove to invaluable to those who apply it to their critical thinking skillset. When for example, you are being asked to make a decision in a business setting, you would ensure that you understood what was being discussed (literacy), the financial implications (numbers) and the direct and indirect impacts on the business, stakeholders, etc etc (and then what?).
Also, using this approach would increase the understanding of new information and knowledge. To be able to explain a concept to yourself or to others, based on the framework of literacy, numeracy and ecolacy would ensure a greater understanding of the topic for both parties invovled.