Other Pages On


Last updated: Sep 29th, 2011

Clear Thinking:

I find the concept of clear thinking to be very important in many aspects of life, from personal emotional health to relationships to politics to academic and scholarly work. I would define clear thinking as thinking in which your thoughts use valid reasoning, accurately reflect reality to the greatest degree possible, and lead into constructive action rather than inaction or counterproductive actions.

Clear thinking is a nuanced concept, and it does not have a single clear opposite. Clouded thinking, irrational thinking, or biased thinking all provide examples of thinking that is not clear. But thinking can be clouded or distorted in so many different ways, whereas clear thinking requires a bunch of different things to be happening correctly.

If you are thinking clearly, your thoughts will exhibit the following characteristics:

How to achieve clear thinking?

There are numerous ways to help maintain clear thinking. Here are some of the approaches that I have personally found to be most useful:

How to know when you are thinking clearly or not:

If you catch yourself using any logical fallacies, it is a sign that you are not thinking clearly, but being aware of the rationality or irrationality of your thoughts is difficult and something that most people cannot do in all situations.

From my experience, the easiest way to tell how you are thinking is to pay attention to how you feel, because your feelings flow naturally from your thoughts and your emotional state corresponds rather closely to the state of your thoughts at any point in time. Ask yourself the question: "Are my emotions helping or hindering me in this situation?" If your emotions are appropriate to the situation and are helping you, you are probably thinking clearly. If, on the other hand, your emotions seem out of proportion or inappropriate, it's probably a sign that your thinking is clouded or irrational in some way.

Your intuition can also provide you valuable feedback as to the rationality of your thoughts. If your intuition proves to be grossly wrong in some situation, it is usually a sign that there is some false or incorrect assumption lurking somewhere in your mind.

Comments are moderated. Follow Cazort.net's comment policy for your comment to be approved.

blog comments powered by Disqus