The Thinker's Way : 8 Steps to a Richer Life

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9780316133173: The Thinker's Way : 8 Steps to a Richer Life

It is never too late to be what you might have been" -- George Eliot

The Thinker's Way is a book for anyone seeking a sense of meaning and purpose in life. John Chaffee's message is that we can all shape our lives into what we want them to be. We can all learn to think critically, live creatively, and choose freely. We can learn to focus in a confusing world of information overload, hyperstimulation, and instant gratification. Changing our thinking changes our relationship to ourselves and others. Thinking critically involves reflecting on the thinking process itself, enabling us to understand our own mind. As our thinking becomes clearer, our actions will become increasingly thoughtful, creative, and effective. Every area of our lives will be transformed, from our problem-solving skills, to our moral universe, to relationships with our family, friends, and coworkers. John Chaffee has written a book that will change the way we see the world, and show how each of us can achieve our full potential at work, in love, in life.

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Review:

We spend time, money, and effort trying to improve our health and our appearance, but we neglect the most important ingredient: "our ability to think and reflect, to understand our past and create our futures," says philosophy professor and critical-thinking expert John Chaffee. No number of self-help programs will improve our lives if we don't learn to think clearly. The aim of The Thinker's Way is to both stimulate our thinking and guide us to think on a more sophisticated and powerful level. It succeeds.

The book is divided into eight chapters that build on each other and ultimately work together to improve our thinking: "Think Critically," "Live Creatively," "Choose Freely," "Solve Problems Effectively," "Communicate Effectively," "Analyze Complex Issues," "Develop Enlightened Values," and "Think Through Relationships." In the "Think Critically" chapter, for example, we learn to recognize and overcome biases, explore different perspectives, and develop strong and accurate beliefs based on sound reasons. Each step has its own goals, strategies, provocative examples, and "thinking activities" designed to involve the reader. What a shame that critical thinking isn't a required course in high school and college. Fortunately, this is the perfect guidebook if you want to take a private seminar. --Joan Price

About the Author:

John Chaffee, Ph.D., is a professor of humanities at the City University of New York, the director of the New York Center for Critical Thinking and Language Learning.

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