Resources Page Westside Toastmasters, in Santa Monica Next Section, Thinking Tools

Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Thinking_Tools To Improve Your Life

Thinking_Tools is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life: in your career, and as a consumer, citizen, friend, parent, and lover. Discover the core skills of effective thinking; then analyze your own thought processes, identify weaknesses, and overcome them. Learn how to translate more effective thinking into better decisions, less frustration, more wealth, and above all, greater confidence to pursue and achieve your most important goals in life.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1.  Thinking in a World of Accelerating Change and Intensifying Danger
      The Nature of the Post-Industrial World Order
      A Complex World of Accelerating Change
      A Threatening World
      Change, Danger, and Complexity: Interwoven
      The Challenge of Becoming Critical Thinkers
      Recommended Reading
    Chapter 2.  Becoming a Critic of Your Thinking
      How Skilled is Your Thinking (Right Now)?
      Good Thinking Is as Easy as Bad Thinking (But It Requires Hard Work to Develop It)
      The Hard Cruel World
      Become a Critic of Your Own Thinking
    Chapter 3.  Becoming a Fair-Minded Thinker
      Weak versus Strong Critical Thinking
      What Does Fair-Mindedness Require?
      Intellectual Humility: Having Knowledge of Ignorance
      Intellectual Courage: Being Willing to Challenge Beliefs
      Intellectual Empathy: Entertaining Opposing Views
      Intellectual Integrity: Holding Ourselves to the Same Standards to Which We Hold Others
      Intellectual Perseverance: Working Through Complexity and Frustration
      Confidence in Reason: Recognizing that Good Reasoning Has Proven Its Worth
      Intellectual Autonomy: Being an Independent Thinker
      Recognizing the Interdependence of Intellectual Virtues
    Chapter 4.  Self-Understanding
      Monitoring the Egocentrism in Your Thought and Life
      Making a Commitment to Fair-Mindedness
      Recognizing the Mind's Three Distinctive Functions
      Understanding That You Have a Special Relationship to Your Mind
    Chapter 5.  The First Four Stages of Development: What Level Thinker Are You?
      Stage One: The Unreflective Thinker—Are You an Unreflective Thinker?
      Stage Two: The Challenged Thinker—Are You Ready to Accept the Challenge?
      Stage Three: The Beginning Thinker—Are You Willing to Begin?
      Stage Four: The Practicing Thinker—Good Thinking Can Be Practiced Like Basketball, Tennis, or Ballet
      A "Game Plan" for Improvement
      A Game Plan for Devising a Game Plan
    Chapter 6.  The Parts of Thinking
      Reasoning Is Everywhere in Human Life
      Does Reasoning Have Parts?
      Beginning to Think About Your Own Reasoning
      The Elements of Thought: A First Look
      An Everyday Example: Jack and Jill
      Analysis of the Example
      The Elements of Thought in Relationship
      The Relationship Between the Elements
      Thinking to Some Purpose
      Thinking with Concepts
      Thinking with Information
      Distinguishing Between Inert Information, Activated Ignorance, and Activated Knowledge
      Some Key Questions to Ask When Pursuing Information
      Distinguishing Between Inferences and Assumptions
      Understanding Implications
      Thinking Within and Across Points of View
      Using Critical Thinking to Take Charge of How We See Things
      The Point of View of the Critical Thinker
    Chapter 7.  The Standards for Thinking
      Taking a Deeper Look at Universal Intellectual Standards
      Bringing Together the Elements of Reasoning and the Intellectual Standards
      Using Intellectual Standards to Assess Your Thinking: Brief Guidelines
    Chapter 8.  Design Your Life
      Fate or Freedom: Which Do You Choose?
      Recognizing the Dual Logic of Experience
      Facing Contradictions and Inconsistencies
      Social Forces, the Mass Media, and Our Experience
      Reading Backwards
      Implications for the Design of Your Life
    Chapter 9.  The Art of Making Intelligent Decisions
      Thinking Globally About Your Life
      Evaluating Patterns in Decision-Making
      "Big" Decisions
      The Logic of Decision-Making
      Recognizing the Need for an Important Decision
      Accurately Recognizing the Alternatives
      Putting More Time into Your Decision-Making
      Being Systematic
      Dealing with One Major Decision at a Time
      Developing Knowledge of Your Ignorance
      Dimensions of Decision-Making
      Regularly Re-Articulate and Reevaluate Your Goals, Purposes, and Needs
      The Early Decisions
      Adolescent Decisions
      Early Adult Decisions
    Chapter 10.  Taking Charge of Your Irrational Tendencies
      Egocentric Thinking
      Understanding Egocentric Thinking
      Understanding Egocentrism as a Mind Within the Mind
      "Successful" Egocentrism
      "Unsuccessful" Egocentrism
      Rational Thinking
      Two Egocentric Functions
      Dominating Egocentrism
      Submissive Egocentrism
      Pathological Tendencies of the Human Mind
      Challenging the Pathological Tendencies of the Mind
      The Challenge of Rationality
    Chapter 11.  Monitoring Your Sociocentric Tendencies
      The Nature of Sociocentrism
      Sociocentric Thinking as Pathology
      Social Stratification
      Sociocentric Thinking Is Unconscious and Potentially Dangerous
      Sociocentric Use of Language in Groups
      Disclosing Sociocentric Thinking Through Conceptual Analysis
      Revealing Ideology at Work Through Conceptual Analysis
      The Mass Media Foster Sociocentric Thinking
      The Mass Media Play Down Information That Puts the Nation in a Negative Light
      Freedom from Sociocentric Thought: The Beginnings of Genuine Conscience
      The Capacity to Recognize Unethical Acts
    Chapter 12.  Developing as an Ethical Reasoner
      Why People are Confused About Ethics
      The Fundamentals of Ethical Reasoning
      Ethical Concepts and Principles
      The Universal Nature of Ethical Principles
      Distinguishing Ethics from Other Domains of Thinking
      Ethics and Religion
      Religious Beliefs Are Socially or Culturally Relative
      Ethics and Social Conventions
      Practices That Are Socially or Culturally Relative
      Ethics and the Law
      Ethics and Sexual Taboos
      Understanding Our Native Selfishness
    Chapter 13.  Analyzing and Evaluating Thinking in Corporate and Organizational Life
      Critical Thinking and Incremental Improvement
      An Obstacle to Critical Thinking Within Organizations: The Covert Struggle for Power
      Another Obstacle: Group Definitions of Reality
      A Third Obstacle: The Problem of Bureaucracy
      The Problem of Misleading Success
      Competition, Sound Thinking, and Success
      Stagnating Organizations and Industries
      Questioning Organizational Realities
      Assessing Irrational Thinking in Organizational Life
      The Power of Sound Thinking
      Some Personal Implications
    Chapter 14.  The Power and Limits of Professional Knowledge (And of the Disciplines that Underlie Them)
      Professional Fallibility and the Glut of Information
      The Ideal of Professional Knowledge
      Who Should We Believe?
      True and False Loyalty to a Profession
      The Gap Between Fact and Ideal
      Assessing A Profession or a Professional Conclusion: Matters of Fact, Matters of Opinion, Matters of Judgment
      The Ideal Compared to the Real
      Professions Based on the Ideal of Mathematics and Abstract Quantification
      The Pain and Suffering of Those Who Fail
      Loss of Self-Esteem and Opportunity to Receive Higher Education
      Low Level of Math Competency of Those Who Pass School Examinations
      The Ideal of Science: Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, and Biology
      The Ideal of Social Science: History, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and Psychology
      History as an Ideal
      Sociology as an Ideal
      Anthropology as an Ideal
      Economics as an Ideal
      The Social Sciences as Taught and Practiced
      The Ideal of the Arts and Humanities: Music, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Dance, Literature, and Philosophy
      The Promise of the Fine Arts and Literature
      The Reality of Instruction in the Fine Arts and Literature
      The Promise of Philosophy
      The Reality of Philosophy
    Chapter 15.  Strategic Thinking Part One
      Understanding and Using Strategic Thinking
      Components of Strategic Thinking
      The Beginnings of Strategic Thinking
      Key Idea #1: Thoughts, Feelings, and Desires are Interdependent
      Key Idea #2: There is a Logic to This, and You Can Figure It Out
      Key Idea #3: For Thinking to Be of High Quality, We Must Routinely Assess it
    Chapter 16.  Strategic Thinking Part Two
      Key Idea #4: Our Native Egocentrism Is a Default Mechanism
      Key Idea #5: We Must Become Sensitive to the Egocentrism of Those Around Us
      Key Idea #6: The Mind Tends to Generalize Beyond the Original Experience
      Key Idea #7: Egocentric Thinking Appears to the Mind as Rational
      Key Idea #8: The Egocentric Mind Is Automatic in Nature
      Key Idea #9: We Often Pursue Power Through Dominating or Submissive Behavior
      Key Idea #10: Humans Are Naturally Sociocentric Animals
      Key Idea #11: Developing Rationality Requires Work
    Glossary: Guide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts

Resources Page Westside Toastmasters, in Santa Monica Next Section, Thinking Tools