One thing that I've noticed in the past weeks that my own thinking "skills" (like, asking questions and finding creative ways of answering them) declines in relation to the amount of time I spend studying other people's ideas. This makes sense, of course, because their ideas then influence my answers - I might think of someone else's solution to a problem first and might thus not be able to think of another solution as the first one will always be on my mind.
I am not saying that it is counterproductive to study (it certainly is important to know what others have had to say), but it seems to influence my thinking processes tremendously.
(I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, if not, I'm sorry!)
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how does studying influence the way we think? watch
- Thread Starter
- 08-11-2008 21:53
- 09-11-2008 11:58
No, this seems well suited to the content of the forum.
I work as an oral historian, and I have come to increasingly study how institutions, such as universities, influence and shape those people who work within them. University, as the learning of technical skills, rhetoric, etc, certainly moulds how we discuss, and how we approach data (more questioningly, I'd hope). This is why, if you study the history of discipline formation, you see how certain centres will produce scholars who "think in a certain way", or wax lyrical on a new model, hypothesis, or technique. It's observable in how my one-time ilk of archaeologists and anthropologists went out into the empire (Cunningham at the Archaeological Survey of India; M. Wheeler, also at the ASI) to teach a certain way. I'll avoid getting too precise on archaeology, but it's a useful case-study; Wheeler's techniques, taught at Taxila in India during the 1940s and 1950s, were practiced, and still are, in terms of research methodology and excavation techniques.
Personal relationships, the authority of the pedagogue in universities, if you will, may have some effect; that explains why we discuss "schools of thought", as groups of people working in tandem, sometimes in contention, and working toward particular goals. This is why the "critical voice" of books and articles, for example, is often so similar, at least in archaeology; there are "ways" of structuring arguments, submitting conclusions, discussing contentious issues, each of which appear quite generic in tone and delivery ... not that we're academic drones, of course.
- 10-11-2008 19:23
i analyse books too much when i read them, and i look for bias in newspaper articles.
- 11-11-2008 01:55
Nowaydas It's more of an issue of the way I think influencing the way I study.