Don’t Think For Yourself: Attention, Discernment, and Community

Over at the Baylor Graduate School blog, I wrote a piece on what I learned about scholarly community during my doctoral studies at Baylor–and how these lessons have informed our work with Brazos Fellows:

In his brilliant little book, How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds, Baylor professor Alan Jacobs takes on a commonly-held myth—the idea that our best thinking happens when we “think for ourselves.” This axiom just doesn’t match up with how thinking works. “To think independently of other human beings is impossible, and if it were possible it would be undesirable,” Jacobs concludes, “Thinking is necessarily, thoroughly, and wonderfully social.”(p. 37) Rather than trying to think for ourselves, Jacobs argues that we should consider who we should think with. We should ask: what makes a good thinking partner? What makes a community trustworthy to think with?

Head over to the Bear Tracks blog to read the rest.