Brainstorming in Socrates’s shadow
Bust of Socrates - Photographer Marie-Lan Nguyen
Critical thinking was Socrates’s superpower.
Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it.
Put differently, it is the process we use to reflect on, access and judge the assumptions underlying our own and others’ ideas and actions.
In the context of the Socratic Method, critical thinking involves asking six types of questions to get to the bottom of an issue.
For the purpose of this post the issue will be the crisis of credibility facing the advertising industry today.
According to Dr. Richard Paul, the six types of questions are:
I. Questions that serve to clarify the issue
II. Questions that challenge our assumptions about it
III. Questions that probe our reasoning and the evidence
IV. Questions that uncover viewpoints and perspectives
V. Questions that throw light on the implications and consequences
VI. Questions that question the question itself or its gist
Question: ‘If advertising is an important facet of the promotion part of the marketing mix, why are questions being raised about its credibility?’
Counter: ‘In our own or a client’s case, how important is advertising when compared with the other promotional elements (public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and/or personal selling)?’
In parting, I yield to the philosopher par excellence:
"True wisdom comes to each of us when we realise how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us."
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My name is Benedict Paul. I've been writing copy (and learning the craft) since 1995.