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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Personal Renaissance

“Critical Thinking” by Edward Engh was one of the first things I read for this course. It really struck a chord with me and helped me get an base foundation for the rest of this class. When we begin to craft our decisions based off critical thinking it gives us the ability to accept new conclusions into our life, replacing rooted concepts with new informed ones. Adding critical thinking into our everyday life is a simple way to start analyzing things we are unsure of which makes the transition to academic use easier.

For this whole course I believe that critical thinking was an underlying foundation that could help us gain more information from our readings, being able to dissect the information we were reading and coming to our own conclusions. We could accept the information regardless of knowing if it’s true or false or we could further investigate and reach our own conclusion through critical thinking. Throughout the course we had many opportunities to discuss our views and positions on an abundance of items, which further pushed our use of critical thinking. Taking classmates inputs and comparing with our own to realize new conclusions with more information. Our first discussion was on “Parmenides Poem” essentially that they were opening temple doors if they lay down all your pride and beliefs which would lead to all the truths in the world. Everyone shared unique takes on the matter, and this led to overall interesting discussions throughout the semester, with some of us having contrasting ideas or beliefs with one another. I felt we all needed to lay down our preconceived beliefs for the rest of the semester to grasp these new ideologies.

Nearly everything discussed during this semester I approached as a blank canvas trying to have no preconceived notions on the matter but rather allowing it to paint new ideas on me that I could further explore myself. I felt the need to question why I did choose to believe these concepts rather than considering them false. We can make two mistakes, rejecting truth, and accepting false things. This was in the back of my mind for all readings, while in this course we are challenged to look for a deeper meaning within the provided text but also to go beyond that and find a deeper understanding within ourselves. I could simply choose to believe the topics we were discussing, or I could further investigate the topics myself and find new meaning. We discussed subjects through Prehistory all the way up to the Post-Modern times, surely there are things that would conflict with my beliefs. But the hard thing to grasp is that while some things we discussed were just facts that were supported by empirical evidence, other items I felt were still up in the air, we needed some sort of empirical evidence if we want to avoid critical thinking errors. These were the readings I found most interesting they allowed me to guide myself in the direction that I found and formed after critically thinking. This is where critical thinking to me is the most prominent, that we must question and look for the evidence that gives us the tools and information we need to make these correct decisions. We can easily go through the readings retain the information long enough so that we can use it for assignments and quizzes but, that doesn’t help us better ourselves or update our views. I tried to my best to incorporate critical thinking into the readings and question why the author felt this way.

Karl Marx identified majority working class was made by people who had zero resources except for selling their labor for a living. And that these who are in this category usually begin to become alienated from their actual work. Stating that through the creation of commodities the worker becomes one themselves. These workers must work to live but while doing so they in turn live to work. Gaining an estrangement for working, that they force themselves to go into work, that they can’t be themselves at work, and only when they are not working, they truly feel like themselves. This is further shown that these workers can’t retain their character at work and feel like they are someone who they can’t recognize. Becoming something that they don’t own but rather being owned by someone else becoming estranged from themselves not only who they are. This idea of self-estrangement got me wondering if those around me felt this way, but I think now things have changed a bit for the better. Family and friends, I asked either did feel that their job was a place where they were unable to be themselves and just viewed it as a way to get by while others did thoroughly enjoy themselves and looked forward to working. Critically thinking what work means to other individuals is a difficult task. Since everyone is in unique positions and work will have a different meaning to everyone.

I don’t think we can use empirical evidence for this sort of discussion as it feels like we would be reducing the concept and views of the working person to an uninspired lifeless object. There is something special about the views everyone has on work I feel critically thinking about these ideas, does add clarity but also opens new routes for discussion. It would be foolish to assume everyone has the same views on one subject, as it would be foolish to assume everyone either loves work or hates work. In critical thinking we need evidence to support our decisions and beliefs but when we look at work, I don’t think there is one specific route that will answer all these questions. Critical thinking is an excellent way to approach things so we can reach our own conclusions, but I think the idea behind work is a bit to tricky to tackle so simply. It is an ever-changing field that will continue to change as the years progress. What working means to one individual is vastly different to what someone else might think.

Business has become something a bit more personal as I developed through this course, I didn’t know the depth of business or how much the previous ages helped define business today. There is much to explore when we dive into business from how Greek and Romans handled business to us using automation and moving lines to further increase business revenue. Business is a unique science that is more complex then I originally thought, and the amount of time and resources placed into business by all countries is an amazing thing. I can’t wait to see how it continues to develop over the years and see how its dominant presence continues to shape our society.

My personal renaissance was found in this course as questioning the topics we discussed, I think the field is unique enough that we can have countless interpretations that will all provide new insight into further understanding what business means to the census. Approaching this concept with critical thinking further allows us to expand on its complex meaning, the drive behind this approach for me isn’t reaching a conclusion but rather asking the important questions that allow me to get closer. There is something romantic about the idea that I will never know everything and who knows if I will find the right answer about the questions I have in my life. But what I do know is that critically thinking should be applied to nearly every aspect of our lives. Constantly questioning everything around us allows us to evolve with times and become more informed about what is happening around us. Those who are constantly evolving are the ones who will stay relevant. If our pursuits for knowledge stay robust, we can continue to better ourselves through questioning the beliefs set around us.



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