UpNorthLive by Marc Schollett September 27, 2019
Grand Traverse County, MICH (WPBN/WGTU)–Casey Cowell believes in thinking, so much so that he is a proponent of thinking about how we think. “There is nothing more fundamental to success in life than being an effective thinker, and we are trying to raise awareness on that and get a practice started at all ages” says Cowell. He believes in the power of philosophical-style thinking. It’s not just a matter of what you think, it’s how you think that deserves attention. “It’s philosophy that teaches you to think about thinking, of life, how to adapt on the fly to any and every circumstance and situation, so that you can evaluate claims based on their premises and basically evaluate arguments and decide if they are accurate or not.”
If that sounds like next-level thinking, you are right, and Cowell believes that not many of us are very good at it because we haven’t been exposed to it very much. “We don’t just know how to do that we have some idea, but we can get a lot better at” explains Cowell.
To help us get better at it, Cowell has teamed up the Traverse Area District Library to create a program titled “Consider This”.
Incoming library director Michele Howard says “Hopefully, through this program, people will look at both sides, maybe read something they disagree with, and maybe change their mind or maybe just solidify what they think but either way they are thinking.”
Walk in the lobby of the district library and you can find a series of books on a range of topics specially selected for the Consider This program. The topics of some of those books will be the focus of mediated, but free flowing, discussion over the next several months. “We hope that people come with an open mind and maybe a closed mouth at first to just listen and then start to evaluate the critical component of a topic” explains Howard.
Cowell and Howard hope everyone shows up at the library, listens, shares, learns and ultimately thinks about how we think. “You need to do that in everything you do throughout your life, philosophy teaches that” stresses Cowell.
“It’s going to be an exercise of critical thinking, and how do we dissect it in a way that is avoiding emotion, and just really talking about the intellect and the complexity for whatever comes out of it. Let’s just sit down and talk” encourages Howard.
The first Consider This program will take place at 6:30 pm on October 2nd at the Traverse Area District Library. The topic will be animal rights. All ages are welcome to attend, but a special discussion geared for teenagers will be held on October 12th.
To learn more about the Consider This program click here.