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The Believing Game or Methodological Believing

Peter Elbow, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

The kind of thinking most widely honored is often called "critical thinking." I call it "the doubting game" because the premise is that we should test ideas by subjecting them to the discipline of doubt. It's a valuable and necessary methodology for good thinking because it trains us to find hidden flaws in ideas that sound attractive or that are widely assumed to be true.

In this essay I suggest a different kind of thinking that is equally important but little honored or even noticed. I call it the believing game because the premise is that we should test ideas by subjecting them to the discipline of belief. The believing game trains us to find hidden virtues or strengths in ideas that sound wrong or even crazy, or that are widely assumed to be false.

Suggested Citation

Peter Elbow. "The Believing Game or Methodological Believing" Journal for The Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning 14 (2009): 1-11.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/peter_elbow/41