How to Think by Alan Jacobs
In this book author and professor Alan Jacobs provides a thoughtful guide to thinking, a subject many don’t give much thought to if comment sections on social media are any indication. Not only does this book help us think about how little we think it also helps in understanding how we understand and communicate with others.
I seven chapters Jacobs provides helpful clarity to the life of the mind. The first chapter helps shed light on the communal nature of thinking and the interaction between thinking and feeling. Jacobs provides a helpful definition for thinking, “the power to finely aware and richly responsible (p. 49).” Chapters two and three address why we are attracted to others and yet repelled and often times intolerant of others. Chapter four addresses the issue of language. Chapter five addresses how and why we categorize people and ideas and also the importance of thinking critically about who and what we categorize. Chapter six points to the importance of an open mind being opened to close upon settled convictions. The final chapter is a reminder of the place of self-examination in regards to thinking.
You’ve probably read or commented on a comments section on the internet. If you have then you’ve seen how little critical thought is engaged in in our culture. This book is a helpful guide and corrective in that regard.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.