Though it has focused on arguments, this course is not merely designed to give skills and tools for creating arguments; it is designed to create critical thinkers. Critical thinking is not merely a set of tools, but a habit of mind based on carefully reasoning about what is true and how best to live. It is an approach to life based in careful thought (Vic Le vine, 2012). In other words, it is possible to use the lessons from this course to genuinely live better and smarter lives. This discussion is designed to explore some of the virtues of mind that one can develop as a result of developing the habit of critical thinking.Prepare: In addition to using the readings and scenarios of this course, take a close look at the web pages associated with the Foundation for Critical Thinking website.Reflect: Search within the website for the pages associated with the options below, and Reflect how each can help you to live a better life. Choose one of the four topics below and develop the ideas in the page into a plan for implementing it into your life more.Write: Choose one of the topics below from the Critical Thinking Community website and address the prompts underneath.Purpose, Point of View, and DecisionsOutline a problem that you currently face or have faced recently. Define the assumptions that you have about this issue. Explain your point of view, and outline the information that you have analyzed in relation to this problem. Finally, explain the implications that have arisen or will arise when you respond to this problem. How can critical thinking help you to address this problem in a healthier and more intelligent manner? (Here is a good example of such an approach: Steven Brookfiend on Critical Thinking [link to video: http://vimeo.com/65688214 ]).Valuable Intellectual TraitsOf the valuable intellectual traits listed in the online readings from this week, identify three of them that you can further strengthen. Explain the traits, and then describe how you will attempt to implement actions in your life that will maximize those intellectual virtues. How can each of them make your life better? Will you be more likely to find truth by developing them?Open-Minded InquiryUsing the online reading Open-minded Inquiry, identify what you consider to be the three most important attributes that one must have as he or she approaches problems. Explain why you think these attributes are the three most important, and describe examples from your own life, or from the lives of those you know, in which people failed to display those attributes. How will learning this virtue improve your life and relationships with others? Will it help you to find more truth?Guided Response: Respond substantively to at least three of your classmates posts in a way that furthers the conversation. For example, you might discuss what you learned from their musings and how you have learned from similar experiences. You might add to the understanding of the points they have raised. You might comment on the value of the intellectual traits they have discussed. You might discuss how these traits can help us to be more successful in our daily lives. You might comment on some aspect of the Chapter or any other resources you have used during this course as they may relate to the discussion. Enjoy.Using the models above, instructors are welcome to develop their own prompt that they feel best addresses the points and purposes of week five of this course.Responces:Vanessa:After reading all of the valuable intellectual traits, I have analyzed, reflected and come to a conclusion that I can further strengthen my intellectual autonomy, my intellectual empathy and lastly, my intellectual perseverance.Intellectual autonomy is having rational control of ones beliefs, values, and inferences. One thing that this class has taught me is to learn how to think for myself, to be able to analyze, reflect, and evaluate beliefs on the basis of reason and evidence, and not just simply jump into conclusions. This will allow me to make better decisions in life, to make my own decisions, to think through issues, and to learn how to be an independent thinker.Intellectual empathy is having a consciousness of the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others in order to genuinely understand them. By strengthening this trait, I will learn to move from a disagreement to an understanding, to respect opposing points of view, to be open to other alternatives, ideas, perspectives other than my own, and to discover the truth.Intellectual perseverance is having a consciousness of the need to use intellectual insights and truths in spite of difficulties, obstacles, and frustrations. This is a pretty big one for me, I constantly struggle with frustration and confusion over issues, and I have learned that it takes intellectual perseverance to reason well through complex problems in a relationship, to solve problems at work, with the family, etc. By strengthening this trait, by having the right mindset, by not giving up easily, it will give me the ability to think clearly, help me work my way through difficulties in life and be able to solve complex problems.Steven:A problem that I faced in my past was to decide whether to re-enlist in the Marine Corps or get out upon the completion of my contract. The assumption that I had in reference to this major decision in my life were questions such as Would I be redeployed? I was assuming I would be. At the same time I was engaged to be married and many thoughts were running through my head the effect it would have on my soon-to-be spouse. All at the same time I felt obligated to re-enlist because of the friendships that I have and my duty to serve and the many implications that I would have to face, especially in war time. After reading all the material in the chapter I believe I used aspects of critical thinking to come up with a logical decision. Putting emotions aside and not falling into argument fallacies that would have caused me to manipulate myself. I think that is a major area in arguments and decisions making not to manipulate yourself into doing something that emotionally you want to do. Its like the media questions we answered in Week 4 about biases and manipulated information toward one point of view. I did choose to get out of the Marine Corps, got married, and had kids. Though I miss the Marine Corps and all my brothers I keep maintaining my decision with goals.