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Written in a conversational style that will appeal to the younger person as well as seasoned professional, "Thinking as a Science" is timeless classic. Through eleven chapters, the last being a descriptive, annotated bibliography, Henry Hazlitt systematically takes the step-by-step on the process of introducing logic and context into the thinking process. The rather long c Written in a conversational style that will appeal to the younger person as well as seasoned professional, "Thinking as a Science" is timeless classic. Through eleven chapters, the last being a descriptive, annotated bibliography, Henry Hazlitt systematically takes the step-by-step on the process of introducing logic and context into the thinking process. The rather long chapter on "Reading and Thinking" clarifies several notions on where one needs to understand where mere knowledge acquisition ends and using reading the stimulate thinking begins. For an individual who was largely self taught, Hazlitt's contribution to the process of thinking is a must-read.(Summary by Chiquito Crasto)


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Written in a conversational style that will appeal to the younger person as well as seasoned professional, "Thinking as a Science" is timeless classic. Through eleven chapters, the last being a descriptive, annotated bibliography, Henry Hazlitt systematically takes the step-by-step on the process of introducing logic and context into the thinking process. The rather long c Written in a conversational style that will appeal to the younger person as well as seasoned professional, "Thinking as a Science" is timeless classic. Through eleven chapters, the last being a descriptive, annotated bibliography, Henry Hazlitt systematically takes the step-by-step on the process of introducing logic and context into the thinking process. The rather long chapter on "Reading and Thinking" clarifies several notions on where one needs to understand where mere knowledge acquisition ends and using reading the stimulate thinking begins. For an individual who was largely self taught, Hazlitt's contribution to the process of thinking is a must-read.(Summary by Chiquito Crasto)

30 review for Thinking as a Science (LibriVox Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    Written in 1916 when the author was only 24 years old. The book is probably misnamed. It should more accurately be titled: "Exercises for the Mind: A user's guide to developing your brain for maximum effectiveness". I would probably put this book in the "self-help" category too. I enjoyed this book and there is much to say about those who are avid readers (like many who belong to Goodreads): "Learning to think by reading is like learning to draw by tracing. In each case we make the work of another Written in 1916 when the author was only 24 years old. The book is probably misnamed. It should more accurately be titled: "Exercises for the Mind: A user's guide to developing your brain for maximum effectiveness". I would probably put this book in the "self-help" category too. I enjoyed this book and there is much to say about those who are avid readers (like many who belong to Goodreads): "Learning to think by reading is like learning to draw by tracing. In each case we make the work of another man our basis, instead of observing directly from Nature. The practice has its value, it is true; but no man ever became a great artist by tracing, and no man will ever become a great thinker by reading." Hazlitt also has much to say about taking time out from reading to actually think. He offers many helpful suggestions on how to organize your thinking process toward a determined purpose. He even provides a long list of topics the reader may wish to think about in greater depth. One point Hazlitt makes is that choosing a book is a very big responsibility, since there is so much trash and we have so little time. In his day he cited data that said there were a total of 5,000,000 different books (titles) ever printed. He said if you read 25 books per year, you only get to read on book in every 3,600! For every book you choose to read, you must ask: Is this book one-in-a-thousand? "Nine-tenths of our reading is on mere chance recommendation, passing whim or by sheer accident. We catch sight of a book on a library table. Having nothing better to do we pick it up; we start perusing it. Every book read in this way means a sinful waste of time. To be sure, a book read in this chance manner might (accidentally) be very good—even better than some you would have planned for; but this will happen seldom, and is never a justification of the practice. By going a round about way to a place a man might stumble across a lost pocketbook, but this would not justify taking round about ways." He practically invented the function provided by Goodreads.com 95 years ago: "Perhaps the best way to do this would be to make out a list of the books we intend to read for the coming year, or say a list of from a dozen to twenty-five volumes, and then read them in the order listed... If you cannot keep a list of books you intend to read, at least keep a list of books you have read." Brilliant! Highly recommended for all members of Goodreads. The ebook version is available for free here: https://mises.org/library/thinking-sc... (updated link)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laila Kanon

    I was from the "knowledge is power" camp whereby to acquire knowledge for self-development, one must take the time to read and read and read widely. And thinking is the by-product of reading. Hazlitt had a different approach. If the aim is to enhance one's thinking, one should read less and focus more on sharpening one's thinking by articulating the practice of thinking as a science. Only read when it's beneficial to enhance one's independent thinking. What an interesting concept. I'm not fully I was from the "knowledge is power" camp whereby to acquire knowledge for self-development, one must take the time to read and read and read widely. And thinking is the by-product of reading. Hazlitt had a different approach. If the aim is to enhance one's thinking, one should read less and focus more on sharpening one's thinking by articulating the practice of thinking as a science. Only read when it's beneficial to enhance one's independent thinking. What an interesting concept. I'm not fully onboard on abandoning reading in favour of more thinking because reading books that pique my fancy that may add no value to my thinking skill. Nonetheless, it is a simple pleasure that I love doing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tanvika

    True to its title, the book pursues thinking as a science. Thinking here is not for amusement, but to solve a problem. The larger problems can be broken down into subsidiary problems. For example, what should be the sphere of the government? can be asked specifically as: should the government interfer with the freedom of contract? .To solve the problems, requires 'How to think' systematically. Different methods like historical, comparative, deductive, experimental,analogy etc are discussed. The f True to its title, the book pursues thinking as a science. Thinking here is not for amusement, but to solve a problem. The larger problems can be broken down into subsidiary problems. For example, what should be the sphere of the government? can be asked specifically as: should the government interfer with the freedom of contract? .To solve the problems, requires 'How to think' systematically. Different methods like historical, comparative, deductive, experimental,analogy etc are discussed. The focus is shifted from thoughts to the thinker. After selecting the problem( which is interesting to the thinker), it must be concentrated upon. Concentration is required because otherwise, we will keep on picking up questions, exploring for a while and then abandoning it without much progress. Writing down the problem, talking about it are suggested as some ways to increase concentration. There is a interesting chapter on prejudices. The prejudice can be due to self interest, desire to imitate, inability to deal with inconsistences, of not being different. One can get rid of these, if he is committed to truth. Hazlitt has different views on reading. His sole focus in on critical thinking. Reading is a tool to further this end. It is not a escape door. Firstly, we have to select which book to read on a subject. The book must be a comprehensive textbook. The reading of the book has to accompanied with thinking about the problems or suggestions. Once read, it can be read at most once. The rereading can be done after lapse of time because we would have also grown intellectually and experientially. There must also be an attempt to read books of different disciplines. This involves making a yearly list of what to read.( Like Goodreads) Practice is the key to break free from old habits of neglected thinking. Starting with some minutes on a specific method, we can expand it further. The book does contain some valuable insights to the most important, yet ignored area called thinking.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nina Kennett

    its a mix of self-help, econ, psychology and individualism. i loved it. i recommend it to everyone, but in special to procrastinators, or folks with problems with thought process.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Doherty

    Without question this goes at the very top of my “books I wish I had read 15 years ago” list. Way too much packed in here to do it justice. Perhaps later I’ll write a proper review. Some quick notes: You will realize how stupid you are, and how your ideas and beliefs are not your own, that is you haven’t spent the countless hours it takes to really work things out for yourself, you have merely adopted positions that fit your identity. Almost every topic is infinitely more complicated and nuanced t Without question this goes at the very top of my “books I wish I had read 15 years ago” list. Way too much packed in here to do it justice. Perhaps later I’ll write a proper review. Some quick notes: You will realize how stupid you are, and how your ideas and beliefs are not your own, that is you haven’t spent the countless hours it takes to really work things out for yourself, you have merely adopted positions that fit your identity. Almost every topic is infinitely more complicated and nuanced than at first sight. Almost nobody thinks anymore. Even people who write books these days are mostly writing derivative crap. If we want to be thinkers, and have sharp intellects, and not merely recite what others have said, then we must devote time exclusively to thinking problems through from first principles. Hazlitt recommends a 1:1 ratio of time spent thinking to reading. Before reading a book on a topic, you should spend some time thinking on that topic and see what you already know, what you think you know, and most importantly what problems or contradictions you see that you would like to resolve. Hazlitt, like Deutsch, sees all thinking as problem solving. Without problems, humans would have no need for thought. You should keep a running list of what you consider the most important problems you want to solve, and constantly be moving closer to solutions. These could be existential, philosophical, political, economic, ethical, or anything. (They could also be mathematical or scientific of course but this book isn’t about those kinds of problems). Some problems can be worked out in a half hour. Others will take years. Carry them with you. You do not need to have a strong opinion on everything. If asked about a certain political issue, responding with “I haven’t thought that issue through far enough to have a strong opinion on it” is ok. That being said, once you think you have decided something, have the courage to declare it and defend it. Don’t waiver or caveat everything. If you’ve done some serious thinking, reading, and writing on an issue, then don’t use language like “It’s my belief that X” or “I could be wrong but isn’t X?” Or “Perhaps X”. Just come right out with what you believe. While thinking on a topic you should concentrate all your focus on it. Sometimes creative and useful lines of reasoning do pop into consciousness when we are relaxing, like when in the shower, but usually these come after hours of effort full concentration on a subject. There are several different techniques for approaching problems that are useful when you’re stuck on a problem. They are all discussed in the book. As you read, you should read slowly and think over what you are reading. If you think you can anticipate the author’s argument, then stop reading and try to make the argument yourself. If you think the author is wrong, stop reading and talk out why you think the authors wrong. You should be able to write out a persuasive explanation. If you can’t, then chances are you don’t actually know that the author is wrong, you just wish it to be so. If you read something intelligent or persuasive you are likely to forget it in time. If you turn the ideas around in your own mind and come up with your own firm solutions, you will never forget it. Because there are about a hundred million books, and a human can only read 1 or 2 thousand at most, books should be chosen very carefully. Solving problems that have been solved already long ago is not a waste of time, because you get practice in creativity. Creative solutions to problems is the name of the game. Nothing else matters. If you are a careful thinker, you will have thought through all objections to your views far in advance, and you aren’t liable to be caught off guard in a debate or conversation. In fact, your views are nothing more than the collection of ideas that you haven’t been able to contradict yet. But still, conversations with smart people will help you grow as a thinker and strengthen your arguments. If you are wrong about something, have the humility to admit it. So much more. This book is a gem. For better or worse it has changed everything.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    The book quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What is the hardest task in the world? To think.” This is interesting, but more interestingly, the book demonstrates by its most chapters why the task is indeed hardest; and the most interestingly, the book does very well to encourage, and to give sound advice for, performing such hardest task.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Elkjar

    I like Hazlitt's somewhat dated but conversational style of writing. It's a very quick read that covers a lot of very basic (albeit probably not as common knowledge in 1916) ideas that can always use a good refresher. The book brings up a few solid concepts in the final few chapters as well as posing some pretty hard hitting questions for a book written in the early era of modern science (Does god exist? What is the proper role of government? Is socialism morally flawed?) Worth the read if only as I like Hazlitt's somewhat dated but conversational style of writing. It's a very quick read that covers a lot of very basic (albeit probably not as common knowledge in 1916) ideas that can always use a good refresher. The book brings up a few solid concepts in the final few chapters as well as posing some pretty hard hitting questions for a book written in the early era of modern science (Does god exist? What is the proper role of government? Is socialism morally flawed?) Worth the read if only as an illustration of Hazlitt's intellect at such a young age.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Davíð Isebarn

    Short lesson in best practices in thinking. Mostly describes common thinking patterns and either discusses how to improve them and why, or why we should forgo them. Easy to read, ideas and concepts explained carefully. So immersive that I read it cover to cover (only 250 pages) in one sitting. Easily the best book I've read in a while. Other than chapters 2 and 3 being a bit strenuous, its a sensational book which I'd recommend for anyone.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karthik

    Excellent essay attempting to bring method to the art of thinking. While we all have meandering thoughts , the author is talking about thinking with a purpose, with a definite goal in mind, such as to solve a problem or understand a phenomenon. He gives many ideas on how to think systematically and broadly about a subject. For instance, 1) « a priori » thinking, which is thinking about how things ought to be. 2) evolutionary thinking, where you learn the history of thoughts on a subject and then Excellent essay attempting to bring method to the art of thinking. While we all have meandering thoughts , the author is talking about thinking with a purpose, with a definite goal in mind, such as to solve a problem or understand a phenomenon. He gives many ideas on how to think systematically and broadly about a subject. For instance, 1) « a priori » thinking, which is thinking about how things ought to be. 2) evolutionary thinking, where you learn the history of thoughts on a subject and then build upon it. 3) déductive reasoning, where you think through a problem theoretically, using logic only. 4) empirical: using observation 5) experiment: empirical, but where you control the conditions 6) comparative: thinking about analogous problems 7) other sciences: take a problem in finance, and think about it from an economic, social, and medical perspective for example: Mr. Hazlitt also addresses the importance of concentration, i.e, the sustained attention to a specific problem or subject. He advises on writing as an aid to thinking and reflection. Another important thing he harps on is to disassociate reading from thinking. Reading can aid thinking or quell it altogether, depending on how you read, and it is important to not associate the two intimately for risk of endangering original thought. He also gives a nice analogy on reading: « Learning to think by reading is like learning to draw by tracing », to underline this point. The originality is missing, in both cases. Absolutely worth revisiting for all the neat little snippets of sagely self-help on thinking, especially systematically and persistently.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Conrad

    Brilliant book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Matias

    An excellent guide for anyone who seeks to become independent and critical thinkers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dottie

    Wish there were more than the 2 books available from this author. Great concepts to understand how to best use our minds.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Merrill

    A classic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ruba AlTurki

    يشرح الكتاب وبشكل كامل ومفصل التفكير كعملية، وليس كأفكار تأتي وتذهب. يقع الكتاب في 10 فصول, 1. الإقصاء, أو إهمال عملية التفكير بتحديد نمط معين للتفكير وإقصاء ما يعارضه لسبب أو لآخر، والواقعية\ السلبية المحضة التي تقضي على أي محاولة للتفكير بشكل عام و التفكير الإبداعي الخلّاق بشكل خاص. 2. إيجاد منهج التفكير,تحديد منهج أو اسلوب معين، شخصي ، عملي ومنطقي للتفكير، رغم ان التفكير يحدث غالباً دون وعي للعملية القائمة بحيث يُخلق منهج او مسار خاص للانسان دون بحث او دراسة للاسلوب،تلعب عملية الإقصاء دوراً في يشرح الكتاب وبشكل كامل ومفصل التفكير كعملية، وليس كأفكار تأتي وتذهب. يقع الكتاب في 10 فصول, 1. الإقصاء, أو إهمال عملية التفكير بتحديد نمط معين للتفكير وإقصاء ما يعارضه لسبب أو لآخر، والواقعية\ السلبية المحضة التي تقضي على أي محاولة للتفكير بشكل عام و التفكير الإبداعي الخلّاق بشكل خاص. 2. إيجاد منهج التفكير,تحديد منهج أو اسلوب معين، شخصي ، عملي ومنطقي للتفكير، رغم ان التفكير يحدث غالباً دون وعي للعملية القائمة بحيث يُخلق منهج او مسار خاص للانسان دون بحث او دراسة للاسلوب،تلعب عملية الإقصاء دوراً في اتخاذ منحى بعينه دون الآخر حسب شخصية المفكر ومايشعر به وليس بالضرورة الافضل طبقاً للمسألة بحياد. تحديد المشكلة أولاً لإيجاد حل، تحديد أجزاء وأطراف المشكلة وابعادها، وإشارة إلى أهم وأشهر مناهج التفكير ووسائل تحديد المنهج، بأخذ أول حل يطؤأ على بالك ثم تحليله ببحث جميع العوامل التي قد تؤدي الى فشل الحل، المقارنة التفكيك والتجزيء.. كل هذه الأمور التي تحدد المنهج وتعينك على ايجاد طريقتك الافضل في التفكير تستخلصها في هذا الفصل مع التوسّع في الامثلة لوصول المعلومة.. إن لم يكن الشخص مستعداً للتفكير لن تقنعه أية وسيلة أو منهاج ليفكر. 3. تحذيرات مهمة , كانت بشكل عام عن المراقبة ، المقارنة، والتجربة. 4.تنبيهات هامة ايضاّ، نقطة اثارت اعجابي كانت التفكير بشكل صامت والتفكير بصوت مسموع والمقارنة بينهما ، حيث ان التفكير بصوت يساعد على ايجاد حل أسرع إضافة الى ابقاء افكارك ضمن السياق ..أيضاّ تحسين خياراتك ومفرداتك اللغوية. كنت اعتقد ان التفكير الصامت مقارب للتحدث لأننا نفكر بكلماتحتى اننا قد نسمعها في عقولنا الا اننا لاننطقها؟ لكن تبين أن هذا الرأي خاطئ فالتفكير -الصامت- يغلب عليه الصور والذكريات المرئية\بصرية أكثر من الكلمات الفعلية مما يؤدي الى سرعة وسهولة الانحراف عن مسار التفكير. أيضاّ تسجيل الافكار الطارئة او الخارجة عن السياق اثناءالتفكير يقلل من انحراف التفكير ويزيد الركيز على المشكلة حيث تستطيع العودة لاحقا لملاحظاتك. من الامور المساعدة على ابقاء تركيزك وعدم انجرافك وراء اي مصدر إلهاء إغلاق العينين، رغم اننا نعتقد ان الاصوات هي اكبر عامل إلهاء و ازعاج، الا ان ما يقطع تركيزك فعليا هي الحركة حولك وما تراه كخلفية .. 5. التحيز بلا يقين او إثبات، أكبر واهم عامل يؤثر على عملية التفكير وعلى تكوين الاراء والشخصية حتى، كيف تكوّن رأياّ وكيف تغير رأيك. 6.المناظرات والحوارات، التدرب عليها واجراءها فعليا عملية مهمة جدا للتفكير ومحاولة تجريب وتقريب المناهج المختلفة للتفكير حول اي مسألة. 7.التفكير والقراءة. 8. تدوين الافكار. 9. اشياء تستحق التفكير. 10. فن التفكير. واخيرا فصل ملحق يحوي قائمة بعناوين كتب في التفكير.. الكتاب ممتاز جدا، ومن الكتب التي تعود لقراءتها لتجد انك تستفيد شيئا جديدا ومهما في كل مرة.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Grant

    I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a desire to obtain any level of understanding in Economics, Politics, Philosophy, Religion, or any other similar field as well as to any who wish to solve a problem. It also warrants a high recommendation for any who wish to enrich their minds, or stimulate their intellectual processes. I do not agree with the author in everything he said, but he has accomplished a landmark achievement, and I make a final recommendation of this book to any and all I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a desire to obtain any level of understanding in Economics, Politics, Philosophy, Religion, or any other similar field as well as to any who wish to solve a problem. It also warrants a high recommendation for any who wish to enrich their minds, or stimulate their intellectual processes. I do not agree with the author in everything he said, but he has accomplished a landmark achievement, and I make a final recommendation of this book to any and all who have acquired the ability to read. It's worth the time you put into it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Very much an early 20th century informative book (long sentences) and may be sound a bit strained for a modern reader, but I still recommend it. Many suggestions on how to make your thinking, and reading, useful. Among his recommendations are making a to-read list and actually planning your reading, and thinking about the book you have just read for a few days before starting something else. This allows you to actually absorb the book, rather than just mark up a bunch of "reads."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    I was surprised by how engaging this book was, especially since it was written early on in the 20th century. But it is still very applicable to today and I found myself learning so much from it. Well, rather I felt it was a pretty deep book that I'll have to reread to fully get all the knowledge from it but I don't mind it because the subject is fascinating and Hazlitt's prose is so accessible.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Qasim Zafar

    Began reading this early as heck this morning... The best way to get the most out of this book is either to A.) use a book on formal logic along with this one, or B.) or even to just look some info on truth tables and symbolic logic.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Meh. Hazlitt was pretty dictatorial in this book. You must think certain ways, you must read only certain things, you must spend a certain amount of time in thinking. Couldn't relate. I guess I'm happy with my scattered thinking.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Nothing really useful in the book and I didn't really get any kind of point the author was trying to make. But atleast it's an example of how people used to write about 100 years ago...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Demonstrates importance of good old fashioned hard thinking. One of the hardest things you can do is think about a single topic for 30 minutes, never deviating, and trying to figure it out. Try it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Derya

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hyarmendacil

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matjaz

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adarsh

  27. 4 out of 5

    Harry R

  28. 5 out of 5

    James Walpole

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shania Desmond

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris Munoz

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