Principles of Efficient Thinking

Thinking is not an automatic process known to everyone "instinctively." Thinking is an acquired skill and — like every human skill — it involves certain principles which have to be identified and learned.

Barbara Branden's course on this subject, available for download, deals with the art of thinking in both its theoretical and practical aspects. The theoretical aspect covers in detail the principles that make possible the most efficient use of one's mind; the practical aspect covers specific techniques by which one avoids thinking errors and maximizes the productiveness of one's mental effort.

The course contains ten lectures, and includes a discussion of such issues as the following:

Why a science of thinking is necessary — the relation between efficient thinking and intelligence — the philosophical base of efficient thinking — the nature of intellectual focusing — the various levels of focusing — the problem of concentration — the nature of the subconscious — the subconscious as a "Univac" — the proper use of the subconscious — the psychology of "inspiration" — the effect of repression on thinking

The nature of the conceptual level of consciousness — the nature of intelligence — the destroyers of intelligence — thinking in essentials — the destructiveness of treating emotions as tools of cognition — the manner in which wishes and fears can distort the thinking process — "emotional-perceptual" thinking.

The importance of knowing the source and validation of one's concepts — the role of integration in thinking — forms of the failure of integration — evasion as the sabotaging of consciousness — common aberrations in thinking and consequent mental habits — the inability to think in principles — the misuse of abstractions — the "socialized consciousness" and the destruction of language — failures of discrimination in thinking — the error of intellectual "package-dealing" — the danger of false axioms.

Psychological causes of inefficient thinking: the surrender of the will to efficacy; failure of self-esteem; the "malevolent universe" premise; "social metaphysics" — the source and conditions of intellectual certainty.

Feel free to read Joan Kennedy Taylor's review of this lecture course. You can purchase the course online.