In all circumstances there are conditions that have come into play due to other conditions, and they in turn have arisen in like manner. Such a casual unfolding is as natural as photosynthesis or the respiratory system. Breathe in, breathe out. When this is, then that comes to be, but when this is not, then that does not come to be. No inhalation, no exhalation. No matter the simplicity or complexity of a naturally occurring or manufactured system, there will be a range of likely consequences or potential outcomes. Determining which of these implications will be the case resides largely in our power to make good inferences.
It is essential to recognize the implications of our thinking so that we might ascertain the results we need in order to reach our objectives. If we act without considering the potential consequences of our actions, then we risk the chance of being counterproductive. So to make appropriate decisions we need to realize what is possible, probable & inevitable before we choose and act upon our best options.
For instance we could say that Tom wants to be a police officer but because he is only 5 feet tall it is not possible. Now let us say that Tom meets all the requirements imposed by the police force, now we can say that it’s not only possible, but it is probable. Whereas it’s not inevitable until he passes all the initial tests, completes his training and is approved by a governing body of law enforcement officials. Trying to find out what is possible, probable and inevitable is not always so cut and dry. Sometimes it is necessary to seek out the advice and wisdom of good counsellors.
To advance our capacity to discover all relevant implications or consequences of a situation, it may be helpful to explore alternative approaches. Group dialogue with people from various backgrounds can reveal new perspectives, whereas novelty can be hard to come by when all members think and behave alike. On a basic level you will want to recognize the main implications, and weigh out the pros and cons of each act before acting on the best course of action. Also the degree of personal control one might have over an outcome is another factor to consider. By and large it is essential to keep clear about our purpose while exploring the potential implications or consequences of a situation.
Now that we have touched on the elements of thinking over the last couple of months, next we’ll explore a handful of intellectual standards that work to integrate the elements into one comprehensive whole. That is in order to construct a complete picture of a subject we will have to apply good measure & rule to our way of reasoning. Such standards we know as clarity, logical consistency & accuracy, to mention a few. For content to make good sense such standards are indispensable. If something is not clear then we are not going to be able to understand what it means, not alone discover its implications & consequences. Therefore all good thinking requires intellectual standards in order for it to remain coherent & intelligible.