are humanities/social scientists greater critical thinkers than STEM students

or professors
do people that study philosophy, political science, critical race theory, feminism etc. etc.

are they greater critical thinkers than scientists, mathematicians, because they are not limited

++Out of Cheese Error++

Reboot and try again.

Heck, STEM students/professors are usually better at social sciences than the social scientists are.

And I think you meant to post this in another forum-- I’ll alert the mods.

yes meant to post in “IN MY HONEST OPINION”

can they move this to that forum?

Sure, once that forum is created…

Yes and no. Many (not all) STEM people tend to shove non-STEM philosophical stuff off to the side into a pile called “useless, gibbering nonsense”, and in their defense a lot of academic pontificating in the fields of " philosophy, political science, critical race theory, feminism etc" is just that. Some of it is not, and is very important WRT how we approach the future, but the signal to noise ratio is not favorable in those fields.

Then again, others don’t: Engineers of Jihad. In my honest opinion :wink: and personal experience, STEM folk are just as subject to woo-ish thinking as anybody. They just think they aren’t because they are so “smart” and believe their own publicity.

Now, someone with both backgrounds polishing my nails on my lapel makes a much better critical thinker. :wink:

What do you mean by “they are not limited”? Some would say that’s why they’re worse critical thinkers: there’s more room for fuzzy thinking and pure BS, unlike math and theoretical science, which are limited by what holds up logically, and engineering and technology, which are limited by what works in the real world.

Yes, according to humanities and social scientists. They say STEM’s are not holistic and their thoughts are very disorganized. And they’re not telling you anything interesting, since as students they found math and science very “mechanical.”

I think you get pretty much the same mix on both sides. The scientific method is supposed to teach being skeptical of one’s premises, but a lot, if indeed not most, of the folks in tech fields today are more about the how than the why, usually the how of making large piles of money.

The other folks, let’s just call them what we used to, liberal arts majors, are taught critical thinking, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to put it into practice.

Full disclosure: I am one and I try to. But I know the withering looks you get when you bump up against somebody’s favorite orthodoxy.

I’ve done the next best thing.

Scientists are taught critical thinking skills, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are always good at using them. We can be just as susceptible to group think as anyone else. And being openly critical comes with social risks. No one wants to be come off as a blowhard or nitpicker.

But I don’t think scientists are unique in this regard.

I’d also say that the critical skills scientists are taught aren’t necessarily the same as the ones learned by non-scientists. A scientist will be able to see the flaws in someone’s statistical analysis or experimental design, because that’s what they’ve been trained to look for. But that doesn’t mean a scientist won’t be suckered by your run-of-the-mill logical fallacy.

Social scientists are scientists. I’d put a well-trained sociologist up against your average biologist or chemist any day when it comes to analytical skills.

Emphasis added. What makes the OP think humanities/social science folk are “not limited” and STEM folk are? Limited by what?

As a STEM guy, I’m detecting a false premise!

No not necessarily and I say this as a history major. One of the most sensible persons I know in regards to politics is a Biology major while I find that even the majority of poli sci majors are ultimately normies who do little more then regurgitate the talking points of their particular ideological view.

…by having to go to work each day?

I once asked a humanities grad if the Philosophy factory had closed during his senior year. Then waited as an unemployed, heavily-indebted youngster explained how the humanities taught critical thinking.

I managed to keep a straight face… barely…

To be fair, I know several Philosophy grads who found their degrees useful… once they started law school.

At the other end of their careers, Engineers and other STEMoids seem to consolidate trust their own judgement and intuition far more than people working in humanities, from my own limited experience.

Engineering [sorry to pick on them, but I work in an engineering organisation] reinforces empiricism and stresses simplicity and ‘what you see is what you get’ thinking. That’s great and I will cross these people’s bridges and lean on their railings with total confidence, but that striving for simplicity requires ignoring things that sometimes can matter on projects.

One engineer succinctly grouped issues into 1. technically relevant; 2. useless crap that can affect outcomes and 3. other useless crap that can be safely ignored. It tends to suggest he was not interested in critical thinking as process of revisiting the project and looking at its assumptions from different perspectives, but as another hoop that had to be jumped toward a pre-determined outcome.

That said, many of my colleague engineers display breathtaking clarity of thought when properly aimed and fired at a problem, which is probably achieved by not worrying about the underlying critical issues.

Yes, Humanities and the Arts are “joke” degrees with little/no real application


Imagine a world with No Art, No Movies, No Novels, No Graphic Novels, No Music, No Jazz, No rap, No Punk Rock… boring looking web sites and drapes and carpet and aesthetically boring cars and buildings.
So, yes, of course STEM training has it’s advantages and is more profitable/applicable, but, there is a lot more to life that is also important

I’ve noticed over the years that critical thinking isn’t something that is learned.
It’s something that comes from life experience, starting in childhood by simply holding intelligent conversations around the dinner table.

A family where dinner-time includes discussions, asking the small children what their favorite subject is in school, and asking the older kids what they think of the current events in the news—that’s a family where all the kids will be able to think critically, even before they start university.

Sure, you can teach students to write research papers, and they will improve greatly during the 4 years of a liberal arts degree. And you can teach chemistry students to write lab reports, or engineering students to write technical documents. And they, too, will improve as they learn.

But I’ve met plenty of people, both when I was a student*, and in the decades since–who simply can’t express coherent thoughts.
And no amount of education, in any field, changed that.

*( I have both a liberal arts and an engineering degree.)

Who says there wouldn’t be art? It would kill off postmodernism, sure, but you don’t need an art degree to take good-looking photos. Maybe you find representational art boring, but I’d much rather live with lowbrow art than be living in poverty or dead.

And frankly, I wish these idiots would stop ruining “boring looking web sites” by sacrificing utility in favour of allegedly superior aesthetics that in fact look like arse.