This book is about thinking. But it is not about any thinking. It is about those kinds of thinking that take conscious effort, and which can be done well or badly. Most of our thinking takes little or no conscious effort. We just do it. You could almost say that we think without thinking! If I am asked whether I would like coffee or tea, I don’t have to exercise skill to reply appropriately. Similarly if
I am asked a factual question, and I know the answer, it takes no skill to give it. Expressing a preference or stating a fact are not in themselves thinking skills. There are language and communication skills involved, of course, and these are very considerable skills in their
own right. But they are contributory skills to the activities which we are calling ‘thinking’.

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