The SOT Graduate Certificate of English Thinking is based on the coursebook, English Thinking: The Three Methods by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson (2012).
The Three Methods
1. Greco-Roman Logic
for thinking inside the square,
2. The Scientific Method
for thinking outside the square,
3. Cognitive Science
for software for the brain and apps for intelligence.
What today we can call “English Thinking” has really evolved over the past 2500 years. Starting from the Greeks on to the Roman Empire and the Roman Church through The Enlightenment and Scientific Method and, since World War II, with the rise of cognitive machines and the world wired web of the internet.
In this course, the 38 lessons of ET 123 are designed to give SOT Members two things: knowledge and mastery of the three methods of English Thinking.
English Thinkers need to know about the history and evolution of English Thinking as compared with, say, Chinese Thinking. In these lessons the two are compared for the benefit of insight and instruction.
Indeed, it would be an interesting field of research to go further and make a wider range of comparisons between the many other histories of thinking, for example, Spanish Thinking, Indian Thinking, Persian Thinking, Russian Thinking and even Artificial Thinking of the kind that computers use to conquer the Russian Grandmasters at Chess.
However, the scope of these ET 123 lessons will be to explore the three dominant methods of English Thinking:
- Greco-Roman Logic,
- The Scientific Method, and
- Cognitive Science.
1. Greco-Roman Logic (inside-the-square)
First, students learn how Greek logic came to be fused with Christian judgmental thinking and how the ideas of the Greek Thinkers–Plato, Socrates and Aristotle–were taken over by the Roman church through Thomas Aquinas. How these ideas became the cognitive operating system of European thinking and were then spread virally around the world by centrally organised Roman missionaries.
They spread first to countries in Britain, the continent and elsewhere and then later to America and Australia. More recently this ubiquitous education enterprise has spread to the African continent and into the ASEAN countries.
How, even today, children in these countries are still taught Right/Wrong, Yes/No, Black/White, Us/Them, Greco-Roman Logical thinking. And, Western parliaments, legal systems, the media and religious institutions still use pre-Enlightenment dialectic thinking to prosecute their cases and reach their decisions.
This Greco-Roman logic method is colloquially referred to as: inside the square thinking.
2. The Scientific Method (outside-the-square)
Second, the ET 123 lessons explore how the great escape from Greco-Roman logic led to the Enlightenment, Darwinian evolutionary thinking and the Scientific Method which became the combined cognitive engine behind the great march of Western science and technology which has cracked the human genetic code, put robots on Mars and wired the world for freedom of thought.
These methods are for thinking outside the square and rely on the value of hypothetical research, repetitive experimentation, measurement and observation and a strategic appreciation of the role of surprise and mistakes. This kind of thinking employs quite different but complementary methods and values to Christian Logic or judgmental thinking. These methods were introduced and spread throughout Western society through universities and scientific journals and the rapid growth of the commercial publishing industry.
Outside the square thinking is now on the move. When I was born in 1947 there was no television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill. When I was born there were no credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. No-one had yet invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and man had yet to walk on the moon.
I was born before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, day-care centers, the China one-child policy, cognitive science and facebook. People thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Australians had never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or nipple piercing. If you saw anything with Made in Japan on it, it was considered junk. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and café lattes were unheard of. And, atheists went to Hell (recently His Eminence George Cardinal Pell of Australia announced on national television that atheists can now go to Heaven which shows that even cardinals can now think outside the square).
When I was born my parents were the last generation to believe that a woman needed a man to make a baby. In 2012, there are more scientists, technologists and innovators alive than all those who ever lived in the history of the world.
It’s worth repeating that it does come as a sad surprise that after all this intellectual effort most big Western institutions like the education system, the legal system, the media, the church and the Western parliaments are still based on Greco-Roman logic. Because of this fact, most Western thinkers are still pre-Enlightenment thinkers! Even though they may be aware of the Enlightenment and can describe some of its accomplishments their daily default mode of thinking is still inside-the-square.
3. Cognitive Science (apps for intelligence)
Third, since WWII thinkers like Alan Turing empowered the invention of cognitive machines, machines that think, there has been an unprecedented tsunami of interest in computing, networking and the accelerating developments of cognitive science.
This has led to much faster and more powerful models of thinking and innovation and the more recent developments of software for the brain in countries like America and Australia.
These apps and algorithms are being developed for both human and artificial intelligences. They have now spread rapidly through the big global corporations like IBM, Apple and GE via their enterprise training departments.
These methods have infected the world wide web and in the last few decades have become a permanent part of Western education systems from primary schools to tertiary institutions.
Graduate Certificate Training
ET 123 is the graduate course of the School of Thinking. It follows the basic undergraduate training in Metacognition.
These more advanced 38 lessons of English Thinking simply and clearly show and tell Members how to understand these three dominant methods and how to apply them. They also contrast them with the long-esteemed methods of Confucian Thinking so as to make comparisons and to better understand the differences.
Knowledge without skills is pointless when it comes to English Thinking. So, for 10 weeks Members are given daily opportunities through PRR (practise, repetition, rehearsal) over the course of these 38 lessons to master these ET 123 skills and transfer them into their own personal and daily life.
The unique goal of this program is to ensure that Members become SKILLED in the daily use of English Thinking.
Free or Fee
There are two SOT training options:
- training for free, or
- graduating for a fee.
Some members do some of the lessons for free until they have had enough. Many others complete all the 38 lessons in order to graduate with the SOT certificate. The graduation course with the personalised certificate costs US$38.00.
GRADUATE CERTIFICATE OF ENGLISH THINKING
When you complete all lessons to #38 in this series you may graduate with the Certificate of English Thinking which will be personalised and sent to you from the Office of the Principal in Melbourne, Australia.
What is the most important insight you will think about from this lesson?
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