The Elements of Thought – One by One

The Elements of Thought is a model of thinking developed by Dr. Richard Paul to help us understand how we can divide up the different parts of thinking.

Understanding the Elements of Thought allows us to take apart, in a logical and dispassionate way, our thinking and the thinking of others.

When we think about something, we do lots of things at once. We look at it from a Point of View, who we are, what we value. Then we think with a Purpose: Why in the world am I thinking about this? Next, we have the Question at Issue that we’re trying to answer.

When we’re thinking, we are checking out all the Information about what we’re thinking about. We look at the Interpretations and Inferences that we come to about the thing itself. We are also figuring out what Concepts we need to know to understand it.

We base our thinking on the Assumptions that we take to be true already. And finally, we think about the Implications and Consequences of our reasoning.

Dr. Paul placed the eight Elements into a wheel for a reason. None of them is more important than another. Each is used when we think. Watch the eight tutorials in this series to explore them, one by one.