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Opinion Making: Susanne Langer on Questions

Connell Fanning (2018)

We live in a time of instant opinions, yet more than ever we need open mindedness and to resist the rush to judgment and the urge to be judgmental (two different things). How can we do this? Philosopher Susanne Langer addresses how questioning influences our ‘Orientation of Mind’, an underpinning of our opinion making.

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Mr. Trump Has Done One Good Thing for Us Already

Connell Fanning (2017)

Donald Trump has brought confusion to political discourse and legitimated the expression of any ‘opinion’, no matter how ill-founded. Perhaps, an unintended benefit of this is that we are challenged to think about how we form, hold and use opinions. We use philosopher Susan Nieman’s idea of ‘growing-up’ and columnist Peter Brooks’ propagation of modesty as possible solutions to this turbulent ‘climate of opinions’.

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How Do We Hold to a Stock of Old Opinions?

Connell Fanning (2017)

American philosopher and psychologist William James describes the ‘observable processes’ of how people settle into new opinions and how revising opinions is a slow process that usually happens only under strong pressures for change.

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Understanding How You Solve Problems: A Method Towards Understanding Self-Meaning

Garrett Barden (2017)

Problem-solving is part of our everyday experiences. Whether the issue is big or small, we often look for ways to understand and come up with the ‘best’ solutions. But how much are we really aware of this process in which questions are asked, hypotheses are raised, and judgments are made?

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“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”: Instant Opinion

Connell Fanning (2017)

We use John Maynard Keynes’ caution that we must change our minds to reflect facts to think about an interview with UK’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott in which Abbott is wrongfully criticised for exercising such thoughtfulness.

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 ‘Show Me Better and I Must Change’: Justin Keating as Exemplar of a Growth Mind

Connell Fanning (2017)

How do I decide to continue holding my opinion about something or to let it go? Justin Keating’s ‘ethic of opinions’ can protect us from the thoughtless polarisation of opinions and their confrontational expression which are undermining the political-social conversation of so many places today.

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On Forming and Holding Opinions: A Case Study

Connell Fanning (2017)

How do I decide to continue holding my opinion about an experience or to let it go when my opinion is different from the opinion of another person with whom I am in conversation? We can look to good examples to observe the methods and ethics, here we look at literary critic M. H. Abrams.

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Insightful Reading: Benefits of Reading with Goodwill in a Hurried Age

Connell Fanning (2017)

What are the connections between reading and Leadership? And how should we read? We explain what it means to read with Goodwill, an (ethical) attitude for engaging in a dialogue with yourself and with authors.

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How does ‘Climate of Opinion’ Guide our Thinking?

Connell Fanning (2017)

We look at the concept of ‘climate of opinion’ to help us understand how certain beliefs dominate specific time periods and spans of history. We also propose the importance of thinking through contemporary climates and their doctrines for yourself, instead of rushing to adopt ideas without giving yourself time to make sense of them for yourself.

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When We Don’t Listen

Connell Fanning (2017)

We reflect on the unjustified criticism that followed an interview with the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by considering the importance of listening to understand rather than listening to react.

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A Well-Made Self by Jacques Barzun

The Keynes Centre (2016)

What is a well-made self? Jacques Barzun’s powerful quote shows how we can grown our minds and how reading is a great tool to expand how we make sense of the world.

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The Reflective Journal

Connell Fanning (2016)

The ‘Reflective Journal’, or ‘Learning Diary/Log’ as it is often called, is a practical tool by which the “mental place” and the “capacity to pause”, through which insight and learning occur, can be created by anyone. It promotes change in personal thinking which is at the heart of the learning experience.

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The Benefits of Journaling for Personal Professional Development and How to Do It

Connell Fanning (2016)

Journaling is a great space where learning can happen and insight may occur. Increasingly, people are discovering the value of journaling for Personal Professional Development. We look at the benefits of this practice and also provide a guide to the journaling process.

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Hannah Arendt and How to Think about the Unprecedented (Brexit and Trump)

Connell Fanning (2016)

The candidacy, campaign and election of Donald Trump to be the forty-fifth president of the United States of America challenged the ways many people, including experienced political reporters and commentators, made sense of this new political phenomenon. We look at Hannah Arendt’s writing to formulate some guidance on how we can think about this decade’s unprecedented political events.

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What Ideas Can Keynes Give to our Political Leaders?

Connell Fanning (2016)

Keynes was always committed to bettering this world for all people in all he did and expressed his ideas for a good society in many places throughout his life. We look at some of the ideas of Keynes’ that contemporary politicians and people in leadership positions would do well to contemplate.

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Mind versus Behavior: Why do New Year Resolutions Fail to Deliver Change?

Connell Fanning (2016)

Usually New Year Resolutions do not last (only eight percent of resolvers will actually follow through on their resolutions successfully) and, unfortunately, as a result of the ‘failure’ people frequently feel bad about themselves and often judge themselves harshly as, for example, lacking in ‘willpower’. We turn to Barbara Rapaport to answer why this is.

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Some Thoughts on Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ and Documentary ‘Truth’

Laura Aguiar (2016)

We discuss the “fly-on-the-wall” documentary series that has been considered by Forbes Magazine as “Netflix’s Most Significant Show Ever”. We see Making a Murderer as challenging the commonly-held view of what documentaries, and journalism are about or should be about: seeking the truth.

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David Bohm on Dialogue

Dave Kirwan (2015)

David Bohm wrote extensively on using dialogue as a tool for exploring shared meaning. In On Dialogue (2004), Bohm sets out his theory of dialogue and provides a technique to make object those theories that are embedded in ourselves so that we can better develop our own mode of thinking.

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Avoiding Technology Obfuscation by ‘Managing Oneself’: From Collaborative Storytelling to Drucker’s Insights.

Laura Aguiar (2015)

As the world grows in complexity in the Digital Age, transforming how we think about relationships is key to sustaining society and organisations. What can a collaborative film project teach us about key issues in management such as power, values, structure and responsibilities?

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Reclaiming Conversation for Thinking

Laura Aguiar (2015)

We recount our insights from attending the 7th Global Drucker Forum in Vienna in 2015 which included discussions on how we think about our relationship with technology as well as our relationship with each other. These issues bring to our minds the wise words of Hannah Arendt on ‘going visiting’.

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Catching an Author’s Vision: Joseph Schumpeter and John Maynard Keynes

The Keynes Centre (2015)

Why do we find a particular reading or author difficult? William James’s concept of ‘vision’ provides a useful tool for catching the sense of where the author is working from and where the author is bringing us. Joseph Schumpeter powerfully and famously used this to convey John Maynard Keynes’s achievement.

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