A thinker is a sovereign individual who consciously values the natural rights of thinkers.

The School of Thinking supports the natural rights of thinkers. Here is a first draft of ten thinkers rights which are supported by the School of Thinking.

Please consider these ten rights and post your own comments or suggestions below. Thanks.

The Universal Declaration of Thinkers Rights

1. As thinkers, we have the right to use thinking in a quiet and confident manner.

2. As thinkers, we have the right to have pride in our thinking skill.

3. As thinkers, we have the right to use that skill and to consider a “thinking reaction” rather than a reaction based on emotion or experience alone. The thinking might make use of experience and emotion, but these would be part of the thinking instead of controlling it.

4. A thinker has the right to escape from current views of situations and to search for much better views of situations.

5. A thinker has the universal right to be wrong.

6. A thinker does not have to defend a point of view at all costs. There is the right to see other points of view and the right to design a much better decision.

7. A thinker has the right to acquire wisdom or to seek it out wherever it may be found. Wisdom is quite distinct from the sort of cleverness that is taught in school. Cleverness may be useful for dealing with set puzzles or defending local truths but wisdom is required for designing a safer future.

8. A thinker has the right to get on with his or her own work and to get along with other thinkers and if things go wrong a thinker has the right to think things through and to fix them without creating a fuss.

9. A thinker has the right to spell out the factors involved in a situation and also the reasons behind a decision.

10. Above all, a thinker has the right to be asked to think about something, to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Thinking can be used as a tool by the thinker at will. The use of this tool can be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking is practical—the sort of thinking that is required to get things done.

– This draft is adapted from the Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructors Manual © 1982 Edward de Bono and Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Capra New USA.

6 thoughts on ҉ۢ WHAT IS A THINKER?

  1. I’m thinking right now. Thinkers Rights seems Wrong. The word Rights invites an opposition. Someone who would deny that Right. So what? They can’t stop it.
    Some of the best ever thinking has been done in classes, board rooms and prisons where it might be said the thinker had No Right. The Thinker does it anyway, AND, the losers generally are those who would deny The Right. The Thinker goes somewhere new, and with his thoughts too. I agree with the principles of the proposed Declaration but the word Rights is troubling me.

    As an example of My Thinking on this subject — take numbers 1,2,3 and 4 and substitute the words “have the right” with one word, such as “should” or “must”.
    By the way this is just my “thinking” at the moment, not in concrete.

    As you can see as you read, I don’t think Rights comes into it, it will happen any’ow.

  2. This list is a good start, and I hope it provokes many responses. Here are some of mine:
    There seems to be something missing in this list. “Rights” imply responsibilities, which brings in the need for personal integrity. I would add a more fundamental right to this list: the right to creatively implement thoughts in a responsible way.

    Another observation; there seems to be an undercurrent of dogmatism in this list. Perhaps #5 could be rephrased: “…to admit that he/she is wrong when confronted with sound contradictory evidence.” In the original wording, i asked myself “why would anyone deliberately choose to be wrong?

    A final thought; another fundamental right relating to thinking should be to acknowledge the source of thinking; this could be identified as “creativity”. This could be phrased “to value and nurture our inherent genius and creativity which is the foundation of thought”

  3. I particularly liked #3 – a response based on thinking rather than an emotional defensive response. Encouraging you pointed out the difference between knowledge and wisdom, higher education needs to pick up on this point also. Good luck SOT

  4. Nice summary of the first 10 Thinking Skills. The difference between cleverness and wisdom is most freeing. I so appreciate the right to be asked to think about specific things. All the best.

  5. “The Universal Declaration of Thinkers Rights”
    PS. Do not give up on your dreams, the world needs them!

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