We ask questions for many reasons.
Some ask them to capture answers---to provide a dependable avenue for controlling our world. For example, I might ask, “why is my back so stiff when I rise from a long stint at the keyboard?” The answer promises relief, possibly permanent contentment in this one regard.
This blog is dedicated to a different rationale for asking questions---to move us to answers that we grasp with humility because we recognize that each answer is an assemblage of yet more questions. This perspective celebrates questions precisely because they disrupt our system of answers and enrich us through rearranging and expanding the questions and answers that largely define us.
A celebration of questions has little choice but to begin with an effort to sully the image of answers. As long as questions are treated as but a ritualistic appetizer on the way to a fulfilling meal, they will never be seen as our essential tool—our source of inspiration, creativity, and assessment. Answers are, I think, little more than an invitation to a conversation overflowing with questions about contingencies, contexts, and subsequent dilemmas. They are a rest stop rather than a destination resort.
What is The Blog?
I hope that this blog models a process many of you will find both engaging and uncommonly productive. Although I will probably fail at times to represent the model skillfully, my intentions are to ask the kinds of questions that provide the foundation for critical thinking. Then I will propose an answer that entices me at the moment. But most importantly, each post will culminate in a set of questions that we need to ask in response to the answer I provide.
Who is Dr. Neil Browne?
Senior Lecturer & Scholar
Distinguished Teaching Professor of Economics
Director, Honors Scholars Learning Community
I teach critical thinking at a Bowling Green State University. This blog is in no small part a reflection of that experience. In addition to critical thinking, I teach courses in Economics, Law, and Great Ideas. My books, consulting and professional articles are in those same arenas.