Reflective thinking is a process. Be it a shallow one based on others’ perspectives or be it more in-depth as a few would likely claim, it is still a mental process.

Reflective thinking, Dewey (1933) claims, is an “active, careful consideration of a belief” or knowledge that upon further consideration will yield to a further belief or knowledge. It is considered a process of making decisions.

Meanwhile, Quito reflects reflective thinking as synonymous with critical thinking and imaginative thinking; an active process of assessing what has been done, what needs to be done, and what must be done—linking it to a gap between typical thinking and intelligent thinking. She also claimed that reflective thinking “has disappeared” during this contemporary time. I differ.

However, one may find it unnecessary to qualitative naming or labeling of the thinking process. Others would find it appropriate to claim that not all thinking is quality thinking. But whose standard yardstick will be going to use to qualify one’s thinking as substandard?

Now, is that type of thinking still relevant or unnecessary rather nowadays? Others may quip that it is relevant in the sense that the absence of it may lead to poor decision-making, poor life, poor outcomes, or even poor ideas or failure to respond to what is the prevailing standard of acceptance in the universe where we exist.

On the contrary, it is unnecessary though it exists, it can not provide certainty of assurance that engaging in it would lead to a much better life.

Here’s my take:

Regel Javines’ Take

Reflective thinking, philosophically, has not “disappeared” in contrast to what Dr. Quito’s essay seemingly observed about it in contemporary times. And as far as human beings continue to live and strive for a living, reflective thinking is still relevant regardless of time.

As human beings can think and be rational in some respects, the process alone to think and to merely think is already reflective thinking—be it shallow or mean the quality of thinking is. For it is not ours individually or collectively or for somebody else to qualify the quality of thinking a man does so long as the thinking process serves his purpose as a being.

Reflective thinking is not limited to the province of what we call one of the higher-order thinking skills. Rather, it already exists and happens each time a man thinks to keep going or simply to decide whether he continues to work out a task or simply to play a game. Nobody has the monopoly to ascertain a thing or two based on what standards or yardstick that prevails. Otherwise, it is diminishing the capacity of human beings to think on their own, to set standards based on their perspectives on how to make things either beneficial to everybody, to the few, or even to just themselves.

The advent of technology does not necessarily expose or lead society to think not critically. Rather, it multiplies in dimensional folds to trigger society to engage in what we call “reflective thinking”, though on different levels.

Philosophy and reflective thinking are inseparable. It is like the body and the soul. Take away the soul (philosophy), the body is lame (reflective thinking). Thus, reflective thinking is timeless; it has never disappeared, nor somehow, sometimes been disused. It is part and parcel of the activity of a man regardless of how he thinks.

Regel Javines | A brief reaction paper submitted to one of his M.A. subjects

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