Proceedings of the Symposium on
Academic Writing and Critical Thinking
(One who believes all of a book would be better off without books:
Reverse thinking and academic research
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
"尽信书，则不如无书"出自于古人孟子之口，告诫读书人要善于独立思考和分析， 不要完全相信书本，更不能盲目地迷信书本。相信书本是正向思维，怀疑书本是逆 向思维。逆向是与正向比较而言的，正向是指常规的、常识的、公认的或习惯的想 法与做法。逆向思维则恰恰相反，是对传统、惯例、常识的反叛，是对常规的挑战， 所以逆向思维也叫求异思维，我们要强调的是，敢于"反其道而思之"，克服思维定 势，破除由经验和习惯造成的僵化的认识模式，让思维向对立面的方向发展，从问 题的反面深入地进行探索，创立新观点，这是每个科学研究者基本的、必备的思维 方式。
"One who believes all of a book would be better off without books" comes from Mencius. He suggests that it is wise for intellectuals to have independent ideas and analysis. Do not believe all of a book and never have blind faith in a book. Believing a book is normal thinking; doubting a book is "reverse thinking". Normal thinking refers to thinking which is done out of common sense or habit. Reserve thinking, however, challenges tradition and routine. Every researcher should master reverse thinking for the reason that it overcomes the current paradigm, it breaks rigid cognitive models which are caused by experience and habit, it helps to develop ideas in new ways, it analyzes a situation from the other side of the coin, and most importantly, it creates new ideas.
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