The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

The Army and Intellectualism

From an article defining intellectualism:

An intellectual is a person who primarily uses intelligence in either a professional or an individual capacity. As a substantive or adjective, it refers to the work product of such persons, to the so-called “life of the mind” generally, or to an aspect of something where learning, erudition, and informed and critical thinking are the focus, as in “the intellectual level of the discourse on the matter was not high”.

The intellectual is a specific variety of the intelligent, which unlike the general property, is strictly associated with reason and thinking. Many everyday roles require the application of intelligence to skills that may have a psychomotor component, for example, in the fields of medicine, sport or the arts, but these do not necessarily involve the practitioner in the “world of ideas”. The distinctive quality of the intellectual person is that the mental skills, which he or she demonstrates, are not simply intelligent, but even more, they focus on thinking about the abstract, philosophical and esoteric aspects of human inquiry and the value of their thinking. Traditionally, the scholarly and the intellectual classes were closely identified; however, while intellectuals need not necessarily be actively involved in scholarship, they often have an academic background and will typically have an association with a profession.

Based on the above discussion of what intellectual means, particularly the phrase “an aspect of something where learning, erudition, and informed and critical thinking are the focus,” it seems to confirm that the major focus of CGSC is intellectual pursuits.  The curriculum and the history course in particular specifically highlights the learning objective of improving “critical thinking.”

The above is aligned with the German General Staff tradition of producing “thinkers” above “leaders” to guide the institution at the strategic level.  Not that a gifted individual cannot be both, but in terms of which capacity the institution values more at the operational and strategic levels of command.

Given the emphasis at CGSC, and by implication, at SAMS and the Army War College, on critical thinking, what are you thoughts on the two part Army magazine article the Uniformed Intellectual:

Part 1

Part 2

Note that in the above article, written in 2002, you will see many themes that have come up at different times in class.   That is purely coincidentaly, but appropriate.  This article didn’t come to my attention until 2012.

November 19, 2013 Posted by | C120, H100, Professional Military Education | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Power of the Mind

What follows is a simple example of how flexable and adaptive the mind can be.  It goes to some of the ideas regarding thinking addressed in C120.  Something to think about in terms of teaching and improving critical and creative thinking.

7H15      M3554G3

            53RV35      7O PR0V3

            H0W      0UR M1ND5 C4N

            D0      4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!

            1MPR3551V3      7H1NG5!

            1N      7H3 B3G1NN1NG

            17      WA5 H4RD BU7

            N0W,      0N 7H15 LIN3

            Y0UR      M1ND 1S

            R34D1NG      17

            4U70M471C4LLY

            W17H      0U7 3V3N

            7H1NK1NG      4B0U7 17,

            B3      PROUD! 0NLY

            C3R741N      P30PL3 C4N

            R3AD      7H15.

            PL3453      F0RW4RD 1F

            U      C4N R34D 7H15.

             

If u can read this, you have a strange mind, too. Only 55 people out of 100  can.

I cdnuolt  blveiee  that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I  was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of   the hmuan  mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it  dseno’t  mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt  tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset  can  be a taotl mses and you can still raed it  whotuit a pboerlm. This is  bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey  lteter by istlef, but the word as  a wlohe.  Azanmig  huh?  Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

             

            If  you can raed  this frowrad it.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | C120 | 3 Comments

The Army and Intellectualism

From an article defining intellectualism:

An intellectual is a person who primarily uses intelligence in either a professional or an individual capacity. As a substantive or adjective, it refers to the work product of such persons, to the so-called “life of the mind” generally, or to an aspect of something where learning, erudition, and informed and critical thinking are the focus, as in “the intellectual level of the discourse on the matter was not high”.

The intellectual is a specific variety of the intelligent, which unlike the general property, is strictly associated with reason and thinking. Many everyday roles require the application of intelligence to skills that may have a psychomotor component, for example, in the fields of medicine, sport or the arts, but these do not necessarily involve the practitioner in the “world of ideas”. The distinctive quality of the intellectual person is that the mental skills, which he or she demonstrates, are not simply intelligent, but even more, they focus on thinking about the abstract, philosophical and esoteric aspects of human inquiry and the value of their thinking. Traditionally, the scholarly and the intellectual classes were closely identified; however, while intellectuals need not necessarily be actively involved in scholarship, they often have an academic background and will typically have an association with a profession.

Based on the above discussion of what intellectual means, particularly the phrase “an aspect of something where learning, erudition, and informed and critical thinking are the focus,” it seems to confirm that the major focus of CGSC is intellectual pursuits.  The curriculum and the history course in particular specifically highlights the learning objective of improving “critical thinking.” 

Given the emphasis at CGSC, and by implication, at SAMS and the Army War College, what are you thoughts on the two part Army magazine article the Uniformed Intellectual:

Part 1

Part 2

Note that in the above article, written in 2002, you will see many themes that have come up at different times in class.   That is purely coincidentaly, but appropriate.  This article didn’t come to my attention until about two weeks ago.

November 9, 2012 Posted by | C120, H100, Professional Military Education | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment