Because there is an emergency to democratize intelligent thought, accomplished, developed and even supported by a logical tree diagram which illustrates our thinking! (CT) is here to make that difference in its own way. To share our ideas, to see and understand ideas from others, CT has a simple process: an idea, its arguments and a tree that illustrates logical links. At a time where we can see anything and everything in a social network, it is time to demonstrate the possibility of a network of developed thoughts. That is our mission: to democratize intelligent thought!

For the benefit of teachers (and students) :

As its name indicates, this website is a simple and efficient tool to make ideas clearer. More precisely, it is a tool (developed by a philosophy teacher in college and a programmer) that allows the creation of diagrams of clear thoughts (logical trees). Here’s how its usefulness can be applied in class:

1) As a teacher, I can take an extract from a text (let’s say, for example, a passage from The Republic that students are working on) and make it into a diagram (the tree). It is a literal drawing for students, an image that simplifies and eases understanding. For a lot of students, it will very useful to “see” a reasoning before working on it. Which argument supports what? Which premises directly support the thesis? A student who can see the overall picture can subsequently read the text for an assignment and understand it faster in a fundamental level, instead of being lost in its form when a rationale is dry. Also, the reasoning becomes very accessible: after all, it’s on the Internet!

2) The teacher can ask his students to do their logic homework on the website. Once their thesis (conclusion) is written, the student can add one of many premises and decide if these premises will be linked or not. The advantage? When the student writes their premise, the website will send him some notifications to make sure that the student’s reasoning is solid. For example, “is your premise verifiable? Is it relevant to the thesis? Is it sufficient or does it need more?” Therefore, the teacher receives clean homework that are a little more solid and serious that what we can get sometimes as teachers.

3) As for the student, can print his homework from the website or even directly send it to his teacher by mail by way of the site.

4) Students will also appreciate the use of these new technologies. They can share their reasoning on Facebook or even “like” them!

5) The teacher can ask his students to build the tree of a summary paragraph for an upcoming test, for example. The student builds his tree and is therefore brought to think ahead (!) for his thesis and his arguments. That’s not all: he will also be brought to think about the links between his premises and his thesis! This can greatly improve the work’s quality in the future. For students who wish to keep their ideas “hidden”, so that they don’t get their arguments “stolen” by other users in search of ideas, there is always the option to make a reasoning invisible from the Clearthoughts community. When creating a new reasoning, there is always a check box: “public” or “private”.

6) The teacher can also form groups and invite his students to join them. Once on the website, he can then check a particular group’s homework. The teacher with an account (it’s always free) can then comment on students’ thoughts. In fact, every member of the Clearthoughts community can comment on public reasonings (unless a student ticked the “private” box when creating their reasoning. If a teacher wants to see and comment all of his students’ reasonings, he must ask them to not tick the “private” box).

7) The more teachers put in reasonings on the website, the more the website will become a reference in diagrams and therefore in philosophical reasonings. The website will therefore become very useful for students who want to better understand a text. Seeing (looking!) at, for example, Descartes’ arguments that lead to his philosophical anthropology or Alcibiades’s argumentation in trees (diagrams) helps the student in reading the original text more effectively later on. We invite you, for this reason, to link our website in your department links page for students if available.

Also, thanks to online videos (in the video tab) the student can revise their knowledge of fundamental elements of informal logic.