On the Importance of Drawing (arguments)

Here’s a worthwhile rumination On the Importance of Drawing. Its point is that there are times when you can really only understand a thing well if you draw it. Unlike taking a picture, drawing something forces you to focus on its details.

This bears directly on a key still taught in many critical thinking courses, namely argument diagramming.

While the article linked is about the role of drawing in really seeing beauty, I think it applies well to critical thinking, too. Consider the challenge in really understanding the point of an argument, seeing its elements clearly, and the role drawing a diagram of it might play. And now read this paragraph:

So if drawing had value even when it was practised by people with no talent, it was… because drawing can teach us to see: to notice properly rather than gaze absentmindedly. In the process of recreating with our own hand what lies before our eyes, we naturally move from a position of observing beauty in a loose way to one where we acquire a deep understanding of its parts.


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