Intellectual Courage-Critical Thinking Paper


In Chapter 1, Paul and Elder describe the virtue of Intellectual Courage. Describe a moment in your life when you showed Intellectual Courage. What belief did you question? Why were you willing to give up that belief? How were you able to stand up against the majority?

Sample paper

Intellectual Courage-Critical Thinking Paper

It is fair to say that every human being is faced with issues and challenges in his daily operations that make him question his beliefs and viewpoint on various concepts and ideas in life. However, intellectual courage is what separates successful and unsuccessful persons in this new era. In most cases, intellectual courage offers an individual the consciousness that is necessary to face and fairly address and tackle ideas, beliefs, and viewpoints towards that concept that an individual may have strong negative emotions and may not have put much thought about it. Intellectual courage offers an individual an opportunity to question what other people believe that is right and correct, and he may come up with an alternative belief that might be better than the traditionally accepted belief (Paul, 2008).

In my high school days, I once offered my lunch to a needy kid who claimed to have not eaten anything for consecutive days. Out of sympathy and empathy, I chose to sacrifice only on a plate full of food to aid my friend although we had just met. He was thankful for the offer, and he was very happy. Through my actions, I displayed intellectual courage and questioned the belief that by serving myself first, I can better serve the rest of the world.  In most cases, people believe that putting their interest ahead of other people’s interest will make them serve them better, but this is not always the case.

My urge to help the needy student and my willingness to question and give up the belief was to show that we should all have the interest of other peoples at heart, and no one deserves more than the other. Through my actions, I was able to show that one can also serve the world better by putting the interests of other people ahead of his own interest and serve them (Paul, 2008).  Regardless of the questions and the looks and the stares from my friends I turned a deaf year and helped the needy considering that majority are not always right.


Paul, R. &. (2008). Critical thinking. The Foundation for Critical Thinking.