To think is to reason. And we take it for granted that thinking enables us to better understand the world around us and direct successful action. But there is a risk this is not the whole story. Studies into flow states where individuals are single-mindedly focussed on a single task, without self-reflection or reasoning, have identified that less deliberation rather than more leads to better performance. A McKinsey study of top executives found them to be five times more productive and better decision-makers when in such states. While researchers have also shown that scientists rely as much on "tacit skills" and experience learnt in the laboratory as on logical adherence to theory or procedure.
Should we abandon our focus on rational thought as the best means to determine action? Should we instead give priority to learnt experience over theory, and body over mind? Or at a time when public debate is ever more divisive, is it essential that we double down on rational thought to contain and rule out mistaken and dangerous proposals?