The opposable mind refers to the ability to hold and consider multiple, often conflicting, perspectives on an issue simultaneously. Just as the opposable thumb allows for greater dexterity and tool use, the opposable mind enables increased cognitive flexibility and problem-solving capacity.

Individuals with well-developed opposable minds can:

  1. Entertain contradictory ideas without immediately rejecting one in favor of the other.
  2. Synthesize seemingly incompatible viewpoints to arrive at novel insights.
  3. Shift between different mental models depending on the context and challenge at hand.

This cognitive flexibility is a hallmark of effective thinkers, allowing them to escape narrow thinking and generate innovative solutions to complex problems. It is a key aspect of the knowledge synthesis process.

Source: The Secret Power of ‘Read It Later’ Apps