Thinking and Critical Thinking Every human being is capable of thinking, but some say that few are able to practice critical thinking. Thinking is the mental process, the act and the ability to produce thoughts.
Translate this page from English Print Page Change Text Size: Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past years. The term "critical thinking" has its roots in the mid-late 20th century.
We offer here overlapping definitions, together which form a substantive, transdisciplinary conception of critical thinking.
In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: Critical thinking can be seen as having two components: It is thus to be contrasted with: Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it.
As such it is typically intellectually flawed, however pragmatically successful it might be. When grounded in fairmindedness and intellectual integrity, it is typically of a higher order intellectually, though subject to the charge of "idealism" by those habituated to its selfish use.
Critical thinking of any kind is never universal in any individual; everyone is subject to episodes of undisciplined or irrational thought.
Its quality is therefore typically a matter of degree and dependent on, among other things, the quality and depth of experience in a given domain of thinking or with respect to a particular class of questions. No one is a critical thinker through-and-through, but only to such-and-such a degree, with such-and-such insights and blind spots, subject to such-and-such tendencies towards self-delusion.
For this reason, the development of critical thinking skills and dispositions is a life-long endeavor.
Another Brief Conceptualization of Critical Thinking Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way.
People who think critically consistently attempt to live rationally, reasonably, empathically. They are keenly aware of the inherently flawed nature of human thinking when left unchecked. They strive to diminish the power of their egocentric and sociocentric tendencies. They use the intellectual tools that critical thinking offers — concepts and principles that enable them to analyze, assess, and improve thinking.
They work diligently to develop the intellectual virtues of intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, intellectual civility, intellectual empathy, intellectual sense of justice and confidence in reason.
They realize that no matter how skilled they are as thinkers, they can always improve their reasoning abilities and they will at times fall prey to mistakes in reasoning, human irrationality, prejudices, biases, distortions, uncritically accepted social rules and taboos, self-interest, and vested interest.
They strive to improve the world in whatever ways they can and contribute to a more rational, civilized society. At the same time, they recognize the complexities often inherent in doing so.
They avoid thinking simplistically about complicated issues and strive to appropriately consider the rights and needs of relevant others. They recognize the complexities in developing as thinkers, and commit themselves to life-long practice toward self-improvement. They embody the Socratic principle: The unexamined life is not worth livingbecause they realize that many unexamined lives together result in an uncritical, unjust, dangerous world.
The Problem Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought.
Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated. The Result A well cultivated critical thinker: Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.
It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism. Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends.Using the critical thinking process, you would look deeper into the problem from the perspectives of depth and breadth.
You could also delve into precision, accuracy, and even logic. In addition, you would consider relevance and fairness. When faculty have a vague notion of critical thinking, or reduce it to a single-discipline model (as in teaching critical thinking through a “logic” or a “study skills” paradigm), it impedes their ability to identify ineffective, or develop more effective, teaching practices.
Must look for biases, presence or exclusion of important evidence, alternative interpretations, misstatement of facts, and errors in reasoning.
Designing the instructional process to enhance critical thinking across the curriculum: Inquiring minds really do want to know: Using questioning to teach critical thinking. Part One: An Initial Look at the Difference Between a Substantive and Non-Substantive Concept of Critical Thinking.
Faculty Lack a Substantive Concept of Critical Thinking. Finally, reading develops reflection, critical thinking, problem solving, and vocabulary better than visual media.
it to engage in more “higher-order” processing such as contemplation. Critical thinking is the ability to look at problems in new ways, to analyse how parts of a whole interact with one another and to interpret information and draw conclusions.
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills were once thought to be the domain of gifted people.