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Critical thinking is the process of thinking that questions assumptions. It is a way of deciding whether a claim is true, false; sometimes true, or partly true. The origins of critical thinking can be traced in Western thought to the Socratic method of Ancient Greece and in the East, to the Buddhist kalama sutta and Abhidharma. Critical thinking is an important component of most professions. It is a part of the education process and is increasingly significant as students progress through univer
  Critical thinking is the process of thinking that questions assumptions. It is a way of  deciding whether a claim is true, false; sometimes true, or partly true. The srcins of criticalthinking can be traced in Western thought to the Socratic methodof Ancient Greeceand in the East, to theBuddhist kalama suttaand Abhidharma. Critical thinking is an important component of most professions. It is a part of the education process and is increasinglysignificant as students progress throughuniversity tograduate education, although there is debate among educators about its precise meaning and scope Definitions Critical thinking has been described as “reasonable reflective thinking focused on decidingwhat to believe or do.” [2] It has also been described as thinking about thinking. [3] It has been described in more detail as the intellectually disciplined process of actively andskillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating informationgathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action . [4] More recently, critical thinking has beendescribed as the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment, which uses reasonedconsideration to evidence, context, conceptualizations, methods, and criteria. [5] Within thecritical social theoryphilosophical frame, critical thinking is commonly understood toinvolve commitment to the social and political practice of participatory democracy,willingness to imagine or remain open to considering alternative perspectives, willingnessto integrate new or revised perspectives into our ways of thinking and acting, andwillingness to foster criticality in others. [6] Meaning Critical thinking clarifies goals, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluatesevidence, accomplishes actions, and assesses conclusions. Critical as used in the expression critical thinking connotes the importance or centralityof the thinking to an issue, question or problem of concern. Critical in this context doesnot mean disapproval or negative. There are many positive and useful uses of criticalthinking, for example formulating a workable solution to a complex personal problem,deliberating as a group about what course of action to take, or analyzing the assumptionsand the quality of the methods used in scientifically arriving at a reasonable level of confidence about a given hypothesis. To add further clarification on what is meant bythinking critically, Richard Paul (1995) articulated critical thinking as either weak or strong. The weak-sense critical thinker is a highly skilled but selfishly motivated pseudo-intellectual who works to advance one’s personal agenda without seriously considering theethical consequences and implications. Conceived as such, the weak-sense critical thinker is often highly skilled but uses those skills selectively so as to pursue unjust and selfishends (Paul, 1995). Conversely, the strong-sense critical thinker skillfully enters into thelogic of problems and issues to see the problem for what it is without egocentric and/or socio-centric bias. Thus conceived, the strong-sense mind seeks to actively, systematically,  reflectively, and fair-mindedly construct insight with sensitivity to expose and address themany obstacles that compromise high quality thought and learning. Using strong criticalthinking we might evaluate an argument, for example, as worthy of acceptance because it isvalid and based on true premises. Upon reflection, a speaker may be evaluated as a crediblesource of knowledge on a given topic.Critical thinking can occur whenever one judges, decides, or solves a problem; in general,whenever one must figure out what to believe or what to do, and do so in a reasonable andreflective way. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening can all be done critically or uncritically. Critical thinking is crucial to becoming a close reader and a substantive writer.Expressed in most general terms, critical thinking is a way of taking up the problems of life. [9] Fluid Intelligence directly correlates with critical thinking skills. You are able todetermine patterns, make connections and solve new problems. [edit] Skills The list of core critical thinking skills includes observation, interpretation, analysis,inference, evaluation, explanation, and meta-cognition. There is a reasonable level of consensus among experts that an individual or group engaged in strong critical thinkinggives due consideration to: ã Evidence through observation ã Context ã Relevant criteria for making the judgment well ã Applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment ã Applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the problem and the question athandIn addition to possessing strong critical-thinking skills, one must be disposed to engage problems and decisions using those skills. Critical thinking employs not onlylogicbut broadintellectualcriteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy,precision,relevance,depth,  breadth,significance, and fairness. [10] [edit] Procedure Critical thinking calls for the ability to: ã Recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems ã Understand the importance of prioritization and order of precedence in problemsolving ã Gather and marshal pertinent (relevant) information ã Recognize unstated assumptions and values ã Comprehend and uselanguagewith accuracy, clarity, anddiscernment   ã Interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments ã Recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions ã Draw warranted conclusions and generalizations ã Put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives ã Reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience ã Render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday lifeIn sum: A persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of theevidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. [11] Principles and dispositions [edit] Willingness to criticize oneself  Critical thinking is about being both willing and able to evaluate one's thinking. Thinkingmight be criticized because one does not have all the relevant information – indeed,important information may remain undiscovered, or the information may not even beknowable – or because one makes unjustified inferences, uses inappropriate concepts, or fails to notice important implications. One's thinking may be unclear, inaccurate, imprecise,irrelevant, narrow, shallow, illogical, or trivial, due to ignorance or misapplication of theappropriate learned skills of thinking.On the other hand, one's thinking might be criticized as being the result of a sub-optimaldisposition. The dispositional dimension of critical thinking ischaracterological. Its focusis in learning and developing the habitual  intention to be truth-seeking, open-minded,systematic, analytical,inquisitive, confident in reasoning, and prudent in making  judgments. Those who areambivalent on one or more of these aspects of the disposition toward critical thinking or who have an opposite disposition (intellectually arrogant, biased,intolerant, emotional, disorganized, lazy, heedless of consequences, indifferenttoward new information, mistrustful of reasoning, or imprudent) are more likely toencounter problems in using their critical-thinking skills. Failure to recognize theimportance of correct dispositions can lead to various forms of self-deception and closed-mindedness, both individually and collectively. [13] [edit] Reflective thought In reflective problem solving and thoughtful decision making using critical thinking, oneconsiders evidence (like investigating evidence), the context of   judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the problem and thequestion at hand.  The deliberation characteristic of strong critical thinking associates critical thinking withthe reflective aspect of human reasoning. Those who would seek to improve our individualand collective capacity to engage problems using strong critical thinking skills are,therefore, recommending that we bring greater reflection and deliberation to decisionmaking.Critical thinking is based on self-corrective concepts and principles, not on hard and fast, or step-by-step, procedures. [14] [edit] Competence Critical thinking employs not only logic (either formalor, much more often,informal) but also broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision,relevance, depth, breadth, significanceand fairness. [edit] Habits or traits of mind The positive habits of mind that characterize a person strongly disposed toward criticalthinking include a courageous desire to follow reason and evidence wherever they maylead, open-mindedness, foresight attention to the possible consequences of choices, asystematic approach to problem solving, inquisitiveness, fair-mindedness and maturity of  judgment, and confidence in reasoning. [15] When individuals possess intellectual skills alone, without the intellectual traits of mind, weak sense critical thinking  results. Fair-minded or   strong sense critical thinking  requiresintellectualhumility,empathy, integrity, perseverance,courage, autonomy, confidence in reason, and other intellectual traits. Thus, critical thinking without essential intellectualtraits often results in clever, butmanipulative and often unethical or subjective thought. [edit] Importance Critical thinking is an important element of all professional fields and academic disciplines(by referencing their respective sets of permissible questions, evidence sources, criteria,etc.). Within the framework of scientific skepticism, the process of critical thinkinginvolves the careful acquisition and interpretation of information and use of it to reach awell-justifiedconclusion. The concepts and principles of critical thinking can be applied toany context or case but only by reflecting upon the nature of that application. Criticalthinking forms, therefore, a system of related, and overlapping, modes of thought such asanthropological thinking, sociological thinking,historicalthinking,  politicalthinking,  psychological thinking, philosophical thinking, mathematical thinking, chemical thinking, biological thinking,ecologicalthinking, legal thinking, ethical thinking, musical thinking,thinking like a painter , sculptor , engineer, business person, etc. In other words, though critical thinking principles are universal, their application to disciplines requires a processof reflective contextualization.
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