History[ edit ] The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato. Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational. He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief.
Translate this page from English Print Page Change Text Size: 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 downright 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. Critical thinking is 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, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.
To Assess Thinking Check it for clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, logic, and fairness. Etymologically, then, the word implies the development of "discerning judgment based on standards.
The tradition of research into critical thinking reflects the common perception that human thinking left to itself often gravitates toward prejudice, over-generalization, common fallacies, self-deception, rigidity, and narrowness.
It assumes that the capacity of humans for good reasoning can be nurtured and developed by an educational process aimed directly at that end.
The history of critical thinking documents the development of this insight in a variety of subject matter domains and in a variety of social situations. Each major dimension of critical thinking has been carved out in intellectual debate and dispute through years of intellectual history.
That history allows us to distinguish two contradictory intellectual tendencies: Our basic concept of critical thinking is, at root, simple. We could define it as the art of taking charge of your own mind.
Its value is also at root simple: Of course, this requires that we learn self-discipline and the art of self-examination. This involves becoming interested in how our minds work, how we can monitor, fine tune, and modify their operations for the better.
It involves getting into the habit of reflectively examining our impulsive and accustomed ways of thinking and acting in every dimension of our lives. All that we do, we do on the basis of some motivations or reasons. But we rarely examine our motivations to see if they make sense.
We rarely scrutinize our reasons critically to see if they are rationally justified. As parents we often respond to our children impulsively and uncritically, without stopping to determine whether our actions are consistent with how we want to act as parents or whether we are contributing to their self esteem or whether we are discouraging them from thinking or from taking responsibility for their own behavior.
As citizens, too often we vote impulsively and uncritically, without taking the time to familiarize ourselves with the relevant issues and positions, without thinking about the long-run implications of what is being proposed, without paying attention to how politicians manipulate us by flattery or vague and empty promises.
As friends, too often we become the victims of our own infantile needs, "getting involved" with people who bring out the worst in us or who stimulate us to act in ways that we have been trying to change.
As husbands or wives, too often we think only of our own desires and points of view, uncritically ignoring the needs and perspectives of our mates, assuming that what we want and what we think is clearly justified and true, and that when they disagree with us they are being unreasonable and unfair.
As patients, too often we allow ourselves to become passive and uncritical in our health care, not establishing good habits of eating and exercise, not questioning what our doctor says, not designing or following good plans for our own wellness. As teachers, too often we allow ourselves to uncritically teach as we have been taught, giving assignments that students can mindlessly do, inadvertently discouraging their initiative and independence, missing opportunities to cultivate their self-discipline and thoughtfulness.
It is quite possible and, unfortunately, quite "natural" to live an unexamined life; to live in a more or less automated, uncritical way.
It is possible to live, in other words, without really taking charge of the persons we are becoming; without developing or acting upon the skills and insights we are capable of. On this view, as you can see, critical thinking is an eminently practical goal and value.
It is focused on an ancient Greek ideal of "living an examined life".critical thinking meaning: the process of thinking carefully about a subject or idea, without allowing feelings or opinions to affect you.
Learn more. Critical thinking definition, disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence: The questions are intended to develop your critical thinking.
See more. What does ‘critical thinking’ mean? Well, that depends on who you ask. For educators, as a term critical thinking is similar to words like democracy, global, and organic: You hear people use them all the time, but no one seems to understand exactly what they mean.
Critical thinking is the process of independently analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information as a guide to behavior and beliefs.. The American Philosophical Association has defined critical thinking as "the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment.
Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking in Higher Education Abstract The literature on critical thinking in higher education is constructed around the fundamental assumption that. Critical definition is - inclined to criticize severely and unfavorably.
How to use critical in a sentence. critically \ ˈkri- ti- k(ə-)l She has a talent for critical thinking. We need to look at these proposed changes with a critical eye before we accept them.