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What is the best definition of Critical Thinking?

 
 
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 08:47 am
There really isn't a "bad" answer to this one and I don't intend to argue (unless you use that "thinking about thinking" definition, that definition sucks). ; )
I have my own definition and will eventually need to write a paper on the subject, but am open to new ideas and appreciate any inspiration. Good luck and thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 3,498 • Replies: 32
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Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 11:37 pm
@demonhunter,
I"ll bite...it seems odd to me that no one has replied to this already.

I like wiki's answer to the question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking , but it seems like an honest, personal answer requires the specification of which assumptions one means to question. There seem to be several different versions of critical thinking available:

1) Conceptual/logical: one asks of an event "why, why, why". And one responds with the answer "If...then...therefore..."

2) Metaphysical/ontological: one asks of an event "why, why, why". And one responds with the answer of "How...then...that..."

3) Empirical/ scientific: one asks of an event "why, why, why". And one responds with the answer of "If...how...then...."

4) Historical: one asks of an event "why, why, why". And one responds with the answer of "If that...therefore then...now how..."

This answer is formulaic, i know, but i thought i might start the debate. i don't usually like answering homework type questions, but i liked your honesty in that regard. i like a good debate, but this is also the sort of question that might get the **** slinging...

i doubt that my response has overtly impacted your original idea about your eventual essay, but i enjoy the idea of possibly taking a part in someone's writing process, one way or the other. The above is nothing like a definition, but i'm curious as to the OP's definition: Happy writing!
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 05:32 am
@demonhunter,
"critical thinking".... I've never much liked that phrase. I like the phrase "relevant thinking" better. It is possible to be critical about irrelevant aspects of a problem, and that doesn't lead to clarity.
0 Replies
 
demonhunter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 08:24 am
@demonhunter,
Thanks guys. I do have my own definition(s) but kind of go back and forth between a few ideas. "Critical thinking: the most loosely defined concept in education," and "Critical thinking: finding relevance in the paradox," are two that kind of stick out. Another one I thought about this morning was just "calling it as you see it." While the first two are truthful, they might be a little too cynical for my paper. The third is also truthful, however it kind of ignores what I think educators aim to accomplish by teaching the concept (actually, I am not quite sure that the ideal of critical thinking is really possible because it requires a degree of self-honesty that I am not sure we are capable of).
I like both your ideas and actually agree with both points. I guess the bottom line is that I am still deciding but definitely benefit from your input. Thanks again and I am still open to new ideas from everyone.
NSFW (view)
demonhunter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 09:51 am
@djjd62,
Isn't that just common knowledge? : )
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 07:26 pm
@demonhunter,
It takes a very good teacher to teach someone how to think without also teaching them what to think.
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2012 03:21 am
@Cyracuz,
um...i'm having a very hard time tracing the flow between the last three comments, but that is a valid statement...
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2012 05:06 pm
@Razzleg,

to question
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2012 01:38 am
@north,
north wrote:

to question


Is this addressed to me or the OP? Either way, in my opinion, "questioning" is the beginning of critical thinking, but it is not sufficient. A question may be querulous and easily answered or ignored. For a question to make itself critical it must be vital to the matter at hand.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2012 05:56 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
For a question to make itself critical it must be vital to the matter at hand.


According to wiki, critical thinking is thinking that questions assumptions. But as long as we deal with language, as long as we deal with perception, we can never be free of assumptions. The best we can do is change one for another.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2012 04:51 pm
@Razzleg,
Razzleg wrote:

north wrote:

to question


Is this addressed to me or the OP? Either way, in my opinion, "questioning" is the beginning of critical thinking, but it is not sufficient. A question may be querulous and easily answered or ignored. For a question to make itself critical it must be vital to the matter at hand.


agreed



0 Replies
 
Anomie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2012 06:26 pm
@demonhunter,
What is critical thinking?
Definition:the process of thinking that questions assumptions.

Under these conditions the definition of thinking is pressuposed, therefore appears to be self refuting.

However, all definitions may be interpreted circular, even definition itself.

We may use a basis to clarify meaning, such as tautological axioms, which are derrivations of formal proofs (i.e. axiom of equality/x = x).

This eliminates the infinite regress of language, hence definition is a passage that explains the meaning of a term...or a type of thing, this expansion does not require elaboration, it is self evident, or aprioricity of a pressuposed logical universe.

Occhams razor may also be applied for consistency, meaning you may attempt to apply the least assumptions, this is interpreted to be 'rational'.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2012 03:14 am
@Razzleg,
...in common sense terms, it is not about making questions but rather about making the right ones !...
demonhunter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2012 06:43 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
How do you know you are making the right one (or the wrong one)?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2012 07:21 pm
@Cyracuz,
I also do not believe "education" is necessary for critical thinking. Look at all the professionals, teachers, priests, and the well educated, who can't think through politics or religion in a logical way.
demonhunter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2012 08:04 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I believe that I might agree. I am not sure that "critical thinking" is something that can be taught in a formal educational setting.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2012 08:07 pm
@demonhunter,
We are subjective beings that doesn't know how to rationalize facts when it's presented, because of our "belief" system inculcated through our parents, siblings, culture, and environment.
demonhunter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2012 08:17 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Maybe so. I believe that I know what you are getting at. The thing is though, if we are "subjective beings," what is the whole deal with objectivity? I mean, how did we come up with the idea in the first place?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2012 09:20 pm
@demonhunter,
There are objective and subjective realities that humans live by. The border between the two differ for each individual.
 

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