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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why Critical Thinking?


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.

A Definition:
Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to
improving it.

The Result:
A well cultivated critical thinker:
• raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
• gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it
effectively;
• comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against
relevant criteria and standards;
• thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing
and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical
consequences; and
• communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex
problems.



Summary
Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored,
and self-corrective
thinking. It requires 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.

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