Saturday, January 31, 2015
Why Critical Thinking?
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
Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it.
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
• 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
• communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex
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.
The more closed minded you are, the more you attack or reject without understanding, investigating and respecting the opposing point of view, the less open you are to others, to growth, to change and to working for the greater good.