Critical Thinking, Toughts On

By Dr Art Lynch

Thoughts on Critical Thinking


Critical thinking is a concept that is widely used and has high visibility in the accreditation and mission statements of businesses across the world. However, many people have difficulty clarifying the concept and knowing how to infuse it as a part of their professional and personal lives. It can be argued that critical thinking is not something that is merely added to our way of doing things, but should be the way we liveo our lives and learn. When critical thinking is as a necessity for everyday life, learning substantive understanding will naturally result.

The critical mind is the questioning mind. The extent to which we ask genuine questions and seek to answer them reflects the extent to which we take things seriously and think them through. The problem is that we rarely know how to systematically ask questions that probe content by searching out assumptions, concepts, purposes, information, inferences and solutions, points of view, or implications. We rarely seek out intellectual standards to evaluate the quality of their thought and the thoughts of others: questions that target clarity, depth, relevance, validity, significance, and accuracy. We should work to create a personal culture where we actively, reflectively, and fair-mindedly question concepts, content and each other.
We need to cultivate important intellectual skills and abilities as well as virtuous dispositions like intellectual flexibility, empathy, humility, integrity, open-mindedness, and perseverance to name a few. There is a relationship between our ability to question and our ability to think critically.

There is an intimate relationship between what it means to think critically and our success in life.

Critical Thinking Overview

UH Faculty Development

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