Critical Thinking Defined

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We can use critical thinking to enhance work processes and improve social institutions.

Some people believe that critical thinking hinders creativity because it requires following the rules of logic and rationality, but creativity might require breaking rules. Critical thinking is quite compatible with thinking "out-of-the-box", challenging consensus and pursuing less popular approaches.

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe.

It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

A critical thinker is able to deduce consequences from what he knows, and he knows how to make use of information to solve problems, and to seek relevant sources of information to inform himself.

Critical thinking should not be confused with being argumentative or being critical of other people.Although critical thinking skills can be used in exposing fallacies and bad reasoning, critical thinking can also play an important role in cooperative reasoning and constructive tasks.Critical thinking can help us acquire knowledge, improve our theories, and strengthen arguments.Ennis, Author of The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests "Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe and do." A SUPER-STREAMLINED CONCEPTION OF CRITICAL THINKING Robert H. Can well develop and defend a reasonable position 7. Formulates plausible hypotheses; plans experiments well 9. Ennis, 6/20/02 Assuming that critical thinking is reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do, a critical thinker: 1. Defines terms in a way appropriate for the context 10. Interpretation of logical terminology in statements, including (1) Negation and double negation (2) Necessary and sufficient condition language (3) Such words as "only", "if and only if", "or", "some", "unless", "not both". To explanatory conclusions (including hypotheses) (1) Major types of explanatory conclusions and hypotheses: (a) Causal claims (b) Claims about the beliefs and attitudes of people (c) Interpretation of authors’ intended meanings (d) Historical claims that certain things happened (including criminal accusations) (e) Reported definitions (f) Claims that some proposition is an unstated reason that the person actually used (2) Characteristic investigative activities (a) Designing experiments, including planning to control variables (b) Seeking evidence and counter-evidence (c) Seeking other possible explanations (3) Criteria, the first five being essential, the sixth being desirable (a) The proposed conclusion would explain the evidence (b) The proposed conclusion is consistent with all known facts (c) Competitive alternative explanations are inconsistent with facts (d) The evidence on which the hypothesis depends is acceptable. Broad considerations: (1) Typicality of data, including sampling where appropriate (2) Breadth of coverage (3) Acceptability of evidence b.If anything, critical thinking is an essential part of creativity because we need critical thinking to evaluate and improve our creative ideas.Critical thinking is a domain-general thinking skill.Draws conclusions when warranted, but with caution 11. Integrates all items in this list when deciding what to believe or do Critical Thinkers are disposed to: 1.

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