The subject is complex, and several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence.
Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.
"A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective." As the ‘second wave’ took hold, scholars began to take a more inclusive view of what constituted as critical thinking.
Rationality and logic are still widely accepted in many circles as the primary examples of critical thinking. Walters (Re-thinking Reason, 1994) argues that rationality demands more than just logical or traditional methods of problem solving and analysis or what he calls the "calculus of justification" but also considers "cognitive acts such as imagination, conceptual creativity, intuition and insight" (p. These "functions" are focused on discovery, on more abstract processes instead of linear, rules-based approaches to problem-solving.
Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, and fairness.
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The habits of mind that characterize a person strongly disposed toward critical thinking include a desire to follow reason and evidence wherever they may lead, a systematic approach to problem solving, inquisitiveness, even-handedness, and confidence in reasoning.
The linear and non-sequential mind must both be engaged in the rational mind.
The ability to critically analyze an argument – to dissect structure and components, thesis and reasons – is essential.
rationality, rational thinking, reasoning, knowledge, intelligence and also a moral component such as reflective thinking.
Critical thinkers therefore need to have reached a level of maturity in their development, possess a certain attitude as well as a set of taught skills. Glaser proposed that the ability to think critically involves three elements: Educational programs aimed at developing critical thinking in children and adult learners, individually or in group problem solving and decision making contexts, continue to address these same three central elements.