Quick Write

What is critical thinking? Write for two minutes.

Syllabus

Any questions on the syllabus?

Ice Breaker

  • Name
  • Major
  • Interesting Fact
  • Do you like to read or write?

What is Critical Thinking?

Quality of Thinking, Quality of Life

30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking

Critical thinking, in a rich sense of the term, is self-guided disciplined thought that attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fairminded way.

From our textbook.

Critical comes from the Greek word krinein, meaning “to separate, to choose”; above all, it implies conscious inquiry (4).

Conscious also means to be awake or aware. This suggests that by examining our reasoning, we can understand the basis of our judgments and decisions – ultimately, so that we can make better ones.

According to Google:

Critical Thinking – the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Ignorance

According to our textbook, to think critically, you must question not only the beliefs and assumptions of others, but also one’s own beliefs and assumptions (5).

“Most of us assume whatever we believe to be “right.” Though we were taught much of what we believe before we could critically analyze our beliefs, we nevertheless defend out beliefs as the truth” (Elder and Paul).

Vocabulary

Ignorance – lack of knowledge or information.

Intellectual Arrogance – the tendency to confidently assert as true what you do not in fact know to be true.

Intellectual Humility – awareness of the extent of your ignorance.

People with a high degree of intellectual humility understand that there is far more that they will never know that they will ever know (Elder and Paul).

  • Acknowledge that you may be wrong, until you find sufficient evidence to prove your belief.
  • Notice when you argue if you are justifying your beliefs. Do you have evidence?
  • Question your beliefs, especially religious, cultural, or political.
  • Research from multiple perspectives.
  • Explore new beliefs.

Identify weaknesses in your thinking.

  1. What do I truly know?
  2. Are my prejudices and biases influencing my thinking?
  3. What beliefs have I accepted without critical thinking?
  4. How have my beliefs been shaped from birth?