How have your beliefs and ideas been shaped from birth?
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.
Critical thinking requires us to support our position and also see the other side. The heart of critical thinking is a willingness to face objections to one’s own beliefs, to adopt a skeptical attitude not only toward views opposed to our own but also toward our own common sense – that is, toward views that seem to us as obviously right (Barnet et al. 12)
Issue: Gay Marriage Licenses
In a 2015 case from Kentucky, Kim Davis refused to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Who has a say in the matter? What is affected by this issue?
Let’s work on the three questions on page 10.
Why are we talking about this issue? How does this affect people who are not gay?
Gay man denied marriage license by Kim Davis challenging her for county clerk: I want to bring ‘people back together’
Obstacles to Critical Thinking
- The topic is too controversial.
- The topic hits “too close to home.” Personal experience with topic.
- The topic disgusts you.
Generating Ideas: Writing as a Way of Thinking
Writing helps writers to think. Prewriting, Brainstorming, clustering, lists,
Confronting Unfamiliar Issues
Since college can not prepare you for every possible issue you will face, it seeks to equip you with tools, methods, and habits of mind that enable you to confront arguments about any potential issue.
Identifying and Examining Assumptions
Assumptions may be explicit or implicit, stated or unstated.
Implicit Assumption: one that is not stated and often taken for granted.
Explicit Assumption: a clearly stated assumption.
What assumptions do you see in the issue?
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution