Critical thinking

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The thinker, Auguste Rodin.

Critical thinking is a type of reasonable, reflective thinking that is aimed at deciding what to believe or what to do. It is a way of deciding whether a claim is always true, sometimes true, partly true, or false.

Quotes[edit]

  • There's a reason for this, there's a reason education sucks, and it's the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It's never going to get any better. Don't look for it. Be happy with what you've got... because the owners of this country don’t want that. I'm talking about the real owners now... the real owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests...
  • ...the Bush regime doesn't believe in funding education because if you fund education you will have a more educated populace. If you have a more educated populace, you will have critical thinking. If you have critical thinking, you cannot push this agenda that they have and you won't have as many people that are so willing to serve in the armed forces for Dick Cheney.
    • Janeane Garofalo (2005) Majority Report, April 21, 2005 broadcast.
  • The thesis that Jesus never existed has hovered around the fringes of research into the New Testament for at least a century but it has never been accepted as a mainstream theory. This is for good reason. It is simply a bad hypothesis based on arguments from silence, special pleading, and an awful lot of wishful thinking. It is ironic that certain atheists will buy into this idea and leave all their pretensions of critical thinking behind.
    • James Hannam, "Is Jesus Christ a Myth?" (Part One), Patheos, 2010, para. 1.
  • It is impossible to learn much in today's world without letting somebody else crunch the numbers and offer us explanations. And teachers are sources of necessary information. But how we choose our "authorities" and place a value on such information, is just another skill rarely taught in our education systems. It's little wonder that to most folk, sound bites and talking heads are enough to count as experts. […] Teaching is reinforcing the appeal to authority, where anybody who seems more intelligent than you must ultimately be right. […] We educators must simply role-model critical thinking. […] Educators themselves have to be prepared to show that "evidence" and "answers" are two separate things by firmly believing that, themselves.
    • Mike McRae, Australian teacher and guest columnist, "Educating Future Critical Thinkers", Swift, 31 March 2006.
  • The human capacity for denial and rationalization is always shocking, but never surprising.
  • Critical thinking is more than a set of skills and processes and there are many different skills and actions that may be involved in critical thinking;
    Emotion and emotional climate (two different things) are relevant and may need to be to be taken into account;
    Critical thinking is 'nurtured' in it's development. Nurturing might imply that it is best developed in a challenging environment which is relatively free of threat;
    • Jennifer Moon (2012) Critical Thinking: An Exploration of Theory and Practice. p. 54.
  • A more detailed, but still uncontroversial comprehensive, definition is that philosophy is rationally critical thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge), and the conduct of life (ethics or theory of value). Each of these three elements...
    • Anthony Quinton (born 1925) in: Ted Honderich ed. (1995) The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • The purpose of critical thinking... is rethinking: that is, reviewing, evaluating, and revising thought.
    • Jon Stratton (1999) Critical Thinking for College Students.
  • The last thing the men behind the curtain want is a conscious informed public capable of critical thinking. Which is why a continually fraudulent zeitgeist is output via religion, the mass media, and the educational system. They seek to keep you in a distracted, naive bubble. And they are doing a damn good job of it.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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