The Critical Thinking Community

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All that we do, we do on the basis of some motivations or reasons.

All that we do, we do on the basis of some motivations or reasons.

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Its value is also at root simple: if we can take charge of our own minds, we can take charge of our lives; we can improve them, bringing them under our self command and direction.

Of course, this requires that we learn self-discipline and the art of self-examination.

Each intellectual discipline has modes of thinking that apply specifically to the attainment of information and how that information is evaluated and communicated.

Demonstration indicates that students can apply these skills and analyze the degree of success they have in using them.

This involves becoming interested in how our minds work, how we can monitor, fine tune, and modify their operations for the better.

It involves getting into the habit of reflectively examining our impulsive and accustomed ways of thinking and acting in every dimension of our lives.Each major dimension of critical thinking has been carved out in intellectual debate and dispute through 2400 years of intellectual history.That history allows us to distinguish two contradictory intellectual tendencies: a tendency on the part of the large majority to uncritically accept whatever was presently believed as more or less eternal truth and a conflicting tendency on the part of a small minority — those who thought critically — to systematically question what was commonly accepted and seek, as a result, to establish sounder, more reflective criteria and standards for judging what it does and does not make sense to accept as true.Our basic concept of critical thinking is, at root, simple.We could define it as the art of taking charge of your own mind.The tradition of research into critical thinking reflects the common perception that human thinking left to itself often gravitates toward prejudice, over-generalization, common fallacies, self-deception, rigidity, and narrowness.The critical thinking tradition seeks ways of understanding the mind and then training the intellect so that such "errors", "blunders", and "distortions" of thought are minimized.It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.The concept of critical thinking we adhere to reflects a concept embedded not only in a core body of research over the last 30 to 50 years but also derived from roots in ancient Greek.As parents we often respond to our children impulsively and uncritically, without stopping to determine whether our actions are consistent with how we want to act as parents or whether we are contributing to their self esteem or whether we are discouraging them from thinking or from taking responsibility for their own behavior.As citizens, too often we vote impulsively and uncritically, without taking the time to familiarize ourselves with the relevant issues and positions, without thinking about the long-run implications of what is being proposed, without paying attention to how politicians manipulate us by flattery or vague and empty promises.

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