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Critical Thinking A Personal Response And Evaluation

1597 words - 6 pages

PAGE PAGE 10 Critical Thinking- A Personal Response
AbstractWe will compare and contrast the differing definitions of critical thinking and provide personal evaluation of how cognitive development, logic, and emotionality relate to our ability to think critically. An agreement to define critical thinking between scholars of philosophy and psychology remains difficult because of their differing thoughts on the subject matter. Critical thinking is important in today's changing world because it enhances us as doctoral learners to develop in our personal, social and professional careers.Philosophical perception of critical thinkingAccording to Lewis and Smith (1993, pp.131-137), the perspectives of philosophers and psychologists on critical thinking differs because philosophers put more emphasis on thinking while psychologist stresses on the idea of thinking skills. Dewey (1938) who initiated the idea of critical thinking in an educational standpoint perceived it as a reflection and an effort to establish belief based upon evidence and rationality (p.9).On the other hand, Facione (1984), in his philosophical perspective sees critical thinking as the development and evaluation of arguments (p.259). Conversely, Lipman (1988) argues that it is skilful and responsible thinking that engenders good judgment because it relies on criteria, self-correction, and it sensitivity to context (p.39). Siegel (1991) also noted that the ability to think requires the critical thinker to posses a critical spirit (p.18) which enables him or her tendency and inclination to think critically. Splitter (1991) added to the perception of critical thinking by arguing that in order for critical thinking to take place there needs to be a community of inquiry (p.100)Although there are differences among the philosophical based theories, what apparent about the philosophical based theories are their similar views to concentrate on the importance of argument analysis that stems from informal logic. Their theories focus on the analysis of arguments on grounds of their validity and soundness and the key role of thinking dispositions as more recent theories suggest (Paul, 1995, Ennis 1987).Psychological perception of Critical thinkingConversely, unlike the philosophy-based theories, psychology-based theories focused on the cognitive dimension of critical thinking. For example, Bartlett (1985) definition of thinking as the extension of evidence is in agreement with that evidence so as to fill up the gaps in the evidence (p.75). In contrast, Siegel (1984) sees it as an active process involving a number of denotable mental operations such as induction, deduction, reasoning, classification and definition of relationships (p.18).Similarly, definitions from a psychological perspective include an active systematic attempt to understand and evaluate arguments (Mayer & Goodchild, 1990, p.4), sequence of internal symbolic activities that leads to novel, productive ideas or conclusions...

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