Assumptions about Critical Thinking

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The skill of logical reasoning – independent thinking free from the influence of administrators, experts, journalists, parents – is highly valued in democratic societies. This is reason enough for the Thinkibility blog to investigate the logical bubble of  critical thinking (logical reasoning is one component in critical thinking).

We will use the Checklist Current Thinking as developed by Edward de Bono. A Current Thinking Check-list functions as a screen for areas of opportunity. Constructively challenge the status quo to enable new ideas to surface.

  • Speculation has to be Avoided at all times. Every argument should be defensible by logic reasoning or by evidence. Logical reasoning is simply a way of explaining the result where each step follows each other.
  • It is Assumed that the skill of critical thinking is about personal traits such as  openness and accuracy.  Also, that it is implicitly developed by-mainly academic-education. Critical thinking and logical reasoning are often described as abilities, which means that teaching is of less importance.
  • It is also assumed that logical reasoning is self-explanatory and the idea to examine and making the reasoning stronger are often dismissed. In other words, one can immediately proceed to criticizing
  • The Dominant Idea behind critical thinking is that the process is the same for any human, that the process is basically linear – straightforward and physically based in the brain.
  • Critical thinking is Limited to proving a statement to be true or false. It is not aimed for generating new ideas and concepts. It is taken for granted that if something is true, something could not be untrue.
  • Critical thinking is about an issue and an opinion or statement about that issue, supported by reasons for and against. The reasons must be proven by facts. Essential in logical reasoning is to be explicit about factual and normative assumptions. It is assumed that for anyone the factual assumptions (facts, information) and the normative assumptions (values, intuitions) are exactly the same. By that it is claimed that one objective truth can be reached.

It is interesting to challenge the dominant thinking about learning critical thinking. Could critical thinking and logical reasoning be developed by:

  • providing explicit thinking instructions
  • allowing speculative thinking strategies
  • accepting more statement boxes than merely true or false
  • providing tools to explicate hidden assumptions about facts and values
  • allowing different ways for reaching a conclusion

In our ebook Thinkibility – positive & negative we came up already with some ideas and possibilities. The character of critical thinking is also changing. We will explore that further in depth in part 5.

In the meantime your contributions are most welcome.

Photo: “Think On Brain On Monitor Shows Human Solving” by Stuart Miles

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