(Peter A. Facione)
- summary –
The article starts with emphasizing the importance of making good decisions and practicing fair judgments comparing with enduring the consequences of uninformed and bad choices.
Next topic is defining “critical thinking”, which is based on rhetorical questions that can help each of us deducing by ourselves what it means and why it is important. Whenever you are in the position to choose, you have to analyze all the options you have, find logical and rational reasons for one or another alternative. This way of defining a concept by challenging the reader to think and find answers to the questions raised is much more useful than a complex definition written on a page and then memorized. Although memorization has its own valuable uses, it is important to stop from time to time and reflect when learning.
Considering an international group of experts trying to find the meaning of critical thinking concept and also a team of people trying to solve a problem, it can be stated that critical thinking has a purpose (defining a term or solving an issue) and it is a collaborative effort. It can also raise the problem of borderline cases: not all the people will think the same about certain issue (consider it correct of wrong), this depending on how fair or close-minded a person is.
In critical thinking there are some skills (mental abilities) involved, such as interpretation (understand and express the sense of an event/term/idea/data: interpreting a chart, rephrase someone’s statement with your own words), analysis (identify the relationship among concepts, statements, questions: detecting arguments, examining ideas), evaluation (decide if a representation of someone’s experience, perception, opinion, belief is credible or not, passing the information we have through our evaluative system), inference (identify the premises which leads to a reasonable, fair conclusion, taking into...