March 13, 2013
How does worldview impact critical thinking?
Our worldview impacts all aspects of our lives because it is the foundation of how we think, make decisions, act, and perceive the world. Ultimately our critical thinking processes are colored by our beliefs and not necessarily grounded in reality.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines weltanschauung (a German word for worldview) as a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint. The root system of our current reality and views are embedded in our experiences, background, education, and cultural traditions.
Philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) first implemented the concept of worldview in his book "Critique of Judgment." He discussed how our worldview is a subjective view of the universe and specific things as they are perceived rather than as they are in reality (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Kant's use of the word subjective implies that our personal world depends on our feelings, opinions, personal tastes, and influences our decisions and actions. Our worldview will adjust and change as our experiences grow and we respond accordingly. The core factor in our worldview evolution is applying critical thinking to our lives.
Critical thinking is defined as: 1) the awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions; 2) the ability to ask and answer critical questions in an appropriate manner; 3) and desire to actively use the critical questions (Browne & Stuart, 2012, p. 2). It is impossible to grow as a person if we do not apply critical thinking to our lives. We must ask "why?" and be open to the answers regardless of our current position. By practicing autonomy, curiosity, humility and respect for good reasoning we are displaying the values of a critical thinker and expanding our worldview. If we refuse to embrace a lifestyle of strong-sensed thinking we will cling to "wishful thinking"...