According to Foundation for Critical Thinking (2009), “Critical thinking is that mode of thinking—about any subject, content, or problem—in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them” (Defining Critical Thinking, para. 9). Thinking is part of everyone’s human nature. People who can separate their thoughts, analyze them, and change the behavior to make their thoughts more ethical and fair are the best critical thinkers. Every person has unethical and prejudiced thoughts on occasion. No person can be completely critical and ethical 100% of the time. This is when weak versus strong critical thinking comes into play.
Weak versus Strong Critical Thinking Critical thinking consists of two different types: weak versus strong. Weak critical thinking occurs when a person thinks that his or her point of view is the only possible view. Weak critical thinkers also use irrational and incomplete reasoning in argumentation because their thought process is to win. They will go into an argument without knowing all the information or doing any research on the topic. For example, pro-choice supporters for abortion see errors in the pro-life supporters’ beliefs and vice versa. Because weak-sense critical thinkers fail to be open-minded about any other viewpoint besides their own, they lack fair-mindedness. On the other hand, strong critical thinkers always strive to be fair-minded. They think through decisions and listen to both sides of an argument before making any rash judgments. Their thoughts are ethical and open-minded to other viewpoints, and they will change position on a topic if there is just reason. “To think critically in the strong sense requires that we develop fair-mindedness at the same time that we learn basic critical thinking skills, and thus begin to “practice” fair-mindedness in
References: Foundation for Critical Thinking. (2009). The critical thinking community. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/aboutCT/define_critical_thinking.cfm. Mc Shane, T. (2010, September 29). Critical thinking-"Quick flow chart" [Discussion thread]. Message posted to http://classroom.phoenix.edu/afm213/secure/view-thread.jspa?threadID=25681770. Paul, R. and Elder, L. (2006). Critical thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson: Prentice Hall.