What Is Critical Thinking? Essay

664 words - 3 pages

What is critical thinkingThe word thinking can describe any number of mental activities. Much of our natural thinking, when left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or downright prejudiced. Yet the quality of our lives depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Critical thinking is that mode of thinking--about any given subject--in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of its very structures and by imposing intellectual standards upon them. However, effective critical thinking involves consideration of the full range of possibilities to a problem, including emotional, cognitive, intellectual and psychological factors.Thus, critical thinking belongs to the category of higher-level thinking skills. Critical thinking is analytical and logical; it evaluates ideas and identifies the most reasonable ones. Critical thinking is clear, precise, accurate, relevant, consistent, and ...view middle of the document...

Successful people are able to apply what they know to the challenges of their jobs. Today's employers are not looking for walking encyclopedias, but rather for independent decision-makers and problem-solvers.Critical thinkers have what employers want. A well-cultivated critical thinkerraises vital questions, formulating them clearly and preciselygathers and assesses relevant information, using abstractions to interpret the informationcomes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant standardsthinks within alternative systems of thought, recognizing implications and consequencescommunicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problemsCritical thinking is essential to workplace fairness because we can hold organizational decision-makers accountable and probe behind cliques and rhetoric.While the above skills clearly apply to our professional environments, they play an important role in our personal and civic lives as well. For example, illogical thinking plays a big part in abusive behavior. Other examples for which critical thinking skills are useful are the manipulative appeals in TV commercials and the rhetoric used by politicians and the media in general. In general, we can avoid manipulation and much frustration by testing ideas for their reasonableness before we accept and act on them. This systematic evaluation of ideas is appropriate whenever someone makes a claim that is open to question. Many such claims are made daily at home, school, and work.Study on Relationship of Logic to Critical ThinkingOne part of critical thinking comprises the basic principles of logic. Logic, in the traditional philosophical sense, is the study of correct argument. In today's complex world, it is necessary to react to problems and situations from more than a narrow, emotional perspective. "Because I said so!" might (or might not) work with your children, but it probably won't go over really well with your boss. You need to be able to analyze problems and defend your proposed solutions rationally and logically. This requires an understanding of basic logic, including the structure of arguments and logical fallacies. We will take a closer look at arguments in in the Argument Workshop and fallacies in the Informal Fallacies Workshop

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