What is Critical Thinking? Revisited

April 17, 2014
Captain E.F. Rollins

What is Critical Thinking? Revisited
• What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is the analysis of the written and spoken word, but it is much more involved than just analysis. It is having the ability to identify the different devices used to persuade someone into believing or coming to the conclusion the author or speaker is trying to steer you toward. It is essential to be able to identify these in order to effectively analyze an article, news report, or speech.
In order to be able to think critically, a person also has to have the ability to overcome their biases that result from their established beliefs, emotions, previous incorrect knowledge, and preconceived ideas on a particular subject in order to evaluate objectively. Once all of this is stripped away, a true analysis can be conducted in which the premises and the resulting conclusion are identified and whether the author or speaker has a valued or invalid argument.
• How is your response different from the one you wrote in Week One?
My Week One response was merely regurgitating the book’s definition and providing an example based on my limited knowledge of what critical thinking was. Early on, I thought ok so I analysis an article. That is no big deal. I analysis things all the time so this should be a piece of cake. Well, I could not have been more wrong. Now, I realize there is more to critical thinking that just the definition.
Critical thinking, as I stated above, involves eliminating your personal biases whether they are emotional, part of your established belief system, or preconceived ideas. As equally important is having the ability to determine the author’s intent in writing an article or their biases that are reflected in their writing. In writing my response to what is critical thinking in Week One, I took none of this into consideration and like I said I just stated the book’s definition.