Lecture Notes.

Module One: Session Three

Critical Thinking Fundamentals

  • What kind of person is a critical thinker? Here is Richard Paul's definition:
    Richard Paul
    Richard Paul is the founder and principle researcher for the Foundation for Critical Thinking
    [A critical thinker] is someone who is able to think well and fairmindedly not just about her own beliefs and viewpoints, but about beliefs and viewpoints that are diametrically opposed to her own. And not just to think about them, but to explore and appreciate their adequacy, their cohesion, their very reasonableness [when compared with] their own. More, a person who thinks critically is not just willing and able to explore alien, potentially threatening viewpoints, but she also desires to do so. She questions her own deeply-held beliefs, and if there are no opposing viewpoints ready at hand, she seeks them out or constructs them herself (Paul ii).
  • Critical Thinking is a course in logic. It is sometimes called "informal logic" because it focuses on everyday reasoning, rather than on detailed symbollic forms. However, being a critical thinker and being logical are pretty much the same thing.

    Paul, Richard. Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World. 1st ed. Rohnert Park, CA: Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique, 1990. ii. Print.

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