The word critical thinking comes from the word “critique” which itself means analysis, an assessment of any political, cultural, literary, or even social idea. Critical thinking in layman’s terms would be thinking deeply about problems and their solutions, assessing a problem completely from every angle, and having a far-sighted view about opinions and objectives based on fact rather than on personal preferences.
Is critical thinking a skill?
Critical thinking can be easily characterized as an attitude or a skill, that is because it is easy to develop within yourself that is a characteristic of an attitude that it is originating from the inside. Also, it is something that strengthens and improves as we practice it, the more we depend on critical thinking the better we get at it. But the question is:
we receive a lot of information every day and it is almost certain that some of the information might be false therefore it is extremely important to keep a skeptical mind. skepticism offers an approach to question each and everything and since everything has some sort of bias and it is necessary to check whether that information is backed by some facts or not is the information consistent with the Real world experiences.
Filtering out biases and advancement helps us take more informed and reasoned decisions and improve our problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and overall career growth it increases our confidence because we know that our decisions and approaches are practical, not emotional.
There are some steps to critically think upon stuff, you can’t blindly start asking questions to everyone about everything. Understanding the principles of critical thinking can help you evaluate and improve your own thought processes.
As much as it is important to question and answer upon values and beliefs it is important to also first recognize which problems should be evaluated, are these problems generic are these problems really problems? Do these problems affect us or our society in a way?
If someone thinks that there is a problem with our country’s economy then a variety of variables should be brought to light like per capita income, GDP, imports/exports data, etc. and if this data is signaling an economic decline then the problem brought was valid and now it must be worked upon.
3. ANALYZE ARGUMENTS:
A key part of critical thinking is understanding the basics of argumentation. Argumentation is a process using information and facts to support a particular point of view. Now that the problem is there a solution is required that solution would be produced through brainstorming arguments and counterarguments. Since the problem is of economy some people would argue through justifications that a global pandemic is going on while others would mention examples of economies that have outgrown even in such a time than resources of such economies would be discussed upon a large number of questions followed by answers followed by more questions would be the precis of this discussion, none of the parties would accept others’ argument blindly neither they would be able to assert theirs all question would be met by answers and then y more questions to a get to the actual solution.
Socratic method of critical thinking
Critical thinking has always been in development and among the people who worked most for its nurturing, Socrates is one of the giants.
Socrates in his time was arrested by the then greek state for his ideas, people thought he was influencing the youth in the wrong direction, but he was not being arrested for his unconventional answers to questions but the unconventional questions themselves, which forced any wise to think upon the problem rather than accepting it blindly, his rapid and careful questioning of everything led to the intellectual development of his era.
Importance of questions and answers
Once a young person went up to Socrates, a young person named Euthydemus was confident that he can differentiate between justice and injustice. so a dialog was held between him and Socrates.
Socrates begins with a question
Are lying and theft justice or injustice?
Euthydemus immediately categorized them as injustices
Socrates followed that up with another question
Is it unjust for a general to deceive a hostile army?
Euthydemus replied it is unjust when done to friends and just when done to friends
Socrates prompted another question
Is it justified for a general to lie to his troops for morale boosting?
Now Euthydemus took some time
This conversation went on for a long time and the summary was each answer was leading to another question causing the person to think more about it and devise another solution
This gives us our answer that questioning and answering is indeed the best way possible to analyze and assess problems and come up with solutions that are backed up by facts and evidence
To support this question-oriented approach to critical thinking skepticism is an important tool
It simply refers to an attitude of doubt towards all sorts of knowledge, not accepting anything blindly but instead thinking upon it, being skeptical leads a person to upgrade his knowledge and intellect since whenever ideas are presented to him he thinks about them he understands underlying facts that support the vision and only then accepts it
As much as being skeptical about issues is important it is also important for a person to keep his mind open to new ideas, his thought process must be able to entertain new thoughts, when something is presented to him he neither rejects it blindly nor does he accept it readily. he works on the solution he gathers evidence to back or reject the problem, in either case, his thoughts are to be challenged and it is important for him to continuously answer himself through information backed by proven facts and evidence
After all of this confusion of questions and answers, individuals should also draw conclusions based on these ideas. If questioned and answered correctly in such a manner that biases are removed, all problems produce results that substantiate the actual reason something is right or wrong, and societies and individuals that try to find solutions through the power of critical thinking do improve and refine into intellectually superior societies and beings.
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