January 16, 2014

“Critical thinking” is poorly defined on Wikipedia. According to it, it just means thinking well, which is not what critical thinking is about. To think critically means to think for yourself, to apply your own creativity or perspective on existing thoughts/ideas. Thinking well to arrive at the correct answer in math, for instance, is not “critical” thinking. For a thought to be critical it must challenge or criticize someone. Whether it’s a product, policy, artwork, idea, society, or culture, there must always be someone behind what you are thinking critical of. After all, it would be absurd to be critical of, say, mountains, fish, or rain. To think critically is to think in your own ways, distinct from how others think.