Critical thinking is an interesting topic for discussion among scientists and philosophers. It is a process that consists of numerous stages and requires a broad range of skills from an individual. There are numerous discussions on what is the correct definition of critical thinking (Author, year). It is not an easy task to define such a complex type of thinking because this process is still not well understood by modern society.
Definition of Critical Thinking
It is important to investigate the structure of the critical thinking process to understand this process. Various skills are necessary for an individual to apply critical thinking. One should have an overall knowledge of the subject, and be able to gather information related to the task if it is necessary. One should be able to comprehend available ideas and facts to conclude. Also, an individual should apply principles and rules to a subject. The ability to analyze a topic is necessary because it allows one to investigate different parts of a problem and not the subject as a whole. The ability to synthesize new ideas is also crucial, and it is a sign of developed critical thinking capabilities. Finally, one should be capable of criticizing the subject because it shows an excellent level of understanding. Different levels indicate how well-developed the critical thinking ability of a certain individual is. The master thinker is the highest level one may achieve. A person that has well-developed critical thinking can investigate important questions and problems while simultaneously having an exceptional understanding of the subject. Also, such individuals can gather necessary information that is related to an issue by using abstract ideas. It is paramount to apply this type of thinking to some subjects (Anand, 2013). This means that there are some situations when a correct decision cannot be made if an individual does not use this type of thinking. Some tasks simply cannot be performed without an application of critical thinking. Evaluation is the most important stage in the process of critical thinking because a person makes conclusions and formulates a final opinion on the subject. Various methods should help one to develop critical thinking that is quite useful. It is relatively simple to figure out when one practices critical thinking. Opinions of such individuals are well thought out, and their statements are precise. Critical thinking allows one to understand the information, and to make conclusions about how objects are related to each other. Weissberg (2013) claims that critical thinking requires one to “move beyond the acquisition of facts to uncover deep meaning” (p. 318). This means that one needs to examine his or her inner thoughts to analyze a subject at a critical level. Overall, critical thinking is a type of thinking about an object, subject, or problem with the use of structures and intellectual standards to increase the overall quality of thoughts.
In conclusion, there is still no agreement among scientists and thinkers on what the definition of critical thinking should be. It is a relatively complex cognitive process that is still being actively researched. There are many areas where critical thinking is applicable, and it allows one to investigate the core of the problem at hand. Overall, it is necessary for every student to develop critical thinking skills to grow as an individual.
Author. (n.d.). What Is the Value of Critical Thinking? Personal Collection of (the lecturer’s name), school or organization they teach for, city, state.
Anand, V. J. (2013). Epistemic Responsibility and Critical Thinking. Metaphilosophy, 44(4), 533-556.
Weissberg, R. (2013). Critically Thinking about Critical Thinking. Academic Questions, 26(3), 317-328.