Critical thinking

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

24 Scopus citations


This article on critical thinking emphasizes its normative character. It explains what critical thinking is, why it is valuable, and why it is educationally basic. Being a critical thinker is a matter of degree. Critical thinking involves both skills and abilities of reason assessment, and the disposition to exercise those abilities; the critical thinker is both able to assess the probative strength of reasons, and is disposed to do so. Such thinking satisfies relevant criteria of reason assessment. Critical thinking is rightly regarded as a fundamental educational ideal, for reasons offered below. While there may be considerable merit in some criticisms of critical thinking, more radical challenges to it fail in that they in the end rely on the very critical thinking they aim to challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780080448947
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • Autonomy
  • Criteria
  • Critical spirit
  • Critical thinking
  • Dispositions
  • Epistemology
  • Justification
  • Rationality
  • Reasons
  • Respect for students as persons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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