Definitions: Critical Thinking

“Critical thinking: skillful, responsible thinking that is sensitive to context, reliant on criteria, self-correcting, and conducive to judgment.”

Walter Lippman, 1989

“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”

Richard Paul, 1993

Generic qualities of critical thinking involve:

  • Identifying and challenging assumptions
  • Exploring alternative ways of thinking and acting
  • Engaging in dialogic interchanges of our views and those of others

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