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Prof. Dr. Fee-Alexandra Haase: Welcome inside the Think Tank

In A Working Definition of Critical Thinking Michael Scriven and Richard Paul make a definition of Critical Thinking as a process:

Critical Thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness. It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue, assumptions, concepts, empirical grounding; reasoning leading to conclusions, implications and consequences, objections from alternative viewpoints, and frame of reference. Critical Thinking - in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes - is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking. (3)

Critical Thinking is also called informal thinking, a term, which expresses this assumption. If a situation or decision needs to be figured out, then a Critical Thinking approach is needed. Critical Thinking has also become a broad term for academic work and scholarly education across the disciplines classified as humanities. The humanities in academic tradition are a group of academic subjects studying aspects of the human condition. ´Critical Theory´ entails reflection upon the premises, concepts and categories and is this way a meta-discipline used for any approach done here.

Critical Thinking can be seen as having certain components to handle informations. It involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated. It also involves the permanent use of them and the mere use of those skills without acceptance of their results. As a method Critical Thinking varies according to the purpose and motivation. Its quality is therefore typically a matter of degree and dependent on the quality and depth of experience in a given domain of thinking or with respect to a particular class of questions. (4)

Critical Thinking has features that are useful for any management process. Critical Thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of using informations by processes of observation, experience, reflection, or reasoning:

Conceptualising information

Applying information

Analysing information

Synthesizing information

Evaluating information


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