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

Critical Thinking is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subjective aspects. It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning such as purpose, problem, or question-at-issue. Critical Thinking is a purposeful, self-regulatory judgment, which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based.

A skill and virtue catalogue - Description of the managing values of a critical thinker

In recent time an image of a critical thinker was produced, which focuses also on managing skills in an information process. A person who thinks critically asks appropriate questions, gather relevant information, efficiently and creatively sort through this information, reason logically from this information, and come to reliable and trustworthy conclusions about the world that enable one to live and act successfully in it. This ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. A critical thinker understands the sources of knowledge, the nature of knowledge, and the nature of truth. Critical thinkers must be intimately acquainted with the concepts and methods of logic in order to be successful in activities involving Critical Thinking skills. Critical thinkers learn to discipline their thinking to take into account the nature of the issue or domain. Critical thinkers recognize their interpretations, distinguish them from evidence, consider alternative interpretations, and reconsider their interpretations. All in all this description leads to a catalogue of managing values of a critical thinker.

Clarity Depth

Precision Completeness

Specificity Fairness

Relevance Adequacy

Accuracy Evidence




Rational and ethical qualities for the perfections of thought in Critical Thinking

A critical thinker tries to develop the capacity to transform thought into reasoning at will, and uses the ability to make his or her inferences explicit. Critical thinkers use critiques in order to redesign, remodel, and make better. Critical Thinking is an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one"s experiences. Critical Thinking is the questioning or inquiry we engage in when we seek to understand, evaluate, or resolve. The use of knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning and some skill in applying those methods are part of this. Critical Thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. Abilities in Critical Thinking include to recognise problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems, to gather information, to recognise assumptions and values, to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity and discrimination, to interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate statements, to recognise the existence of logical relationships between propositions, to draw conclusions and generalisations, to put to test the generalisations and conclusions at which one arrives, to reconstruct one"s patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience; and to render accurate judgements about specific things and qualities. (5)

Critical Thinking in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes is incorporates other modes of thinking. So this catalogue of managing values of a critical thinker can be applied in any way in order to be used in a decision making process. The purpose of Critical Thinking is to achieve understanding, evaluate viewpoints, and solve problems.


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