Critical Thinking

What is Critical Thinking? Just asking this question means you are already involved in it. Critical thinking is asking questions; how, why, what? Critical thinking means creating your own definitions and ideas about your environment. Being a critic is often seen as a negative personality trait. A critic is someone who holds things to their own standards, and judges them through their own understanding. This may be expressed negatively by people without tact, but having a personal relationship with your environment is inherent in human consciousness. Many classical philosophers have pondered about the shortcoming of human communication and even personal observation as being tainted by personal interpretation. One cannot help but interpret the signals received by one’s own senses, and therefore we each “create” our own world. While ideas may be passed among us through language or pictures, we must interpret these sensory inputs into our own consciousness. The way we interpret these things is impossible to communicate between each other. Thus, by building up this matrix through years of experience and sensory input, we slowly define our world. This is done by everyone, and thus by necessity, we are all critics. But whether we do this consciously or not determines our level of critical thinking. Consciously controlling the relationship of sensory input within this matrix of consciousness is critical thinking. Asking why or how not just of others, but to ourselves gives us clues as to how we should create relationships between the data. Both inductive and deductive reasoning are tools to accomplish this task. Logic is but one component used in the critical thinking process. This is part of the thinking action required for critical thinking.

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