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Summary Critical thinking is a cluster concept encompassing both the cognitive and meta-cognitive skills, practices and abilities, and the dispositions and character traits that make for reasonable, reflective, and self-aware judgment and decision-making. This double focus tends to produce inquiry along two general lines. One the one hand, there are inquiries that we might think of as falling broadly into applied epistemology (e.g. What are the signs of trustworthiness in a source of evidence? How can agents avoid having false beliefs about important matters? etc.). On the other, there are more normative inquiries that shade into the moral and quasi-moral (e.g. Why is it important to care about avoiding falsehoods in one’s beliefs? What practices are required for minimally responsible use of one’s rational faculties? etc.). Of key importance to the critical thinking endeavor is interest not only in settling these questions but in learning how to teach good epistemic habits and character traits to students. Questions here include what practices we ought to teach, given the limited time we have with students, how we should go about teaching it for maximally beneficial results, and how we should assess and evaluate those results to be sure that what we do is working. Predictably, it is here where critical thinking research becomes interdisciplinary in nature. There are long-standing, active bodies of research into critical thinking in education, psychology, medicine and business, just to name a few. Critical thinking researchers in philosophy have often (but by no means always) taken good work from well-constructed studies from across disciplinary lines seriously in their own work.
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  1. Matthew Allen (2004). Smart Thinking: Skills for Critical Understanding and Writing. Oxford University Press.
    Smart Thinking: Skills for Critical Understanding and Writing 2E is a practical step-by-step guide to improving skills in analysis, critical thinking, and the effective communication of arguments and explanations. The book combines an accessible and straightforward style, with a strong foundation of knowledge. The text treats reasoning as an aspect of communication, not an abstract exercise in logic. The book not only provides detailed advice on how to practise analytical skills, but also demonstrates how these skills can be used in (...)
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  2. David B. Annis (1974). Techniques of Critical Reasoning. Columbus, Ohio,Merrill.
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  3. Jack Arbuthnot (1984). Moral Reasoning Development Programmes in Prison: Cognitive‐Developmental and Critical Reasoning Approaches. Journal of Moral Education 13 (2):112-123.
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  4. Dan Ariely (2010). Perfectly Irrational: The Unexpected Ways We Defy Logic at Work and at Home. Harper.
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  5. Karl Aschenbrenner (1960). Critical Reasoning. Journal of Philosophy 57 (20/21):654-665.
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  6. Mark Battersby (2016). Enhancing Rationality: Heuristics, Biases, and The Critical Thinking Project. Informal Logic 36 (2):99-120.
    : This paper develops four related claims: 1. Critical thinking should focus more on decision making, 2. the heuristics and bias literature developed by cognitive psychologists and behavioral economists provides many insights into human irrationality which can be useful in critical thinking instruction, 3. unfortunately the “rational choice” norms used by behavioral economists to identify “biased” decision making narrowly equate rational decision making with the efficient pursuit of individual satisfaction; deviations from these norms should not be treated as an irrational (...)
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  7. Guillaume Beaulac & Serge Robert (2011). Théories à processus duaux et théories de l’éducation : Le cas de l’enseignement de la pensée critique et de la logique. Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 6 (1):63-77.
    Many theories about the teaching of logic and critical thinking take for granted that theoretical learning, the learning of formal rules for example, and its practical application are sufficient to master the tools taught and to take the habit of using them. However, this way of teaching is not efficient, a conclusion supported by much work in cognitive science. Approaching cognition evolutionarily with dual-process theories allows for an explanation of these insufficiencies and offers clues on how we could teach critical (...)
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  8. Nathaniel Bluedorn (2003). The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Six Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning. Christian Logic.
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  9. Luciano Boschiero (2012). Galileo's Lessons on Critical Reasoning. Metascience 21 (1):219-221.
    Galileo’s lessons on critical reasoning Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9541-5 Authors Luciano Boschiero, Campion College, PO Box 3052, Toongabbie East, NSW 2146, Australia Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  10. J. Brown (2000). Critical Reasoning, Understanding and Self-Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):659-676.
    Following Burge, many anti-individualists suppose that a subject can possess a concept even if she incompletely understands it. While agreeing that this is possible, I argue that there is a limit on the extent to which a subject can incompletely understand the set of concepts she thinks with. This limit derives from our conception of our ability to reflectively evaluate our own thoughts or, as Burge puts it, our ability to engage in critical reasoning. The paper extends Burge’s own work (...)
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  11. Robert Bruno & Lynn Bruno (1992). What for, Critical Thinking? Inquiry 10 (4):7-8.
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  12. Steve Cady (2004). Integrating Critical Thinking Into Daily Life. Inquiry 23 (3):33-36.
    Learners who are first introduced to the process of critical thinking frequently experience a paradigm shift in their own thinking. However, such a major transition in one’s pattern of thinking may presentdifficulties when applying newly acquired critical thinking skills in social contexts. Learners may lack the confidence required for engaging in intellectual discourse, placing inhibitions on their using critical thinking. This article suggests several ways in which critical thinkers may more effectively and confidently use their skills in daily conversation.
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  13. Laurie Calhoun (1999). Critical Reasoning Regarding War. The Acorn 10 (1):5-26.
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  14. José Mariá Calvo (1991). Critical Thinking and American People. Inquiry 7 (3):22-22.
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  15. John M. Capps (2009). You've Got to Be Kidding!: How Jokes Can Help You Think. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Preface -- The importance of critical thinking -- Fallacies of relevance -- Fallacies of evidence -- Fallacies of assumption -- Thinking together.
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  16. Gerard Caracciolo & Allison Schumer (1990). Faculty Accessing Critical Thinking: FACT. Inquiry 6 (2):16-18.
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  17. Kelly Coate (2010). Forum Critical Thinking: Symposium on the Future of Universities: Introduction. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 9 (1):9-12.
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  18. Orestes Coccia (1995). Critical Thinking Vs. Pure Thought. Inquiry 15 (2):42-58.
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  19. Robert Cogan (1998). Critical Thinking: Step by Step. Upa.
    This book is a comprehensive introduction to critical thinking skills and the philosophical and factual bases of critical thinking.
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  20. Elliot D. Cohen (2009). Critical Thinking Unleashed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Demonstrating the practical relevance and import of many historically significant philosophers , Critical Thinking Unleashed presents a practical, non-technical, and comprehensive approach to critical thinking. In contrast to other treatments of practical reasoning, Elliot D. Cohen not only teaches students how to identify and refute irrational premises_he also teaches them how to construct rational antidotes to combat the personal, social, and political obstacles they confront in everyday life.
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  21. Zachary Coke & John Streater (1657). The Art of Logick; or, the Entire Body of Logick in English. Unfolding to the Meanest Capacity the Way to Dispute Well, and to Refute All Fallacies Whatsoever. Printed for John Streater, and Are to Be Sold by the Book-Sellers of London.
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  22. Rory J. Conces (1995). A Participatory Approach to the Teaching of Critical Reasoning. APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 94 (2):114-116.
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  23. John J. Conley (1994). Critical Reasoning in Contemporary Culture. International Philosophical Quarterly 34 (1):132-134.
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  24. John J. Conley (1993). Critical Thinking and Educational Assent. Inquiry 11 (2):1-1.
  25. D. Crossley (1986). C.A. Missimer, Good Arguments: An Introduction To Critical Thinking. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 6 (8):390-393.
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  26. Scott Crothers (2010). Maurice A. Finocchiaro. 2010. Defending Copernicus and Galileo: Critical Reasoning in the Two Affairs. Informal Logic 30 (4).
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  27. Edward D'angelo (1971). The Teaching of Critical Thinking. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  28. G. D. (1973). Utopian and Critical Thinking. Review of Metaphysics 26 (4):763-764.
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  29. B. Davidson (1998). Critical Thinking Faces the Challenge of Japan. Inquiry 14 (3):41-53.
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  30. Martin Davies (2013). Computer-Aided Argument Mapping and the Teaching of Critical Thinking. Inquiry 27 (3):16-28.
    Part I of this paper outlined the three standard approaches to the teaching of critical thinking: the normative (or philosophical), cognitive psychology, and educational taxonomy approaches. The paper contrasted these with the visualisation approach; in particular, computer-aided argument mapping (CAAM), and presented a detailed account of the CAAM methodology and a theoretical justification for its use. This part develops further support for CAAM. A case is made that CAAM improves critical thinking because it minimises the cognitive burden of prose and (...)
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  31. Martin Davies (2012). Computer-Aided Mapping and the Teaching of Critical Thinking. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 27 (2):15-30.
    This paper is in two parts. Part I outlines three traditional approaches to the teaching of critical thinking: the normative, cognitive psychology, and educational approaches. Each of these approaches is discussed in relation to the influences of various methods of critical thinking instruction. The paper contrasts these approaches with what I call the “visualisation” approach. This approach is explained with reference to computer-aided argument mapping (CAAM) which uses dedicated computer software to represent inferences between premise and conclusions. The paper presents (...)
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  32. Bernard Davis (1993). Which Critical Thinking is Ideal? Inquiry 11 (4):6-11.
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  33. Trevor Davison (1997). Critical Thinking and Some Diesel Mechanics' Lifeworlds. Inquiry 17 (2):88-100.
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  34. Kees de Glopper (2002). Fisher, Alec and Scriven, Michael (1997). Critical Thinking. Its Definition and Assessment. Argumentation 16 (2):247-251.
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  35. Elisa de la Roche (1992). Critical Thinking and Improvisation. Inquiry 10 (1):16-17.
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  36. Stephen de Wijze (1996). Helping to Undo the Past: Teaching Critical Reasoning in South Africa. Informal Logic 18 (1):57-82.
    In this paper I discuss the opportunities and difficulties of teaching critical reasoning in a rapidly transforming society such as South Africa. I argue that the real benefits for students of such courses outweigh the pessimism of John McPeck and Richard Paul that they do little, if any, good. This paper is based on my experience of having taught critical reasoning at school and university level in South Africa during the early 90's.
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  37. Richard DeWitt (1992). Critical Thinking and Sexing Chickens. Inquiry 10 (1):8-11.
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  38. Jennifer J. Didier (2014). Using Critical Thinking to Change Distracted Driving Behaviors. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 29 (1):56-62.
    In an attempt to reduce dangerous driving behavior of those students enrolled in an upper level course at Sam Houston State University, students performed a series of critical thinking assignments and completed a survey to record their behavior and habits related to driving and the project. The project included a lab experiment, lecture, class discussion, video, and a culminating paper to synthesize the scientific information with real world and classroom experiences. Inspired by the approach to critical thinking put forward by (...)
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  39. Sherry Diestler (2009). Becoming a Critical Thinker: A User Friendly Manual. Pearson/Prentice Hall.
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  40. Mariza Dimitrijevic (2010). Implications for Critical Thinking Dispositions. Inquiry 25 (2):27-35.
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  41. Christine Doddington (2007). Critical Thinking as a Source of Respect for Persons: A Critique. Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (4):449–459.
    Critical thinking has come to be defined as and aligned with ‘good’ thinking. It connects to the value placed on rationality and agency and is woven into conceptions of what it means to become a person and hence deserve respect. Challenges to the supremacy of critical thinking have helped to provoke richer and fuller interpretations and critical thought is prevalent in talk of what it is to become a person and more fundamentally to educate. The capacity for critical thought may (...)
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  42. M. Drewett (1995). There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: A Case Study in the Teaching of Critical Thinking. South African Journal of Philosophy 14 (2):72-76.
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  43. Laura Duhan (1991). Educational and Philosophical Weaknesses of the Critical Thinking Movement. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
    By focusing its efforts on teaching logic and argumentation, the critical thinking movement does a disservice to students and misrepresents philosophy. Literature from the critical pedagogy movement supports the claim that the critical thinking movement impoverishes students. Literature on metaphor and analogy from the phenomenological movement in philosophy supports the claim that the critical thinking movement misrepresents philosophy. ;In critical thinking courses, students are taught that their careful reading of a text should lead to the identification and criticism of an (...)
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  44. Phyllis Edelson & Gerard Vallone (1999). From Effective Teacher Training in Critical Thinking to Effective Classroom Teaching in Critical Thinking. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 18 (2):37-43.
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  45. Todd F. Eklof (2005). Higher Mind: The Method of Critical Thinking. Philosophical Practice 1 (3):129-133.
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  46. Linda K. Elksnin (2005). Using Cases to Improve the Critical Thinking Skills of Prospective Teachers. Inquiry 24 (3):5-15.
    This essential that prospective teachers develop critical thinking skills. However, they cannot develop these skills simply by reading the assigned text, taking notes during lecture, and completing exams. The case method of instruction (CMI) relies on real-life situations to teach students general problem solving and decision making through active participation in the leaming process. Thus, CMI offers an effective means of developing the critical thinking skills of prospective teachers. This article presents guidelines teacher educators can follow to create case-based classrooms. (...)
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  47. Norbert Elliot, Robert Lynch, John Opie & Karl Schweizer (1991). Designing a Critical Thinking Model for a Comprehensive Technological University. Inquiry 7 (4):8-10.
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  48. Wendy Elliott (2010). Tacts™. Inquiry 25 (2):37-41.
    When the accrediting association for collegiate schools of business, AACSB International, reformulated its accreditation standards to include a systematic assessment of undergraduates’ progress in analytic and reflective thinking, our interdisciplinary team looked at available instruments. Logistical problems, concerns about validity, and an interest in assessing quantitative skills not covered in the available instruments led us to devise the Texas Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills™ (TACTS™). As part of the process we followed a suggestion from Scriven and Fisher and incorporated novel (...)
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  49. Robert Ennis (2013). Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum: The Wisdom CTAC Program. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 28 (2):25-45.
    Discussions of critical thinking across the curriculum typically make and explain points and distinctions that bear on one or a few standard issues. In this article Robert Ennis takes a different approach, starting with a fairly comprehensive concrete proposal for a four-year higher-education curriculum incorporating critical-thinking at hypothetical Wisdom University. Aspects of the Program include a one-year critical thinking freshman course with practical everyday-life and academic critical thinking goals; extensive infusion of critical thinking in other courses; a senior project; attention (...)
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  50. Robert Ennis (2011). Critical Thinking: Reflection and Perspective Part I. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 26 (1):4-18.
    This is Part I of a two-part reflection by Robert Ennis on his involvement in the critical thinking movement. Part I deals with how he got started in the movement and with the development of his influential definition of critical thinking and his conception of what critical thinking involves. Part II of the reflection will appear in the next issue of INQUIRY, Vol. 26, No. 2 , and it will cover topics concerned with assessing critical thinking, teaching critical thinking, and (...)
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