Benefits of using critical thinking in high education

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Abstract

Some people believe that critical thinking is not a modern science, but its roots are old and deeply rooted in the history of philosophy. Its roots date back to Aristotle, the inventor of logic and who was called the first teacher by virtue of this invention. Aristotle was impressed by the language of mathematics and wanted to invent a language to logic similar to the language of Mathematics. What encouraged Aristotle to do so is that Math language is quite different from daily life language. For example , when you say one in Mathematics language, what is this one you mean or intend? That is what is one? Is it a specific man or an animal or something abstract or any creature of the creatures of the natural world? The one we are talking about is neither this nor that and you can use it to talk about one human being or one animal or one creature. Therefore, the concept of the one is something abstract and it is so far from the creatures of the exterior world. Geometry has the same case. Triangle, quarter and rectangle as such are mere geometrical shapes and are far away from real life language. But when we use them in our daily life language we give them specific life meanings. As I said, Aristotle was impressed by the language of Mathematics and wanted to build a similar language for logic .The rationale behind this is to get away from the language of ambiguity caused by the use of daily life language .One word or utterance in a language has many usages in one language or when translated into other languages , and therefore it causes many problems in usage instead of simplifying it and this is what Aristotle tried to avoid. Aristotle chose letters instead of words, the letter is part of the word, and the letter is meaningless unless it is a part of the word. The meaning of a letter depends on its occurrence in the word. If you compose a word from a group of letters and use it , it becomes ambiguous because it becomes part of the used language. However, Aristotle did not combine letters in a word but he used them as abstract letters and gave them meanings in the language of logic where there is no divergence about its use. Aristotle used them in syllogism and they mean the limits of reason . Until recently critical thinking was part of formal logic and learning it means that you have logical background or at least you are familiar with the rules and fundamentals of logic. But critical thinking theorists soon took the initiative to separate it from logic because the latter started to suffer from its rules which are difficult to understand and which require some awareness and thoughts on the part of the scholar to understand. Hence , critical thinking is not supposed to possess a background of logic and it adopts a specific questioning approach where it suggests a number of questions the practitioner of critical thinking has to successively answer since he has to make sure that the opinion he reaches does not rely on any subjective considerations. This is how the skills that are acquired on a continuum of related critical questions are established ,this is not to mention that the concept of critical thinking itself is usually defined in this context as the awareness of such kinds of questions and the ability to arouse and answer them at appropriate times. My paper explains, How to be able to implement these skills in high education and what are the benefits of these skills? The paper includes; Critical Thinking and Logic Socrates `s Approach The impact of critical thinking on teaching methods Questioning How questions are organized in the light of critical thinking? Using Critical Thinking in Problem-Solving Use of Non-Oral language in Critical Thinking.

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Abduljaleel Kadhim Alwali
United Arab Emirates University

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