Critical Thinking as a Normative Practice in Life: A Wittgensteinian Groundwork

Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (10):1065-1087 (2011)
On the point that, in practices of critical thinking, we respond spontaneously in concrete situations, this paper presents an account on behalf of Wittgenstein. I argue that the ‘seeing-things-aright’ model of Luntley's Wittgenstein is not adequate, since it pays insufficient attention to radically new circumstances, in which the content of norms is updated. While endorsing Bailin's emphasis on criteria of critical thinking, Wittgenstein would agree with Papastephanou and Angeli's demand to look behind criteriology. He maintains the primacy of the practical, and yet contends that a reasonable person lets rules of rationality compel her. These rules are not mere heuristics. I further examine Burbules' conception of communicative reason, and, among others, his interpretation of Wittgenstein's sign-post example.
Keywords reasonableness  Wittgenstein  criteriology  critical thinking  Luntley  Burbules  Bailin  spontaneous decision‐making  Papastephanou and Angeli
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00614.x
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Culture and Value.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1977 - University of Chicago Press.

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