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1. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 3
Frank Fair From the Editor’s Desk
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2. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 3
Mark Battersby The Competent Layperson: Re-envisioning the Ideal of the Educated Person
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This article argues that the goal of an undergraduate liberal education should be to educate a competent layperson rather than a disciplinary specialist preparing for graduate school or employment. A competent layperson is someone who has a broad understanding and appreciation of the intellectual landscape, someone who has strong generic intellectual abilities such as critical thinking and research skills which enable them to make inquiries into any area of specialization with efficiency and appropriate confidence. The goal is to develop the skills and understanding necessary for thoughtful citizenship and an intellectually empowered life.
3. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 3
Dr. Joseph Castellano, Dr. Susan Lightle, Dr. Bud Baker The Challenge of Introducing Critical Thinking in the Business Curriculum
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The authors suggest that “critical thinking” is a term that is much used, extravagantly praised, and little understood. Worse, they contend that teaching critical thinking in a business curriculum is made immeasurably more difficult by the fact that, contrary to all evidence, students believe they already understand critical thinking, and thus have no need to learn more. This article contains some remedies for this dilemma. Using Brookfield’s model of critical thinking in the context of business education, the authors offer a case study, “Ultratec,” with teaching notes, which they have found useful in overcoming obstacles to teaching critical thinking. They close by explaining how they have been able to use the Ultratec case to address what they see as the central challenge to teaching critical thinking: It’s difficult to teach anything to people who think they already know it all.
4. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 3
Linda Behar-Horenstein Dental Education and Making A Commitment to The Teaching of Critical Thought
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Less than two decades ago, Halpern (1998) presented a convincing approach for teaching critical thought. However, nowhere in her article did she explain how to “get” faculty to teach to thinking skills to transfer across domains of knowledge using: “(a) dispositional or attitudinal component, (b) instruction in and practice with critical thought, (c) structure–training activities, and (d) a metacognitive component used to direct and assess thinking.” (p. 451) It is an open question as to what type of strategies will faculty need to demonstrate to create productive, knowledgeable, thinking citizenry? In this paper I focus on the faculty’s role in promoting the teaching of critical thought, that is, critical thought processes, with particular reference to dental education. Many students can develop processes of critical thought with frequent practice involving the active use of multiple types of ill-structured problems and situations designed to require the ability (1) to recall useful information, (2) to use pattern recognition, (3) to discern pertinent information, (4) to think ahead, and (5) to anticipate outcomes and problems while (6) remaining composed enough so that their emotions do not hinder decision-making skills.
5. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 3
Paul A. Wagner Truth as Lighthouse: A Review of Mark Weinstein’s Logic, Truth, and Inquiry
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In this review of Mark Weinstein’s Logic, Truth, and Inquiry, a book in which Weinstein explains his conception of the Method of Emerging Truth (MET), the reviewer, Paul Wagner, appreciates Weinstein’s assertion that “The MET attempts to characterize the process of truth emerging as evidence of the epistemic adequacy of the warrants that support theoretical explanations and govern theory driven inferences.” While he finds several things to question in Weinstein’s explanation of this conception, the reviewer, nonetheless, concludes that “This is a book I heartily recommend to every reader especially those interested in critical thinking but whose academic preparation and home is outside philosophy or logic.”
6. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Frank Fair From the Editors’ Desk
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7. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Bruce Waller Judicial System Resources: More Fun and Better Understanding in the Critical Thinking Classroom
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The legal system – from the jury room to the deliberations of the Supreme Court – offers an abundance of rich resources for the study and teaching of critical thinking.The courts have (often for centuries) struggled with many of the issues central to critical thinking. The courts not only provide fascinating examples and exercises for students to examine, but in many areas – the appropriate use of ad hominem arguments, the distinction between argument and testimony, the proper placing of the burden of proof, the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions, the legitimate (and fallacious) use of appeals to authority, the nature of arguments by analogy – jurists and legal scholars have analyzed these issues carefully, and their insights are of great value to anyone concerned with rigorous critical thinking. Study of those legal resources has also had an impact on my views concerning the moral responsibility system.
8. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Lawrence A. Lengbeyer Critical Thinking in the Intelligence Community: The Promise of Argument Mapping
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It is unfortunate that so much turns on the practices of argument construction and critique in intelligence analysis, for example, because these practices are fraught with difficulty. However, the recently developed technique of argument mapping helps reasoners conduct these practices more thoroughly and insightfully, as can be shown in an extended illustration concerning Iraqi nuclear activities circa 2002. Argument mapping offers other benefits, as well. Its ultimate value, though, will depend on how its advantages compare to those of competitor reasoning methodologies.
9. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Louise Cummings Circles and Analogies in Public Health Reasoning
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The study of the fallacies has changed almost beyond recognition since Charles Hamblin called for a radical reappraisal of this area of logical inquiry in his 1970 book Fallacies. The “witless examples of his forbears” to which Hamblin referred have largely been replaced by more authentic cases of the fallacies in actual use. It is now not unusual for fallacy and argumentation theorists to draw on actual sources for examples of how the fallacies are used in our everyday reasoning. However, an aspect of this move towards greater authenticity in the study of the fallacies, an aspect which has been almost universally neglected, is the attempt to subject the fallacies to empirical testing of the type which is more commonly associated with psychological experiments on reasoning. This paper addresses this omission in research on the fallacies by examining how subjects use two fallacies – circular argument and analogical argument – during a reasoning task in which subjects are required to consider a number of public health scenarios. Results are discussed in relation to a view of the fallacies as cognitive heuristics that facilitate reasoning in a context of uncertainty.
10. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Scott F. Aikin, Robert B. Talisse Why We Argue: A Sketch of an Epistemic-Democratic Program
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This essay summarizes the research program developed in our new book, Why We Argue (And How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement (Routledge, 2014). Humans naturally want to know and to take themselves as having reason on their side. Additionally, many people take democracy to be a uniquely proper mode of political arrangement. There is an old tension between reason and democracy, however, and it was first articulated by Plato. Plato’s concern about democracy was that it detached political decision from reason. Epistemic democrats attempt to show how the two can be re-attached. What is necessary is to couple the core democratic liberties with norms of rational exchange. Thus epistemology and argument provides a basis for democratic politics. Why We Argue (And How We Should) makes a case for the connection and develops a toolkit for maintaining it.
11. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Benjamin Hamby Review of Diane Halpern’s Thought and Knowledge, 5th Edition
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12. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Frank Fair From the Editor’s Desk
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13. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Alec Fisher Critical Thinking: Teaching and Assessing It
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I have long been fascinated by the process of argument, so it seemed natural to study philosophy and logic at university, then, as a University teacher, to teach them. Since I gradually realised these subjects didn’t help students to reason and argue well, I tried to devise materials which would. This led first to my writing The Logic of Real Arguments and later, Critical Thinking: An Introduction. If you wish to teach thinking skills it is important to assess whether your methods work, and I have developed several tests of critical thinking for different contexts, including a new UK Critical Thinking examination, now taken by thousands of school students. I worked with Richard Paul, Michael Scriven (writing with him Critical Thinking: Its Definition and Assessment), Robert Swartz, Robert Ennis and many others. The emergence of the Informal Logic and Critical Thinking movement was an exciting time and I feel fortunate to have been part of it.
14. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Donald Hatcher Should Religious Beliefs Be Exempt from the Duty to Think Critically?
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Recently, there have been at least five best sellers critical of religion and religious belief. It seems, at least among readers in the U.S., that there is great interest in questions about the rationality of religious belief. Ironically, critical thinking texts seldom examine the topic. After reviewing a series of previous arguments that people have an ethical duty to think critically, this paper will evaluate a number of arguments intended to exempt religious belief from the sorts of rational critique covered in critical thinking classes. After critiquing each argument, I conclude that the proper scope of critical thinking should include religious beliefs. In summary, if people have an ethical duty to think critically about important beliefs and religious beliefs are indeed important, then people have an obligation to think critically about religious beliefs. Nothing in the paper addresses the question of whether it is or is not rational to endorse a religion.
15. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Marcos Y. Lopez, Maricris V. Asilo Development and Validation of The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test
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This study describes the methodology used by Marcos Y. Lopez of the Centro Escolar University in developing and validating The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test. The test is a multi-aspect general-knowledge critical thinking test designed for Filipino students in tertiary level. It uses Ennis’s conception of critical thinking (Ennis 1987, 1996, 2002, 2011a) in the development of test items. The use of verbal reports of thinking to establish validity and fairness of multiple-choice critical thinking test is based on the study by Norris (1992) in validating his co-authored Test on Appraising Observations. Verbal reports of thinking are useful in establishing validity and fairness of multiple-choice critical thinking tests for they provide evidence to judge whether good thinking is in general associated with choosing answers credited by the key as correct and poor thinking is associated with choosing unkeyed answers (Norris, 1988,1990,1992). The eight processes employed in developing and validating this multiple-choice critical thinking test are as follows: (1) test conceptualization, (2) development of a test plan, (3) development of test items, (4) face and content validation of the test, (5) revision of the test items, (6) pre try-out of the test, (7) actual try-out of the test, and (8) construct validation of the test using verbal reports of thinking. The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test consists of 87 items that focus on five aspects of critical thinking: deduction, credibility judgment, assumption identification, induction, and meaning.
16. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jennifer J. Didier Using Critical Thinking to Change Distracted Driving Behaviors
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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 Duron, Limbach, and Waugh, critical thinking for each assignment was implemented through instructions and feedback. Results showed that the critical thinking led to behavior changes in the students’ driving during the semester. It was also determined that the students chose to reduce their distracted driving behaviors based on what they learned and experienced through the project. Within this small sample, using critical thinking to apply conceptual knowledge to real world behaviors led to behavioral changes and real learning.
17. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Phillip Crenshaw, Ph.D. Review of Critical Thinking: An Introduction
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