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Critical Thinking

My concern with critical thinking has two background reasons. One of these is that I have been teaching Critical Thinking to 16-18 year olds for about ten years now. The other is that I see critical thinking as being an immensely valuable practice for everyone, and I would like to make some contribution towards helping the wider public appreciate its importance.

Critical thinking is the skill of understanding and examining arguments, and the assumptions we make in them. The video below helps to communicate some of its importance.

Critical thinking is related to Middle Way Philosophy because it a method of detecting unjustifiable metaphysical assertions in all areas of life, from the rigidity with which we might view the character of a colleague to the appeal to the absolute value of, say, the free market in the arguments of a politician. Critical thinking is intensely practical because arguments and assumptions are around us everywhere. It can be used to interrogate the dogmas of religion, of politics and of science, and to separate out helpful and informative claims that relate to human experience from ones that merely defend an abstract position.

I hope to develop more critical thinking resources on this site as well as blogging in a way that applies critical thinking. This would be satisfying in bringing together my experience as a critical thinking teacher and course writer with that as a philosopher. So watch this space. In the meantime there is also a further page on critical thinking on the main Middle Way Philosophy website. You will also find links to various critical thinking sites elsewhere on the web on the home page of this site.

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