chapter  5
28 Pages

Critical awareness

WithJoseph Zornado, Jill Harrison, Daniel Weisman

This chapter argues that intellectual competence, cultural awareness, and critical thinking when taken together combine into critical awareness. The moral and ethical agenda of critical awareness comes from our commitment to the human dignity as a fundamental “first position” for reasoning about social problems. We draw upon the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights for our definition of human dignity and the basic rights of every individual. Critical awareness depends upon our understanding of ourselves, our social and cultural contexts, our ability to reason from evidence, and our empathy for the experience of others. Critical awareness extends critical thinking even as it depends upon it as a way to link critical thinking to social justice. We discuss the problems of artificial intelligence and the dangers of algorithms as a serious emerging threat to social justice.