chapter  3
27 Pages

The Prevailing View of the Concept of Critical Thinking

Therearemanyprogrammesforteachingcriticalthinking alreadyextantintheschools.Mypurposehereisto examinethetheoreticalfoundationuponwhichmanyof theseprogrammesarepredicated.

Justacursoryglanceatsomeoftheespousedrationales revealsapointofviewmarkedbyanaiveformoflogical positivism-aviewthathasbeenlargelyabandonedor severelyqualifiedbymostphilosopherstoday.For example,manyanalysesoftheconceptofcriticalthinking arerepletewithlistsofskillsthatservetacitlyas operationaldefinitionsoftheconceptandwithlistsof pitfallstobeavoided,asthoughthesecouldbe exhaustivelyanticipatedinadvance.Inaddition,thereisa not-so-subtlesubscriptiontotheverifiabilitycriterionof meaningandtherepeatedemploymentincrucialplacesof thefact/valuedistinction,asthoughitwerenoncontroversialandclearlydemarcated.Butperhapsthe mostpervasivenotionunderlyingtheseanalysesiswhat amountstoanunquestionedfaithintheefficacyofscience

anditsmethodstosettleeverysignificantcontroversy requiringcriticalthought.