chapter  3
The arbitrariness of knowledge fields
Critical thinking and its social logic
Pages 24

This chapter discusses the field of production of knowledge, or what Bernstein equivalently calls the intellectual field of the educational system, whereby new ideas are created, modified and changed and where discourses are developed, modified, or changed. Despite significant disagreements regarding the nature and epistemological standards of critical thinking, the conversations emanating from the movement express an implicit model of the social: for all of its members, latent in the subject's raison detre is an emancipatory thesis that promises to enhance the deliberative abilities of individuals qua citizens in a liberal democratic polity. Critical thinking analysis involves the concerns and foci of what has come to be known as the critical thinking movement in the United States, an established camp of academic philosophers who have for decades dominated the teaching of thinking and reasoning courses in university philosophy programs. The notion of critical thinking is more than a little sympathetic to the traditions of critical theory and critical pedagogy.