Problems in delineating the field There is a large—and ever expanding—number of works designed to give guidance to the novice setting out to explore the domain of philosophy of education; most if not all of the academic publishing houses have at least one representative of this genre on their list, and the titles are mostly variants of the following archetypes: The overall picture that emerges from even a sampling of this collective is not pretty; the field lacks intellectual cohesion, and from the perspective taken in this essay there is a widespread problem concerning the rigor of the work and the depth of scholarship—although undoubtedly there are islands, but not continents, of competent philosophical discussion of difficult and socially important issues of the kind listed earlier.
From this ancient Greek tradition emerged the need, for anyone who aspired to understand the deeper realities, to think systematically, to trace implications broadly and deeply, for only thinking that is comprehensive, well-reasoned, and responsive to objections can take us beyond the surface.
In the Middle Ages, the tradition of systematic critical thinking was embodied in the writings and teachings of such thinkers as Thomas Aquinas Sumna Theologica who to ensure his thinking met the test of critical thought, always systematically stated, considered, and answered all criticisms of his ideas as a necessary stage in developing them.
Aquinas heightened our awareness not only of the potential power of reasoning but also of the need for reasoning to be systematically cultivated and "cross-examined. In the Renaissance 15th and 16th Centuriesa flood of scholars in Europe began to think critically about religion, art, society, human nature, law, and freedom.
They proceeded with the assumption that most of the domains of human life were in need of searching analysis and critique.
Philosophy critical thinking about foundational beliefs these scholars were Colet, Erasmus, and Moore in England. They followed up on the insight of the ancients. Francis Bacon, in England, was explicitly concerned with the way we misuse our minds in seeking knowledge.
He recognized explicitly that the mind cannot safely be left to its natural tendencies. In his book The Advancement of Learning, he argued for the importance of studying the world empirically. He laid the foundation for modern science with his emphasis on the information-gathering processes.
He also called attention to the fact that most people, if left to their own devices, develop bad habits of thought which he called "idols" that lead them to believe what is false or misleading.
He called attention to "Idols of the tribe" the ways our mind naturally tends to trick itself"Idols of the market-place" the ways we misuse words"Idols of the theater" our tendency to become trapped in conventional systems of thoughtand "Idols of the schools" the problems in thinking when based on blind rules and poor instruction.
His book could be considered one of the earliest texts in critical thinking, for his agenda was very much the traditional agenda of critical thinking. Some fifty years later in France, Descartes wrote what might be called the second text in critical thinking, Rules For the Direction of the Mind.
In it, Descartes argued for the need for a special systematic disciplining of the mind to guide it in thinking. He articulated and defended the need in thinking for clarity and precision.
He developed a method of critical thought based on the principle of systematic doubt. He emphasized the need to base thinking on well-thought through foundational assumptions. Every part of thinking, he argued, should be questioned, doubted, and tested.
In the same time period, Sir Thomas Moore developed a model of a new social order, Utopia, in which every domain of the present world was subject to critique. His implicit thesis was that established social systems are in need of radical analysis and critique. The critical thinking of these Renaissance and post-Renaissance scholars opened the way for the emergence of science and for the development of democracy, human rights, and freedom for thought.
He refused to assume that government functioned as those in power said it did. Rather, he critically analyzed how it did function and laid the foundation for political thinking that exposes both, on the one hand, the real agendas of politicians and, on the other hand, the many contradictions and inconsistencies of the hard, cruel, world of the politics of his day Hobbes and Locke in 16th and 17th Century England displayed the same confidence in the critical mind of the thinker that we find in Machiavelli.
Neither accepted the traditional picture of things dominant in the thinking of their day. Neither accepted as necessarily rational that which was considered "normal" in their culture. Both looked to the critical mind to open up new vistas of learning.
Hobbes adopted a naturalistic view of the world in which everything was to be explained by evidence and reasoning. Locke defended a common sense analysis of everyday life and thought.
He laid the theoretical foundation for critical thinking about basic human rights and the responsibilities of all governments to submit to the reasoned criticism of thoughtful citizens.
It was in this spirit of intellectual freedom and critical thought that people such as Robert Boyle in the 17th Century and Sir Isaac Newton in the 17th and 18th Century did their work.Philosophy & Critical Thinking via distance learning Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental questions that arise from reflecting on the nature of the world and the place human beings occupy in it.
Berkeley, CA — "Good morning!
My remarks center this morning on critical thinking in every domain of knowledge and belief. And my subtext is something like this. Sample Teaching Philosophies. Goals & Foundational Principles. Beyond striving to ensure that students learn the fundamental content of the courses I teach, my objectives as a university teacher are as follows: (a) to foster critical thinking skills; (b) to facilitate the acquisition of lifelong learning skills; (c) to help students develop.
THE NATURE AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE--This webpage examines the components, limitations, and popular mistaken beliefs of science and the scientific method.
It also contains a . By Denis Korn I have decided to post this article on the barriers to critical thinking, which I use in teaching, as the 3rd in a series of posts dealing with the psychological, emotional and spiritual components of emergency and disaster preparedness planning.
CHMN (CHM ) - Intro to Church Ministries. A practical study of Church Ministry with emphasis given to its biblical foundation, philosophy of ministry, and the various areas of ministry.