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Critical thinking: a working definition

I would define critical thinking as follows:

The term critical means relating,
in a revealing way, to what potentially might have seemed to be incommensurable or unrelated. New perspectives, new possibilities, new openings are the outcome.

The concept of critical thinking, in my view, is best used when it refers to a method of inquiry that constructs in relation to perspectives other than one's own in order to create a bigger, more encompassing perspective on the issues examined.

The result is a disinterested inquiry in the course of which assumptions are relativised in terms of the opportunities that they open up and those which they close. It is a dynamic methodology which sets no boundaries on the inquiry process in regard to the questions that it asks and the reference contexts which it investigates.

Ania Lian, March, 2003


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