Monthly Archives: November 2014

Can Critical Thinking Be Defined?

A recent Wall Street Journal article asks: “Bosses Seek ‘Critical Thinking,’ but What Is That?” (October 21, 2104).

The subtitle asserts that critical thinking, while an “important skill for young workers,” has “a variety of definitions.”  It’s no secret that critical thinking requires a variety of skills and dispositions, some of which are mentioned in the article, and that the term has been defined differently (perhaps unsurprisingly so) by writers from different backgrounds, professions, and theoretical orientations. But the implied message is that we are thrashing about trying to lay our hands on some elusive conception of the art.

What is problematic is the article’s focus on the notion that there are multiple incompatible descriptions of critical thinking each vying for the status… Continue reading