Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Textbook: Chapter 16
Remember – these journal questions require more thinking than writing. Think about exactly what you are asked to do, and then write as economically as possible.
- Critical Thinking
- Go back to your very first journal entry – review your definition of critical thinking. After studying critical thinking for the past eight weeks, would you change your definition in any way? If yes, how and why? If no – if it was perfect – what parts of the text were best reflected in your definition?
- Heart of the Matter
- Recall in your first journal entry that you discussed the authors’ statement that the concepts in Chapters 12, 13 and 14 were “the heart of the matter.” After having studied those chapters, answer again, with renewed understanding, the question posed there: Why do you think the authors find these concepts important to critical thinking?
- Ethical Decision-Making
- The lecture claims that an argument is no good unless it has a “strong and reasoned ethical base.” Do you agree that ethics is an essential element of a good argument? If yes, why? If no, why not?
- Looking Forward
- Do you believe that you now know everything you need to know about critical thinking – or is learning to think critically a life-long task? Explain your answer.
Writing Requirements (APA format)
- Length: 2-3 pages (not including title page or references page)
- 1-inch margins
- Double spaced
- 12-point Times New Roman font
- Title page
Critical thinking is the ability of a person to think properly and logically in order to guide his or her actions, thoughts, beliefs and behavior. In critical thinking, a person engages in independent thinking and evaluates different ideas and their relationships in order to come up with the best decision. In the process, an individual is able to use his or her knowledge, experience and blend with this with research-based evidence in order to stand for something. Therefore, critical thinking enables a person to identify, construct and evaluate different arguments and solve them systematically while making use of ethics, one’s values and beliefs (Facione, & Gittens, 2016).
Heart of the Matter
The book starts by introducing to us the power of critical thinking which is very crucial in all parts of our life. With critical thinking, people can be able to solve challenging problems in different areas of life such as finance, marketing, law and business among other areas. As a result, an individual is able to arrive at a rational and unbiased decision. According to the textbook, critical thinking should be encouraged since it assists to solve complex political, personal, social and economic problems that pose serious threats to a person, company or society. Any attempt to discourage, derail, divert or distract critical thinking results in unbiased, irrational and poor decisions that bring or escalates problems. In order to think critically, the book states that one must have the ability to interpret, analyze, infer, evaluate, explain and do self-regulation as to arrive at the best decision.
Critical thinking ability prepares students to be successful in school and life by equipping them with problem-solving and decision-making skills. Chapters 12, 13 and 14 are considered the heart of the matter by the authors since they illustrate three most important patterns involved in human reasoning. The three chapters teach students how to recognize and evaluate comparative, ideological and empirical reasoning. The named three patterns are used during critical thinking to ensure individuals make rational and unbiased decisions. The phrase heart of the matter can be viewed to mean the main themes of the book (three of them) which guides human reasoning or critical thinking. Therefore, the three chapters are out to summarize the major patterns involved when people think critically and hence the name of the book.
According to the authors, these chapters teach individuals two concepts including how to recognize and evaluate their reasoning. In so doing, they are able to understand the benefits, risks and uses of each type of reasoning (Facione, & Gittens, 2016). The first concept, recognition is the ability to identify the existence of a problem which needs to be solved critically. On the other hand, evaluation involves assessing different issues or ideas at hand before arriving at the best. Recognition and evaluation are fundamental concepts in critical thinking since they enable people to think autonomously and be able to develop rigorous frameworks for testing their arguments. This helps them in advancing their different points of view.
Challenges & Insights
My greatest challenge in this class is the management of classwork, family and work. These might be seen as simple things but it requires critical thinking skills in order to devise an effective timetable which will help me balance between the three areas. At work, I am the head of the marketing department and this adds me an extra task apart from the normal duties. Therefore, I will use critical thinking skills in devising a plan and a timetable in order to help me balance between work, family and school. Therefore, the first three chapters will help me a lot in solving this challenge. In normal life, I will also have different responsibilities which all must be attended to and thus I will use critical thinking skills to help me manage my time properly by coming up with a comprehensive plan to assist me effectively handle all my responsibilities in the family, community, work and personal life.
Facione, P., & Gittens, C. A. (2016). Think critically. Pearson.