Philosophy Sample Paper on What does Critical Thinking look like

What does Critical Thinking look like?

Critical thinking is an intellectually involving process that entails good reasoning, thinking, conceptualizing, analyzing, applying and evaluating information generated, gathered, observed or witnessed against previously acquired knowledge. Thinking critically means making of clear and reasoned judgments about an issue at hand, actively engaging the brain in analyzing an issue or problem in order to come up with an effective outcome of reasoning.

Reasoning is a mental power that is concerned with the drawing of effective conclusions, judgments and inferences. Thinking is an in-house mental process that makes the use of input as information, integrating that piece of information into previously learned substance, resulting to knowledge extension. Knowledge is the comprehension or ideas that an individual possesses, often used by the entity in the achievement of specific goals by taking effective action.

From the above illustrations, it s clear that critical thinking entails the use of previously acquired knowledge, reasoning and thinking  in order to come up with the best of solutions to challenges an individual faces in life. It entails the use of processes, skills previously acquired, procedures and constant practice. Critical thinking is an elaborative process that entails steps that involve problem identification, placing it in context, enumerating the choices available, analyzing the best options, listing the reasons and self correction. Thus, it is evident that critical thinking is the art of using reason to solve a problem at hand, by getting a better insight into the problem in order to produce the best solution.

How to tell that someone is thinking critically

Critical thinking is a mental process that takes place in our minds. As humans, we are constantly and continually collecting data and gathering information from the world around us. We use our five senses to gather information, which we internalize and then draw conclusions based on the level of our individual reasoning capacities. This is what separates a non-critical thinker and a critical thinker. The difference in how we evaluate & analyze the data collected, and consequently draw conclusions marks the difference between an individual that thinks critically and one that does not.  

An individual that thinks critically collects information from the surroundings, and then proceeds to evaluate the data. A critical thinker asks himself questions about the data collected, like “Is it important, relevant, significant or applicable?” To get facts, a critical thinker asks and answers questions like “Who, What, When, Where and How?” Once this process is done, a critical thinker then draws conclusions using logic. The process of drawing conclusions entails the using of previously earned knowledge on the subject matter at hand, comparing the best of solutions available and then drawing a conclusion deemed the best from an array of alternative solutions. This process is reached at by properly using logic.

Once this process is over, a critical thinker then evaluates the logical conclusions by asking himself “Is the conclusion fair? Is it logical? It the conclusion consistent with the data and information collected?” These questions need to be answered to make sure that the conclusions drawn are of the best fit. Logic aids a critical thinker by helping him or her to avoid making errors by effectively exploring consistency, validity as well as logical flaws. Tools for evaluating an effective conclusion at the disposal of a critical thinker are questions that explore depth, breadth and fairness. All these processes tell that a individual is a critical thinker, unlike a non-critical thinker who after collecting information, jumps into conclusions without using logic and reason to explain why and how that decision has been arrived at.

How to foster critical thinking in myself and others

I can foster critical thinking skills by honing my questioning skills. To rule out the possibility of making errors, it is important that I develop critical thinking skills through questioning all my assumptions. By asking myself questions, I will be in a position to expand my thinking about the problem at hand, giving me different perspectives from which I can approach the challenge. This will in turn expand my logical reasoning capacity, eventually turning me into a critical thinker. I will encourage others as well, to question all their assumptions and previous prejudices, so that they too can expand their thinking capacities.

Secondly, I will learn to be investigative on any issue that needs proper comprehension. Unlike the way non-critical thinkers directly take information without prior investigation into the validity of the data, I will learn to investigate matters on my own. Non-critical thinkers often take information from people as trustworthy, and hence do not investigate the facts. To foster critical thinking skills in myself, I will always double check every piece of information I receive from an external source. This will give me the habit of investigating questionable data, and if I am not satisfied, I will ask the source to elaborate and expound on the issue. This way, I will have a sense of doing more research, expounding my critical thinking process. It is quite clear that questioning is the backbone of thinking critically, thus, I encourage everyone to question anything that seems not clear, because the results will be tremendous.