Critical thinking is a way of deciding whether a claim is always true, sometimes true, partly true, or false.¹ It can be traced to the West to ancient Greece and the Socratic method. In the East, it can trace its roots to ancient India with the Buddhist kalama sutta and abhidharma literature.¹
Critical thinking is an important component of most professions. It is a part of formal education and becomes more important as students pass though university to graduate education. There is some debate among educators about its precise meaning and scope.¹
The list of core critical thinking skills includes observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation, and meta-cognition.¹ Those who engage in critical thinking give due consideration to establish evidence through observation, relevant criteria for making a judgment, and applicable methods or techniques for forming a judgment.¹
In addition to possessing strong critical-thinking skills, one must be disposed to engage problems and decisions using those skills.¹ Critical thinking not only employs logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, and fairness.¹
1. Brookfield, S.D. “Contesting Critically: Epistemological and Practical Contradictions in Critical Reflection” in Proceedings of the 41st Annual Adult Education Research Conference (2000).