|languages||English, German, Greek, Latin|
Experience: 10 years
Critical Thinking: Edward Glaser, author of perhaps the most widely used assessment in critical thinking the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, defines critical thinking as an attitude: "(1) an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experience; (2) knowledge of the methods of logical enquiry and reasoning; and (3) some skill in applying those methods. Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends." Although Glaser's definition is expansive and obviously well thought out, I try to simplify critical thinking by telling clients what is needed for it to get off the ground within one's own mind. I say that critical thinking ultimately requires what I call a philosophical toolkit. This toolkit has multiple parameters suited to specific purposes in an inclusive way. Similar to how Plato and Aristotle's just agent (in Republic and Politics, respectively) only does one or two tasks and only performs that one function,these domains only serve a particular function in line with their agent's reasoning capacity. One parameter, for example, employed during critical reading involves assessing evidence based on standards. I teach my clients that there are three fundamental standards of evidence assessment: (1) relevance, (2) reasonableness, and (3) sufficiency. Glaser lists certain abilities, or skills, that underline critical thinking: "(a) to recognise problems, (b) to find workable means for meeting those problems, (c) to gather and marshal pertinent information, (d) to recognise unstated assumptions and values, (e) to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity and discrimination, (f) to interpret data, (g) to appraise evidence and evaluate statements, (h) to recognise the existence of logical relationships between propositions, (i) to draw warranted conclusions and generalisations, (j) to put to test the generalisations and conclusions at which one arrives, (k) to reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience; and (l) to render accurate judgements about specfic things and qualities in everyday life." If we return to my way of stating critical thinking (i.e., which is in terms of what capacities and requisite know-how knowledge it presupposes) we might agree with M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley who argue in their Asking the Right Questions (7th ed.) that "the entire rationale for learning the steps of critical reading is to get ready to use them as a package, a cohesive assemblage of complementary abilities."