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Plato recorded Socrates' teachings and carried on the tradition of critical thinking. Beyer (1995), critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgments.Aristotle and subsequent Greek skeptics refined Socrates' teachings, using systematic thinking and asking questions to ascertain the true nature of reality beyond the way things appear from a glance. The "first wave" of critical thinking is often referred to as a 'critical analysis' that is clear, rational thinking involving critique. During the process of critical thinking, ideas should be reasoned, well thought out, and judged.
He established the importance of seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of what is said but of what is done as well.
His method of questioning is now known as "Socratic questioning" and is the best known critical thinking teaching strategy.
Walters summarizes logicism as "the unwarranted assumption that good thinking is reducible to logical thinking".
"A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective." As the ‘second wave’ took hold, scholars began to take a more inclusive view of what constituted as critical thinking.
Socrates set the agenda for the tradition of critical thinking, namely, to reflectively question common beliefs and explanations, carefully distinguishing beliefs that are reasonable and logical from those that—however appealing to our native egocentrism, however much they serve our vested interests, however comfortable or comforting they may be—lack adequate evidence or rational foundation to warrant belief. defines critical thinking as the "intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action." In the term critical thinking, the word critical, (Grk.
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κριτικός = kritikos = "critic") derives from the word critic and implies a critique; it identifies the intellectual capacity and the means "of judging", "of judgement", "for judging", and of being "able to discern"."First wave" logical thinking consisted of understanding the connections between two concepts or points in thought.It followed a philosophy where the thinker was removed from the train of thought and the connections and the analysis of the connect was devoid of any bias of the thinker.The ability to critically analyze an argument – to dissect structure and components, thesis and reasons – is essential.But so is the ability to be flexible and consider non-traditional alternatives and perspectives.Some definitions of critical thinking exclude these subjective practices.The ability to reason logically is a fundamental skill of rational agents, hence the study of the form of correct argumentation is relevant to the study of critical thinking.Kerry Walters describes this ideology in his essay Beyond Logicism in Critical Thinking, "A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective.This model of thinking has become so entrenched in conventional academic wisdom that many educators accept it as canon".Socrates demonstrated that having authority does not ensure accurate knowledge.He established the method of questioning beliefs, closely inspecting assumptions and relying on evidence and sound rationale.