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The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.' ~ Adapted from Wikipedia

The definition above is clearly academic and ... well ... stuffy. But it's worth reading carefully because so many people assume a much narrower definition. It isn't just about playing mind games with the thoughtful (or otherwise) expressions of others. It's the whole enchalada ... the entire process of learning, analyzing, synthesizing, making mistakes, correcting mistakes, inspiration, desperation, thinking, thinking, and thinking some more; and, finally, expressing conclusions in a way that is meaningful to others. Actually, it's what drives the intellectual engine of active lifelong learners.

Anything less, and we are wasting our time and adding to the mindless corruption of intellect commonly known as popular social media.

Check out this really great stuff about personal critical thinking, Carl Sagan's chapter on "Baloney Detection".





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David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015