By Tim John Moore
Explores what it capability to be 'critical' in several disciplines in better schooling and the way scholars could be taught to be potent serious thinkers.
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Extra resources for Critical Thinking and Language: The Challenge of Generic Skills and Disciplinary Discourses
In the investigation carried out for this book, it was my intention to take up the issue of interfield comparisons in a comprehensive way. Thus, along with trying to find out what academics mean when they say that they want their students to be critical thinkers, the investigation also sought to discover how these meanings compared both within and across different disciplinary settings. It was hoped that such an analysis would offer some insights into the interfield issue, and would in turn provide some basis for judging the relevance of the generalist and discipline-specific approaches we have considered.
A principle in business or law may be fallacious in science or ethics. 72) While acknowledging that there are some very limited general thinking skills, McPeck insists that ‘they offer little to get excited about’ (1992: p. 202). This is because, he suggests, the more general the skill, the more trivially obvious it seems to be – like ‘not contradicting one’s self, or not believing everything one hears’ (p. 202). For McPeck, the truly useful thinking skills tend to be limited to specific domains or narrower areas of application.
Unlike many of his fellow philosophers, Wittgenstein (1961), even as far back as the Tractatus, is committed to the idea that wisdom about these matters resides in language as it is used: All the propositions of our everyday language, just as they stand, are in perfect logical order. (1961: p. 83) It is the search for networks of ‘coherence’, and ‘logic’ around the various usages of the term ‘critical thinking’ that is the principal concern of the study described in the ensuing pages. 10â•‡ The Problem Restated The investigation was conceived in the light of the preceding discussion.