Logic Language

Critical Thinking and Language: The Challenge of Generic by Tim John Moore

By Tim John Moore

Explores what it capacity to be 'critical' in several disciplines in greater schooling and the way scholars might 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

Sample text

Taxonomies like Ennis’s certainly provide a fuller picture of critical thinking and, for some educationists, have proved helpful both in establishing the need for critical thinking programmes in universities as well as suggesting how they might be organized. But there has been some disquiet within the movement about the basis on which such lists have been assembled. One problem is that they represent only a single theorist’s particular take on the concept. Thus, what has emerged in the literature is a growing number of competing classifications, and inevitably a fair amount of disputation between proponents about what exactly should be covered in a critical thinking programme.

31) In the present investigation, which looked at notions of critical thinking across a range of disciplines, the intention was to approach data neither from assumptions of sameness nor of difference – that is to imagine that the critical thinking in Discipline A was at heart of a similar or of a different kind to that in Discipline B. On this point Wittgenstein says we cannot hope to find a single, unitary meaning of a term (some essential property which it denotes), but nor should we ever assume that there is incoherence – for without some underlying coherence there would be a need, presumably, for other distinctly different terms.

Whereas I contend that if we improve the quality of understanding through the disciplines (which may have little to do with ‘logic’ directly), you will then get a concomitant improvement in the thinking capacity. (1990, p. 21) At the heart of all exchanges between these adversaries is the basic epistemological question – that is, whether different fields of knowledge depend on variable principles of critical thinking. McPeck insists on differences – ‘the crucial epistemic questions’, he says ‘tend to vary among domains and subjects’ (1992: p.

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