The subject is complex, and several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence.
Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.
Traditionally, critical thinking has been variously defined as follows: Contemporary critical thinking scholars have expanded these traditional definitions to include qualities, concepts, and processes such as creativity, imagination, discovery, reflection, empathy, connecting knowing, feminist theory, subjectivity, ambiguity, and inconclusiveness.
Some definitions of critical thinking exclude these subjective practices.
It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use.
It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome native egocentrism The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato.The list of core critical thinking skills includes observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation, and metacognition.According to Reynolds (2011), an individual or group engaged in a strong way of critical thinking gives due consideration to establish for instance: In addition to possessing strong critical-thinking skills, one must be disposed to engage problems and decisions using those skills.He established the method of questioning beliefs, closely inspecting assumptions and relying on evidence and sound rationale.Plato recorded Socrates' teachings and carried on the tradition of critical thinking. Beyer (1995), critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgments.But so is the ability to be flexible and consider non-traditional alternatives and perspectives.These complementary functions are what allow for critical thinking to be a practice encompassing imagination and intuition in cooperation with traditional modes of deductive inquiry.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.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.In the ‘second wave’ of critical thinking, as defined by Kerry S. 1), many authors moved away from the logocentric mode of critical thinking that the ‘first wave’ privileged, especially in institutions of higher learning.Walters summarizes logicism as "the unwarranted assumption that good thinking is reducible to logical thinking".