Chapter 1 – The Power of Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking – the systematic evaluation or formulation of beliefs or statements by
• Focuses on whether something is worth believing
• Critical thinking is systematic – it involves procedures and methods
• It requires evaluation and formulation – you must assess existing beliefs and
devise new ones.
• Operates according to rational standards – beliefs are judged by how well they’re
supported by reason
• Leads you to knowledge, understanding and (if put to work) empowerment
• The “CRITICAL” in critical thinking is the sense of “exercising or involving
careful judgment or judicious evaluation”.
• Is about determining what we are justified in believing. Involves being open to
other points of view, tolerance for opposing perspectives, a focus on issue at hand
and fair assessments of arguments and evidence
Critical Thinking is important because our lives are defined by our actions and choices,
and our actions and choices are guided by our thinking. Critical thinking helps guide us
towards beliefs that are worthy of acceptance and that can help us be successful in life,
however we define success.
A consequence of not thinking critically is a loss of