In 150 words or less
Critical thinking is defined many ways. Two definitions that I think cover the needs of our objective are as follows. “Disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence”1, “disciplined, self-directed thinking which exemplifies the perfection of thinking appropriate to a particular mode of domain of thinking”2. The first definition states the importance of rational objective thinking that is informed by evidence. A lucid consideration of the realities contained within each situation combine in the mind and aid the completion of a sensible outcome. This meta-analyzation is the essence of critical thinking, the second definition is its’ application. The mention of appropriate modes of thinking reminds us that not every position is simple enough to be approached the same way but in fact is its own problem with specific strategies to unwrap its meaning. In trying to define critical thinking, it defines itself.
1^ Dictionary.com, “critical thinking,” in Dictionary.com Unabridged. Source location: Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/critical
2^Cederblom, J & Paulsen, D.W. (2006) Critical Reasoning: Understanding and criticizing arguments and theories, 6th edn. (Belmont, CA, ThomsonWadsworth).