Speaker Series 2023 March 31st

Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric along with the PhD in Argumentation Studies at the University of Windsor invite you to a talk by

Elizabeth Ismail, AS PhD Candidate

The Ideal of all Thought

Critical thinking: A new definition on offer

Abstract: In their book Critical Thinking: It’s Definition and Assessment, Fisher and Scriven (1989) share the following:

Students, teachers, interested citizens, and professional colleagues often request a definition of critical thinking (CT). It is not easy to give a reasonably concise answer, but the alternatives to doing so are so extremely unsatisfactory. On the one hand, failing to give a definition at all suggests an inappropriate atmosphere of mystery, or a lack of attention to a fundamental issue about the discipline of critical thinking. On the other hand, giving a very complicated definition suggests a kind of irreducible complexity about the notion of critical thinking that seems inappropriate for a subject whose goals include a strong emphasis on clarity, simplifying, and defining. An ideal definition would provide a short, easily understood, plausible, and enlightening analysis of the concept. But is such a definition possible? … Critical thinking is the ideal of all thought; we never go past it to higher thinking, indeed we never completely master it. (p. 15-16)

Is an ideal definition of the ideal of all thought even possible? In this talk, I will make an earnest attempt to argue that it is indeed possible. Beyond studies in critical thinking, I will also be drawing on the philosophy of mind, various fields within science, argumentation studies, and learning theory to offer and justify a definition of critical thinking that seeks to satisfy the criteria of being short, easily understood, plausible, and enlightening.


Friday, March 31, 2023

3:00 pm

Chrysler Hall North, 1163