Re-Thinking Reason

New Perspectives in Critical Thinking

Edited by Kerry S. Walters

Subjects: Critical Reasoning
Series: SUNY series, Teacher Empowerment and School Reform
Paperback : 9780791420966, 265 pages, September 1994
Hardcover : 9780791420959, 265 pages, September 1994

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Table of contents

Foreword: Critical Thinking as a Political Project
Peter L. McLaren


Introduction: Beyond Logicism in Critical Thinking
Kerry S. Walters

I. Toward an Inclusive Model of Thinking

1. Teaching Two Kinds of Thinking by Teaching Writing
Peter Elbow

2. On Critical Thinking and Connected Knowing
Blythe McVicker Clinchy

3. Educating for Empathy, Reason, and Imagination
Kerry S. Walters

5. Toward a Gender-Sensitive Ideal of Critical Thinking: A Feminist Poetic
Anne M. Phelan and James W. Garrison

II. Critical Thinking in Context

6. Critical Thinking and the "Trivial Pursuit" Theory of Knowledge
John E. McPeck

7. Why Two Heads Are Better Than One: Philosophical and Pedagogical Implications of a Social View of Critical Thinking
Connie Missimer

8. Community and Neutrality in Critical Thought: A Nonobjectivist View on the Conduct and Teaching of Critical Thinking
Karl Hostetler

9. Critical Thinking and Feminism
Karen J. Warren

III. Critical Thinking and Emancipation

10. Teaching Critical Thinking in the Strong Sense: A Focus on Self-Deception, World Views, and a Dialectical Mode of Analysis
Richard W. Paul

11. Toward a Pedagogy of Critical Thinking
Henry A. Giroux

12. Teaching Intellectual Autonomy: The Failure of the Critical Thinking Movement
Laura Duhan Kaplan

13. Critical Thinking Beyond Reasoning: Restoring Virtue to Thought
Thomas H. Warren

14. Is Critical Thinking a Technique, or a Means of Enlightenment?
Lenore Langsdorf




For two decades, colleges and universities have regularly offered, and in some cases required, courses in thinking skills. Such courses generally have focused on training students in the basics of informal and formal logic, the assumption being that good thinking is logical thinking, and that instruction in critical or "good" thinking consequently should emphasize logical procedures. This "logistic" assumption is clearly reflected in both critical thinking textbooks as well as in the professional literature.

Recently, however, the epistemic and pedagogical identification of critical thinking and logical thinking has been questioned by educators from a wide diversity of disciplines. Many of these critics argue that a richer, more comprehensive model of thinking itself is needed, one that acknowledges the importance of traditionally downplayed faculties such as empathy, imagination, and insight. Others contend that thinking skills theory and pedagogy must take into consideration the contextual and sometimes political influences upon not just content but also styles of thinking. finally still other critics of the conventional model of critical thinking argue that recent research in feminist studies sheds a great deal of light upon the directions in which critical thinking instruction should go.

The fourteen essays in this anthology all illustrate this new way of thinking about critical thinking. Each of them is critical of the received model, and each of them argues for one that goes beyond the conventional reduction of thinking skills to logical expertise. But each approaches the issue from a different angle, thereby providing the reader with a diversity of perspectives and accents.

Re-Thinking Reason is an invaluable resource tool, research guide, and supplemental textbook, for educators across the disciplines who are concerned with incorporating thinking skills instruction in their classes.

Kerry S. Walters is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Gettysburg College.