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Critical Condition: Replacing Critical Thinking with Creativity

Finn, Patrick
Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
LB2395.35.F56 2015
Topics: Teaching Critical Thinking   |   Constructivist & Active Learning Theory

Additional Info:
Should we stop teaching critical thinking? Meant as a prompt to further discussion, Critical Condition questions the assumption that every student should be turned into a “critical thinker.”

The book starts with the pre-Socratics and the impact that Socrates’ death had on his student Plato and traces the increasingly violent use of critical “attack” on a perceived opponent. From the Roman militarization of debate to the medieval Church’s use of defence as a means of forcing confession and submission, the early phases of critical thinking were bound up in a type of attack that Finn suggests does not best serve intellectual inquiry. Recent developments have seen critical thinking become an ideology rather than a critical practice, with levels of debate devolving to the point where most debate becomes ad hominem. Far from arguing that we abandon critical inquiry, the author suggests that we emphasize a more open, loving system of engagement that is not only less inherently violent but also more robust when dealing with vastly more complex networks of information.

This book challenges long-held beliefs about the benefits of critical thinking, which is shown to be far too linear to deal with the twenty-first century world. Critical Condition is a call to action unlike any other. (From the Publisher)

Table Of Content:
Preface: An Invitation

ch. 1 A Foolish Question: Isn’t It Time We Replaced Critical Thinking?
ch. 2 The Baby and the Bathwater: The Birth of Critical Thinking
ch. 3 A Hitch or Two: Polemic, Violence, and the Case for Critical Thinking
ch. 4 We Can’t Go On Together (with Suspicious Minds)
ch. 5 An Immodest Proposal: Let’s Replace Critical Thinking with Creative, Loving, Open-Source Thought
ch. 6 “Sure, It Works in Practice, but Will It Work in Theory?”
ch. 7 Conclusion: An Open Invitation—Some Final Ideas and Questions

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