WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING?
Dennis Cuddy, Phd, educator, well-known researcher and prolific writer, put this subject into simple terms when he said in an article entitled "Critical Thinking and Religion in the Schools," Manchester Union Leader, 4/6/89:
"In other words, critical thinking becomes criticizing, which becomes challenging one's parents and all authority figures as well as the law, one's country, moral absolutes, and God."
Dr. Dennis Cuddy's articles are available at NewsWithViews.com
Perhaps the biggest socialistic “Tool of the Mind” is Critical Thinking. It is the cornerstone of Progressive Education. According to Donald Jenner, a Professor of the City University of New York:
"The term, ‘critical thinking’, has gained currency both within the Academy’s walls and outside them.... Listening to the discourse to which this term is central, one might get the idea that what is meant by ‘critical thinking’ is, somehow, more acute thinking, or more acute reading or — well, the same kinds of skills one had before a course in critical thinking rendered superior a sort of hyper-whatever.... Its clearest formulation ... is in Kant’s Critique of Judgment.... Indeed, critique, as a way of thinking, appears to have arisen when it did, at least in part as the resolution of a hiatus between Continental rationalism and Anglo-Scots-Irish empiricism."(1)
Critical thinking became the prominent intellectual derivative of the Enlightenment tradition which laid the basis for the modern socialism.
"The Enlightenment abandoned Biblical revelation for reason and sensationalism."(2)Enlightenment thinking resulted in the publication of the “Encyclopedia,” which was condemned by the Catholic Church.
“The central enterprise of the French Enlightenment, the Encyclopedia embodied that movement's liberal, anti-clerical and scientific spirit, its preoccupation with man as a creature of nature, and its conception of culture and society as mutable products of the evolutionary processes of history. As such, the work challenged the twin authorities of the French monarchy and the Catholic Church, both of which derived their power from the traditional belief in a divinely ordained, unchanging order.” (Emphasis added) (3)Nick Smith, in his article entitled "Critical Thinking, Enlightenment, and Pedagogy," informs us that:
“Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage...Self-incurred tutelage...is nothing more than the fear of using one’s own capacities to reason, and Enlightenment is our release from this affliction that paralyzes our cognitive faculties. Once freed from the fear of and obedience to law given by others, human or divine, we may then look beyond what we have been told and into what we think."(4)
According to Kant and Enlightenment thinking, Critical Thinking frees man from authority. In the classroom, critical thinking can teach the student to be his own highest authority, rejecting the values learned from family and Church. But then, on the other hand, the student is taught to conform to the group through group dynamics and consensus. Thus, the students are taught to question (abandon?) Christian ethics while being trained in the tenets of socialistic group thought. All diverse views of the group must be respected and considered in order to form the consensus.
Bill Wilson, KIN Senior Analyst, tells us that in the 1960's critical thinking was introduced into the American education lexicon. Critical thinking, we were told, was a way to get students to think for themselves. In reality,
“Critical Thinking is a dialectic method of criticizing American values in order to change American ideals."(5)
The Hegelian Dialectic is influenced by Darwinian evolution which does not allow for any lasting truth, only evolving opinions. In this dialectic, Christianity, the Constitution, etc. are merely opinions that must be questioned and then compromised with conflicting opinions in order to reach consensus. Eternal truths are reduced to opinions of a bygone era and do not fit into today's evolving world.
Wilson goes on to say that:
"The fathers of the American public school system, Horace Mann and John Dewey, were both disciples of Marxism and established the dialectic as the standard method of teaching teachers how to teach."(6)Are there any Public, Private, or Catholic schools that do not incorporate "Critical Thinking"? Which form of the dialectic is Classical education incorporating?
(1) Jenner, Donald, What “Critical” Means in Critical Thinking. 1997;
(2) Samuelson, Eric, A Brief Chronology of Collectivism, October, 1997, http://www.biblebelievers.au.collect2.htm
(3)Norman, Jeremy, The Central Enterprise of the French Enlightenment. http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=2876
(4) Smith, Nick. "Critical Thinking, Enlightenment, and Pedagogy", Vanderbuilt University Center for Teaching, http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/library/articles-and-essays/the-teaching-forum/critical-thinking-enlightenment-and-pedagogy/
(5) Wilson, Bill, The Great Deception – Politicians Using Sophisticated Soviet Era Manipulation Techniques. http://lit4ever.org/revivalforum/index.php?topic=4921.0;wap2
Pavlidis, Periklis. "Critical Thinking as Dialectics: a Hegelian-Marxist Approach," Aristotle University of Tehssaloniki, Greece. http://www.jceps.com/PDFs/08-2-03.pdf