Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking - about any subject, content, or
problem - in which the thinker improves the quality of her thinking
by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and
imposing intellectual standards upon them.
A well cultivated critical thinker:
Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.
It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use.
It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.