The phrase “critical thinking” carries two words – “critical” and “thinking”, and we find two different meanings. The former term has been derived from Greek word “kriterion” which means a standard for judging. It implies the meaning of analyzing thing on the basis of a standard.
The core idea of criticism is not negativity but a procedure for analyzing knowledge and then evaluating it. The latter term “thinking” is conscious purposeful mental activity, or it affects mind to connect ideas. “Thinking” is often associated with reasoning and imagining. It can be automatic or forced, directed or undirected.
Both terms together cover wide meaning. Critical thinking signifies processes and methodologies of reasoning, of the working of insight, awareness, imagination, sensibility, and such many other activities. It also refers to the interpretation of something that requires observation, analysis, reasoning, and evaluation.
Critical thinking is not the entirely negative approach of reasoning. It is not always employed to find faults. It is also effective for appreciating a tiling. It is for consciously observing, analyzing, reasoning, and evaluating a thing according to proved standards. This human trait demands knowledge about critical thinking concepts, word ‘precision, rules of reasoning and media literacy.
Proved standards that are applied to critical thinking are clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, completeness, reliability, soundness and fairness. Exercising skills that critical thinking requires are observing, analyzing, conceptualizing, synthesizing, evaluating, problem-solving and researching.
Some of the basic questions that critical thinking is concerned with are given below:
How to improve reasoning skill?
I low to construct arguments?
How to put forward acceptable evidence to construct arguments?
How to be objective concerning reasoning skills, arguments, and evidence?
How to be analytical (considering similarities, difference, topic) by emphasizing comparison, differentiation, the relation in an argument?
How to be evaluative (giving opinion or judgment) by ways of assessment, comment, interpretation? etc.
Creativity is conscious purposeful mental activity. It is the use of skills and intelligence in creating new ideas and things. Creativity is creative thinking that conscious generate and expresses new ideas, forms and solutions. Most often imagination is employed in creativity. It works in a playful spirit while dreaming, fantasizing, or producing new’ ideas. It is also related to an aesthetic aspect of art and literature.
Critical thinking is also conscious purposeful mental activity. It involves different mental activities, and processes and methodologies of reasoning, working of insights, awareness, imagination, sensibility, interpretation, and so on. skills consciously observing, analyzing, reasoning, and evaluating a thing according to proved standards of clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, completeness, reliability, soundness and fairness are applied in critical thinking.
Creative thinking differs from critical thinking in the sense that the former generates and expresses new ideas, forms and solutions by applying the above skills of critical reading. In short, creative thinking is a step ahead to critical reading. Nevertheless, both share skills of observing, analyzing, conceptualizing, synthesizing, evaluating and problem-solving.
A poet like Robert Burns observes a red rose and generates a new idea that his beloved is like a red, red rose. The beauty of the rose is associated with the beauty of his beloved. William Wordsworth observes daffodils and conceptualizes their movements to be better than the waves of lake water. The flowers are like the shining stars. Most remarkably, the sight of the daffodils brings “little thought” that proves to him a great wealth. He generates the idea that the sight of nature is the real bliss of solitude.
Being rational creatures, all human beings have more or less skepticism. More or less they apply to reason in every activity. Yet most of them lack proper skills of critical thinking. They have to develop these skills for better reasoning, for constructing better arguments, for comparing and contrasting, for presenting evidence to strengthen the arguments, and for giving an objective and sensible response. All kinds of problems can be solved with these skills. Most remarkably, in literary activities, one can give the good response to an object or work of art.
It is necessary for us to cultivate habits of critical thinking. One should observe sell in the process of thinking. He should collect all kinds of information before giving final judgments. For research, different assumptions, inquiries, and interviews can be made. Convincing evidence and valid reasoning should be found out and submitted to support arguments. One should be much sensitive to word connotation, slant, definition, ambiguity, and also it is necessary to recognize logical fallacies, unfair persuasion and propaganda He should admit mistakes and thereby forward a better argument.
Creativity is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas concepts. An alternative conception of creativity is that it is simply the act of making something new.
I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.