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1. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Thomas J. Brommage From the Editor’s Desk
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articles
2. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
John D. Eigenauer Enlightenment and Education
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book review
3. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
John D. Eigenauer Review of Enlightenment Now
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4. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Erik Goldner Teaching the Enlightenment in the Twenty-First Century
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This article presents both practical tips for, and explores theoretical considerations related to, teaching the Enlightenment in the twenty-first century college classroom. It begins by reviewing some of the many resources instructors today can use as they guide their students through the Enlightenment. It then explores how scholars’ understanding of the period has changed over time, before examining what students learn about the Enlightenment before they come to college, and then considers the politics of teaching the Enlightenment today. The article then pivots back to the practical and explores the many things we can do with our students as we engage with the Enlightenment. However the Enlightenment may be conceived—whether as one or many, reformist or revolutionary, a movement or a series of debates—this article argues it is vital we keep teaching it in these times.
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5. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Laura Talamante, Jasmine Abang Education During the Enlightenment: Women Engaging Critical Inquiry
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Until the late seventeenth-century, French women had limited access to education. This article explores the openings that the Enlightenment provided for reconceptualizing women’s education, and how women used their roles as salonnières and novelists to challenge gendered educational limits. Using the lenses of education and gender norms, we highlight women’s intellectual contributions to the French Enlightenment and the history of ideas and emphasize the role of critical thinking in creating gender equality. With this scholarship, we encourage students to reflect on the history of the Enlightenment and the importance of reading, writing, and critical thinking for tackling present issues of discrimination. Furthermore, for educators, we challenge them to see the benefits of centering marginalized voices in the history of the Enlightenment for what those voices offer, engaging students in critical thinking and education and addressing equity and social justice for both individuals and society at large.
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6. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Adrian O'Connor Enlightenment and Education, Then and Now
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Ideas about education and its power to transform people’s intellectual, social, political, and personal lives were central to Enlightenment thought. They were also central to the Enlightenment belief that new ways of thinking engendered new ways of living (and vice versa). Taken together, these points placed education at the heart of early modern debates over the constitution of society, the organization and administration of the polity, the nature and purpose of civil society, and the relations that govern everyday life. To understand this view of education and the Enlightenment debates to which it gave rise, this essay highlights the role of skepticism and uncertainty in Enlightenment thought, the philosophes’ interest in education as an instrument of moral and social improvement, and their commitment to the idea that both individual and collective progress stemmed from critical forms of social intercourse. As a result, we see that the Enlightenment’s educational legacy is not a particular platform or pedagogy, but an ongoing experiment in how the critical and collective pursuit of useful knowledge might reform or remake human society.
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7. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
G. K. Noyer Whatever Happened to Voltaire?
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The eighteenth century French Enlightenment writers—Voltaire and Montesquieu especially—were cited in American textbooks as the thinkers who most influenced the founding generation of America until at least the 1970s. They still are, throughout much of the world. And rightly so, as studies of colonial periodicals and pamphlets have largely shown. When and why did they disappear from our high school textbooks? When Voltaire is mentioned at all, it is only as the author of Candide. This essay focuses on Voltaire as a sort of “missing link” in our understanding of American history and government. It includes discussions of his other works, considered far more consequential in his own day, and of his ubiquitous use of critical thinking. The case of Voltaire closely parallels the more recent efforts to erase Thomas Jefferson from U.S. schoolbooks: the author of the first bill for religious freedom and its leading champion in America.
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8. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3
David Wright From the Editor’s Desk
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9. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3
David Botting Refutations and Sophistical Refutations—Logical or Dialectical Concepts?
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In this paper I will defend a logical conception of refutations and fallacies against objections that are meant to show that a dialectical conception of refutations or fallacies is necessary. I will show that there is only one dialectical concept—not that of a thesis, as those favouring a dialectical analysis argue, but that of a concession—that may need to be added to a logical conception for such a conception to be adequate.
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10. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3
Stefan Sellbjer Triggers Fostering Critical Thinking in the Eyes of the Already Successful
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Using the perspective of those who have already successfully developed such skills, the aim of this article is to examine the types of seminars that may foster critical thinking. Professors and associate professors could be said to be among this group as they have progressed through the academic system to attain a certain level of achievement. Also under investigation is the extent to which such competencies lead to generic skills. In order to understand the context of this empirical study, a short account of a master’s program in pedagogy at the University of Southern Sweden will be outlined. The empirical investigation consists of open-ended informal and conversational interviews carried through as a dialogue. The result is analyzed by three different methods, with focus on two theoretical approaches, i.e. the development of logical traits and the encouragement of transformations. Fifteen of a total of twenty-two exercises are characterized as more suitable for developing logical traits, and nine are categorized as transformative. Perhaps a mix of these two types of seminars would be most effective in promoting generic skills. The results suggest that attitudes play an important role. Two of the keys to promoting generic skills are for lecturers, associate professors and professors to believe in the generic qualities of the exercises and to utilize them themselves.
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11. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3
Jeffrey Maynes Review of Mercier and Sperber’s The Enigma of Reason
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In The Enigma of Reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber (2017) defend the proposal that reason is a specialized module which produces intuitions about reasons. Reason serves two functions: for individuals to justify their own judgments and actions to themselves and others, and to persuade others. In this review, I briefly summarize the central claims of the book, critically examine Mercier and Sperber’s arguments that reason is not a general faculty underlying our inferential abilities, and explore the pedagogical implications of their work.
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12. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
David Wright From the Editor’s Desk
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13. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Marcus Gillespie, Steven D. Koether, Michelle L. Lewis Fostering the Disposition to Think Critically and a Positive Attitude toward Science: The Results of a Successful Six-Year Study of an Innovative, General Education Integrated Science Course
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Virtually all faculty members agree that teaching their students the ability and disposition to think critically is fundamentally important, and most believe that their pedagogical approaches enhance both. Unfortunately, recent research has shown that college students often fail to substantively improve their critical thinking skills. Other research regarding the public’s perception of certain science topics reveals that a significant proportion of the American public rejects scientific information, i.e., information that is based on both critical thinking and empiricism. This state of affairs limits the ability of individuals and society to make rational decisions. This article describes the results of a novel general education science course designed specifically to address these issues. The six-year study, involving more than 1,400 students, showed that the pedagogical approaches used in the course were successful in enhancing students’ critical thinking, their disposition to think critically, and their willingness to use scientific information when making decisions
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14. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
John D. Eigenauer Targeted Instruction in Critical Thinking Improves Dispositions
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While much emphasis is placed on the need to improve critical thinking (CT) among college students (Abrami, Bernard, Borokhovski, Wade, Surkes, Tamim, & Zhang, 2008, p. 1102), few studies describe precise methodologies for doing so (Behar-Horenstein & Niu, 2011, p. 36) and even fewer identify improvements in CT dispositions as a desired course outcome (Perkins, Tishman, Ritchhart, Donis, & Andrade, 2000, p. 288). This study attempts to fill a gap in the studies of CT methodologies aimed at improving CT dispositions. In this study, 78 community college students enrolled in a CT course that emphasized targeted CT interventional strategies. The students took the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI) as a pre-test and as a post-test. Results indicate that the targeted instruction significantly influenced overall scores, as well as four of the seven subscale categories.
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15. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Izaak L Williams Critical Thinking Anxiety: Neurobiology of Pain and Cognitive Avoidance in Ethics
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The goal of this paper is to understand how common aversions to critical thinking, and, in particular, critical thinking related to deliberation about ethics, is arguably akin to math anxiety (MA). However, unlike ethical-critical thinking anxiety (ECTA), MA has a body of literature and neuroscientific findings supporting it and correlating thoughts about math with neurobiology of pain and fear activation. The crux of the paper lies in the answer to the following question: how is ECTA like and unlike MA? Is there a history—educational and otherwise—similar to MA—that leads to ECTA? In this paper, I argue that there are myriad factors contributing to ECTA but that, ultimately, the result is likely the same: a neurobiology of fear/pain response that inhibits ethical thought and judgment, largely given its dependence on critical thinking. My thesis statement, therefore, is that critical thinking engenders the angst engendered by MA and for similar reasons, and I surmise that current models of teaching applied clinical ethics to health care practitioners would benefit from approaches framing the lack of ethical thinking in our field of health and human services as an ego-defense mechanism or neurobiological constraint. This leads to the question of how workshops aimed at teaching ethics take into account the realities of avoidance, promote critical thinking, and avoid the pitfalls of ECTA.
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16. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Maria Sanders Review of The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education
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This essay reviews five articles from Part VII in The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education (Davies & Barnett, 2015) entitled “Social Perspectives on Critical Thinking.” In this section, the authors explore critical citizenship, critical pedagogy, and knowledge practices of critical thinking. It is a diverse collection of essays ranging from broad discussions on the topics included to specific applications and particular examples demonstrating criticality in higher education classrooms.
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17. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Frank Fair From the Editor's Desk
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18. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Linda Elder, Gerald Nosich Introductions to the Memorial Issue
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19. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Linda Elder Richard Paul’s Contributions to the Field of Critical Thinking and to the Establishment of First Principles of in Critical thinking
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Beginning in his PhD program, and over a period of years in the 1960s, Richard Paul thoughtfully examined and deliberately critiqued existing theories of logic and reasoning. He took what was a very narrow conception of reasoning and broadened it to more accurately represent human thinking when people reason. He captured the idea of universal intellectual standards by exploring standards typically used by skilled reasoners, and assembled these standards into a constellation of ideas that is easily understandable. Following the tradition of Socrates, Paul continually emphasized the importance of developing conceptual understandings based in foundational ideas and principles of analysis, and tested through life experience. His work laid the groundwork for what may be termed first principles in critical thinking and for a legitimate field of critical thinking studies.
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20. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Gerald Nosich Richard Paul’s Approach to Critical Thinking: Comprehensiveness, Systematicity, and Practicality
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Richard Paul changed the face and the practice of critical thinking for hundreds of thousands of educators, professionals, and reflective persons across the world. In this paper I describe Paul’s goals and, briefly, some of his achievements in articulating his robust approach to critical thinking. I focus primarily on its direct orientation to practicality; its comprehensiveness, its applicability in any domain; and its systematicity, its coherent, interlocking way of laying out all the significant dimensions of critical thinking consistent with use in practice. I also describe some implications of Paul’s work: its relation to other models or approaches that are more limited in their comprehensiveness, systematicity, and/or practicality; the contrast between Paul’s maximally flexible account and accounts or teaching practices based on specific directives; and the capacity Paul’s articulation carries with it of being able to enhance any approach to thinking things through.
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