Pragmatic Conceptions of Critical Thinking: Possibilities and Limitations Cover Image

Прагматичка схватања критичког мишљења: Могућности и ограничења
Pragmatic Conceptions of Critical Thinking: Possibilities and Limitations

Author(s): Jelena Pešić
Subject(s): Political Theory, Cognitive Psychology, Methodology and research technology
Published by: Институт за политичке студије
Keywords: critical thinking; problem solving; scientific method; instrumental rationality;

Summary/Abstract: In this paper we analyze the pragmatic conceptions of critical thinking, that conceptualize it as an efficient problem solving or effective thinking. Three central thesis of this approach are explored, as its innovative contribution in defining the nature and constitutive elements of critical thinking. The first thesis refers to the instrumental role of critical thinking in achieving academic and practical aims. The second thesis deals with constitutive role of scientific method, as a basic tool in gaining the reliable and reasonable knowledge. The third thesis stresses the importance of the subject domain knowledge and problem solving strategies in critical thinking. By scrutinizing these theses, we question whether critical thinking can be justified only by the concept of instrumental rationality. We argue that critical thinking, although of great instrumental value, cannot be only instrumentally justified, due to the fact that it is not always useful or even consistent with some basic principles of our cognitive functioning, as well as that it cannot be adequately conceptualized without its value dimension and emancipatory rationality.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 131-148
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Serbian