psychol analytical, usually deductive, thinking in which ideas are examined for their logical validity or in which a set of rules is followed, e.g. in arithmetic
Lexical Investigations: Critical Thinking
Though the phrase critical thinking wasn’t coined until the early twentieth century, its principles can be traced back to Aristotle. The educator and psychologist John Dewey first used the phrase in its modern sense in his 1910 book How We Think, though there are instances of the words appearing together in texts before this time. Dewey defined critical thinking as “reflective thought,” requiring healthy skepticism, …
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012