Such critical skills grounded in knowledge include i

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Such critical skills grounded in knowledge include: (i)               the ability to form an opinion for oneself , which involves being able to recognize what is  intended to mislead, being capable of listening to eloquence without being carried away, and  becoming adept at asking and determining if there is any reason to think that our beliefs are true; (ii)              the ability to find an impartial solution , which involves learning to recognize and control  our own biases, coming to view our own beliefs with the same detachment with which we view the  beliefs of others, judging issues on their merits, trying to ascertain the relevant facts, and the power  of weighing arguments; (iii)           the ability to identify and question assumptions , which involves learning not to be  credulous, applying constructive doubt in order to test unexamined beliefs, and resisting the notion  that some authority, a great philosopher perhaps, has captured the whole truth. In nurturing these skills we need to remember that our most unquestioned convictions  may  be as  mistaken as those of we criticise or our opponents. Our account of critical skills should to great deal  covers grounds set out in our discussion on critical thinking tools of analysis. There are numerous insights in this effort which have a familiar ring to those acquainted with the  recent Critical thinking literature a)      First is our emphasis on  judgement , suggesting the point that critical skills cannot be reduced  to a mere formula to be routinely applied. Critical judgement means that one has to  weigh  evidence  and arguments, approximate truth must be  estimated , with the result that skill demands wisdom.    Second is that critical thinking requires being critical  about our own attempts at criticism . For  example, we need to recognise that refutations are rarely final; they are usually a prelude to further  refinements. We must also be cautious to reject the notion that critical thinking texts restrict criticism  to "approved" topics and that punishment awaits those who wander into unconventional fields of  criticism. Critical thinking must include critical reflection on what passes for critical thinking. c)      Third, Critical thinking is not essentially a negative enterprise; our emphasis  on  constructive  doubt, and warning against practices which lead to children  becoming  destructively  critical is positive scepticism. It is important that the kind of criticism aimed at is not just that which seeks to reject, but that which considers apparent knowledge on its merits,  retaining whatever survives critical scrutiny.
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