Thinking skills in the context of Formal Logic, Informal Logic and Critical Thinking19

Pieter van Veuren


The aim of this essay is to explore the concept of thinking skills in three different contexts, i.e. Formal Logic, Informal Logic and Critical Thinking. The essay traces some contemporary historical connections between these approaches and illustrates differences and overlap between them by referring to the content pages of textbooks which are representative of the different approaches. In evaluating the historical developments sketched in the essay, the conclusion is reached that the open and pragmatic way in which Critical Thinking handles the topic of thinking skills has advantages for interdisciplinary contact and cooperation. However, this pragmatic approach also has a possible downside: the concept of thinking skills can become so vague as to be of no use.

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