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Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight.He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational.
He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief.
He established the importance of seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of what is said but of what is done as well.
It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use.
It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome native egocentrism The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato.
He established the method of questioning beliefs, closely inspecting assumptions and relying on evidence and sound rationale.
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Plato recorded Socrates' teachings and carried on the tradition of critical thinking. Beyer (1995), critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgments.
The linear and non-sequential mind must both be engaged in the rational mind.
The ability to critically analyze an argument – to dissect structure and components, thesis and reasons – is essential.
Aristotle and subsequent Greek skeptics refined Socrates' teachings, using systematic thinking and asking questions to ascertain the true nature of reality beyond the way things appear from a glance. The "first wave" of critical thinking is often referred to as a 'critical analysis' that is clear, rational thinking involving critique. During the process of critical thinking, ideas should be reasoned, well thought out, and judged.
Socrates set the agenda for the tradition of critical thinking, namely, to reflectively question common beliefs and explanations, carefully distinguishing beliefs that are reasonable and logical from those that—however appealing to our native egocentrism, however much they serve our vested interests, however comfortable or comforting they may be—lack adequate evidence or rational foundation to warrant belief. defines critical thinking as the "intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action." In the term critical thinking, the word critical, (Grk.