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What is critical thinking?

This article explores the role of critical thinking in the action learning process.
Critical Action Learning (CAL) involves the ability of thinking critically. In line with this, Mingers (2000) describes critical thinking as:

  1. The critique of rhetoric—being able to evaluate the soundness or credibility of arguments and/or a general scepticism towards statements and knowledge.
  2. The critique of tradition—being sceptical of conventional wisdom, ‘common sense’, long standing practices and traditional ways of doing things.
  3. The critique of authority—being sceptical of one predominant view and being open to a multitude of views.
  4. The critique of knowledge—recognising that knowledge is never value free and its subjective and context-dependent.

Reflect & Reply

Please comment on the question below.

Consider possible problems that may arise in applying critical thinking and think of way to mitigate them.


Mingers, J. (2000) What is it to be critical? Teaching a critical approach to management undergraduates, Management Learning, 31 (2), 219–37.

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