How to Teach Lawyers, Judges, and Law Students Critical Thinking: Chapter Two: Understanding Critical Thinking

How to Teach Lawyers, Judges, and Law Students Critical Thinking: Millions Saw the Apple Fall, but Newton asked Why (2020)

33 Pages Posted: 12 May 2020 Last revised: 12 Oct 2020

Date Written: March 23, 2020

Abstract

Critical thinking is “[t]he intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.” “It is . . . automatically questioning if the information presented is factual, reliable, evidence-based, and unbiased.” It is “a collection of thinking skills [thinking processes] that advance intellectual focus, motivation, and engagement with new ideas.”

This is the central chapter in my book, How to Teach Lawyers, Judges, and Law Students Critical Thinking: Millions Saw the Apple Fall, but Newton asked Why (2020). It introduces critical thinking, and sets up the other key chapters in my book: Chapter 4. Teaching Critical Thinking in Law School, Chapter 5. Critical Thinking and the Socratic Method as a Teaching`Technique in Legal Education, and Chapter 8. Judges and Critical Thinking. Because it is an introductory chapter on critical reasoning, the reader does not need any legal background to understand it.

Keywords: Critical Reasoning, Legal Education, Cognitive Science, General Education

Suggested Citation

Fruehwald, Edwin S., How to Teach Lawyers, Judges, and Law Students Critical Thinking: Chapter Two: Understanding Critical Thinking (March 23, 2020). How to Teach Lawyers, Judges, and Law Students Critical Thinking: Millions Saw the Apple Fall, but Newton asked Why (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3559769

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