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ERIC Number: ED353227
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
DOUBTING and BELIEVING: Contraries or Complementaries in Inquiry?
Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J.
Traditionally, philosophers have viewed critical thinking as a reasoning tool for guiding and helping people arrive at truth and certainty. Recent feminist theory suggests that critical thinking involves not just doubt but also believing. This paper examines: (1) the traditional views of critical thinking (methodological doubt); and (2) historical views of methdological believing. The paper discusses Peter Elbow's "Methodological Doubting and Believing: Contraries in Inquiry" (Embracing Contraries, 1986) and Belenky et al's procedural knowing (Women's Way of Knowing, 1986). Postmodernists such as Rorty seriously question whether it is possible to arrive at truth or certainty. This analysis suggests it is possible to arrive at trustworthy knowledge through the use of consensus and judgment. It is possible to reach consensus and judgment once there is communication and understanding. Communication and understanding can only occur when an individual has attempted to believe an idea or thought with care and honesty. Once a person has been fair to an idea, then it is possible to use critical thinking (doubting) to help make a judgment about the quality of the idea. Believing alone leads to naive thinking and indoctrination. Doubting alone leads to closemindedness and loss of creativity. Together, they lead to constructive thinking which integrates the inner voice and the voice of reason. (SM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A