ERIC Number: ED363574
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Thinking Critically about Moral Questions. Resource Publication Series 4 No. 4.
Wright, Ian; La Bar, Carole
In the critical thinking movement, there is little focus on moral issues. If definitions of critical thinking included reasoning about what to do, as well as what to believe, there would be a link between critical thinking and social moral beliefs. However, very rarely do critical thinking textbooks and programs concern themselves with assessing moral arguments. Reasons for this omission include: (1) lack of teacher training; (2) controversy over the teaching of moral issues in schools; (3) the view that value judgments are not subject to rational evaluation; and (4) a conservative political climate. The three most widely used approaches to moral or values education are values clarification, cognitive development, and inculcation. Each approach has its weaknesses. Social moral judgments should be impartial, universal, and consistent across cases. In classroom settings, a useful approach to defending moral arguments is principle testing. Several aspects of critical thinking are involved in applying the following test to determine if social moral judgments meet the necessary criteria: the role exchange test, the universal consequences test, the new cases test, and the subsumption test. The objective of applying these tests is to foster good judgment that involves not only knowing the standards for making and assessing empirical and conceptual claims and arguments but also the development of certain sensitivities and disposition. (IAH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Montclair State Coll., Upper Montclair, NJ. Inst. for Critical Thinking.