Terry Cooper goes on to distinguish between critical thinking and thinking critically. He offers ten features that distinguish the two. Although I won’t cover each here, let me say at the outset that they are from Table 2.2 on page 38 of his book. He says critical thinking is a rational process, one that is capable of both affirming and correcting. It is patient and scrupulously fair, able to critique its own position. Critical thinking can avoid or refrain from emotionality and recognizes when it crosses the line and ceases to be critical (and moves into being “hypercritical”). In contrast, thinking critically is presented as an emotional process that looks to condemn and dismiss, often rushing to judgment, which involves but is not limited to blurring ideas and personalities together in its condemnation of the person rather than the idea or behavior. It is “emotional reactivity masquerading as rationality,” that is “restless until it demolishes” and sees its own process as “above criticism” (p. 38).
For Reflection: Does the distinction Cooper makes between Critical Thinking and Thinking Critically seem helpful to you? How so? In what areas have you seen these differences highlighted?