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On Critical and Creative Thinking: Examining Sound Judgment
Some Remarks on Critical Thinking
In this context, putting authoritative pronouncements into play, opening them up for questioning, and dissenting from them is a further trademark of sound judgment and critical thinking. Here, I follow John Caputo's analysis of reason's emancipatory func-tion:
"There is a moment in the life of reason when reason is cut adrift, when it is not buoyed up by fixed guidelines. The function of reason is to make a cut into the flux, to reach a certain configurational resolution of a perceptual flow...when it reorganizes the model, the paradigm...it is in such moments that reason starts a revolution...to emancipate those who live within reason's sphere of influence, to introduce liberal reforms into its laws, to reinsert the play which informs every calculative thought...the most reasonable view of reason denies that you can write a handbook about the way reason works. You have to learn the game. Thinking is a hands-on process."
Though Caputo's words sound a little conspiratorial against institutions that exer-cise power (which is what it really is), it points out what we have explained earlier: the point that because attaining sound judgments or critical reasoning is always a hands-on process, a process that involves circumspective familiarity, thinking and judgment them-selves must be is neither critical without being innately familiar nor the other way around. …
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