Critical Thinking, Learning and Confucius: A Positive Assessment

Journal of Philosophy of Education 37 (1):71-87 (2003)
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Abstract

In this paper I argue that Confucius’ view of learning in the Analects entails critical thinking. Although he neither specified the logical rules of good reasoning nor theorised about the structure of argument, Confucius advocated and emphasised the importance of critical thinking. For Confucius reflective thinking of two sorts is essential to learning: (1) reflection on the materials of knowledge, in order to synthesise and systemise the raw materials into a whole, and to integrate them into oneself as wisdom; (2) reflection on oneself, (a) in order to ensure that such synthesis, systemisation, and integration proceed in an open-minded, fair and autonomous way, and (b) in order to integrate knowledge with the self, that is, to internalise it until it becomes oneself.

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Hye-Kyung Kim
University of Wisconsin Greenbay

Citations of this work

On the Universality of Argumentative Reasoning.Hugo Mercier - 2011 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 11 (1-2):85-113.
Beyond Rote-Memorisation: Confucius’ Concept of Thinking.Charlene Tan - 2015 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (5):428-439.
A Confucian Conception of Critical Thinking.Charlene Tan - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (4):331-343.
Confucianism and critical rationalism: Friends or foes?Chi-Ming Lam - 2017 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (12):1136-1145.

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References found in this work

Jen and li in the "analects".Kwong-loi Shun - 1993 - Philosophy East and West 43 (3):457-479.
Japanese Society.Chauncey S. Goodrich & Chie Nakane - 1973 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 93 (3):415.
Confucius and the role of reason.David E. Soles - 1995 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 22 (3):249-261.
Critical Thinking Education Faces The Challenge of Japan.Bruce W. Davidson - 1995 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 14 (3):41-53.

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