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Critical thinking and the Spock Fallacy

Abstract

Conventional instruction in critical thinking technique tends to conflate logical thinking with rational or “good” thinking. But in doing so, it ignores the creative and intuitive functions of rationality, thereby encouraging a mechanically rote approach to textual analysis, problem solving and problem construction. This overemphasis upon straightforwardly logical “calculus of justification” functions, and its concomitant deemphasis of intuitive “pattern of discovery” ones, constitute the ”Spock Fallacy.” Its epistemological weakness and pedagogical hazards are explored.

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The author of two books and numerous articles, one of his specialties is philosophy of education and critical thinking.

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Walters, K.S. Critical thinking and the Spock Fallacy. Innov High Educ 15, 17–28 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00889734

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Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Critical Thinking
  • Textual Analysis
  • Cross Cultural Psychology
  • Logical Thinking