But this is not what I’d hoped for. You exaggerate the gulf between fact and value here. The stories that animate our lives are mere propaganda when they are not based in fact. Critical thinking and propositional knowledge are relevant here. Critical thinking is also crucial to getting conceptual clarity about the values that animate us. Absent this, our values are hollow and easily co-opted by demagogues (witness the conflation of liberty with self indulgence on the right).
Would that we did emphasize critical thinking in our educational system. We don’t, we emphasize algebra. We do give lip service to critical thinking as an “infused outcome” across the curriculum. Imagine if we did this with math, or reasoning with numbers. We could have English teachers handle geometry and Sociologists comment on the factoring of polynomials (it’s divide and conquer, just like colonialism).
The result of our neglect of critical thinking beyond applications in math and the hard sciences is a population of people who think reasoning is irrelevant outside these realms. And now we know what politics looks like for such a miseducated population.