How to Be a Reasonable Person

I’ve started philosophy classes with a unit on critical thinking through my teaching career. In typical logic teacher fashion, my critical thinking curriculum has largely been focused on seeking truth and knowledge through inquiry. Conversations with colleagues across campus have inspired me to think and write more broadly about the value of critical thinking beyond the pursuit of truth, particularly for understanding and ethical regard for others. Hence this OEM mini-book.

Critical Thinking is widely claimed as an “infused” general education outcome. This brief primer is the resource I use to infuse critical thinking into my philosophy classes. I teach philosophy as a vehicle for instilling good critical thinking skills. This involves some dedicated instruction, generally a week and a half or so at the outset of every course. This is then followed by philosophy curriculum that is designed to cultivate and reinforce the critical thinking skills I start with.

You may find some or much of this short text useful for your own instruction, whether your course claims Critical Thinking as a general education outcome or not. As an OEM resource, you are free to adopt or adapt, in part or in whole, anything you find useful in this short text. Also, as an OEM resource, this short text will be a perpetual working draft. This means that feedback is always welcome. Do let me know if you think something is missing or improvable.