The intellectual roots of critical thinking date back to the Greek philosophers.
Socrates discovered, by means of probing questions, that in the exchange of competing ideas, people sometimes make confident claims based on unreliable assumptions or failed logic.
Such arguments, he discovered, were either erroneous in fact, absent sufficient foundation, or failing in logic. Instead, most arguments were based on confused meanings, inadequate evidence, or contradictory beliefs.
Socrates' contributions to critical thinking were many -- for he established new ways to think about contentious issues in terms of the quality of assumptions, facts and logic.
Thus Socrates demonstrated that persons may have passion, or power or high position but yet be deeply confused and irrational.
Good journalism, like compelling debate, is based on a clear understanding of facts and the logical construction of one's argument. And that is what the Socratic Method and The Sophist Tradition is all about.
The Socratic Method is the preferred way to examine issues.
In the Socratic mode of questioning, postulations, ideas or arguments are examined for their clarity and logical consistency by systematic analysis of facts, assumptions and logical methodology to support a conclusion.
Socratic analysis is accomplished by means of a series of probing questions that systematically examine the quality of an argument or conclusion.
Understanding the quality of information, argument or one's conclusions, is fundamental to critical thinking -- and the goal of critical editing.
Socrates’ practice was followed by the critical thinking of Plato (who recorded Socrates’ thought), Aristotle, and the Greek skeptics, all of whom emphasized that things are often very different from what they appear to be.
Only the trained mind is prepared to see through the way things look to us on the surface (delusive appearances) to the way they really are beneath the surface (the deeper realities of life.)
From this ancient Greek tradition emerged the need, for anyone who aspired to understand the deeper realities, to think systematically, to trace implications broadly and deeply; for only thinking that is comprehensive, well-reasoned, and responsive to objections can take us beyond the surface.
Means Of Analysis
The common denominators of Critical Thinking requires, for example, the systematic monitoring of thought; that thinking, to be critical, must not be accepted at face value, but must be analyzed and assessed for its clarity, accuracy, relevance, depth, breadth, and logical validity. All reasoning occurs within points of view and frames of reference.
All reasoning proceeds from some goals, objectives, and has an informational base. All data, when used in reasoning, must be interpreted. That interpretation involves concepts, that concepts entail assumptions, and that all basic inferences in thought have implications, and each of these dimensions of thinking need to be monitored where problems of thinking can occur.
The result of the collective contribution of the history of critical thought is that the basic questions of Socrates can now be much more powerfully and focally framed.
In every domain of human thought, and within every use of reasoning within any domain, it is now possible to question:
• ends and objectives
• the status and wording of questions
• the sources of information and fact
• the method and quality of information collection
• the mode of judgment and reasoning used
• the concepts that make that reasoning possible
• the assumptions that underlie concepts in use
• the implications that follow from their use
• the point of view or frame of reference within which reasoning takes place
Editorial Standards & Policies
Published: Friday May 10, 2013 8:31 am EDT
Customs & Border Protection Section
Article Length: 695 Words
Reading Time: 3 Minutes
Increasing efficiency and streamlining processes are critical components of CBP’s modernization efforts at ports of entry. Travelers will still speak with a CBP officer after using the Automated Passport Control kiosks, however this will allow for faster processing and increased focus on the traveler.
Thomas S. Winkowski, acting CBP Commissioner
Automated Passport Control: An Innovative Technological Solution And Collaborative Approach To Improving Travel Efficiency
May 8, 2013
Richmond, British Columbia - U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Vancouver Airport Authority announced today a new program, Automated Passport Control, an expedited customs entry process that will allow eligible passengers traveling from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to the U.S. to clear customs more efficiently, while still ensuring the same high standard of safety and security. This partnership is the first-of-its-kind and aims to help travelers move more quickly through the CBP preclearance inspection process by allowing entry of passport information at a self-service kiosk.
A US-bound traveler (l) utilizes the new Automated Passport Control kiosk at Vancouver International Airport with assistance from Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner, OFO, John Wagner (Center) and YVR Vice President, Kevin Molloy.
“Increasing efficiency and streamlining processes are critical components of CBP’s modernization efforts at ports of entry,” said Thomas S. Winkowski, acting CBP Commissioner. “Travelers will still speak with a CBP officer after using the Automated Passport Control kiosks, however this will allow for faster processing and increased focus on the traveler.”U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Vancouver Airport Authority worked together to implement Automated Passport Control. The Airport Authority developed the concept and built out the technology; CBP partnered with YVR to allow this technology to be implemented and ensuring CBP security and privacy requirements were incorporated. Automated Passport Control does not require pre-registration, is easy to use and maintains the highest levels of protection when it comes to the handling of personal data or information. As a result, travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion, and faster processing at YVR.
“Vancouver Airport Authority is proud to have pioneered the technology and hardware and partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the implementation of Automated Passport Control at YVR,” said Larry Berg, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “The Airport Authority set the benchmark for this type of program when we worked with Canada Border Services Agency to create Automated Border Clearance for travelers returning to Canada. Automated Passport Control has the ability to set the global standard for improving passenger efficiency when travelling to the United States – and is an example of yet another YVR first.”
Instead of filling out a declaration card and taking their travel documents to a CBP officer, passengers who are eligible and choose to use Automated Passport Control can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance area. Travelers will follow the on-screen instructions to scan their U.S. passport, answer the customs declaration questions using the touch screen, receive a receipt confirming their information and proceed to the CBP officer to finalize processing. The kiosk allows up to four people residing at the same address to be processed together.
For industry representatives interested in more information on Automated Passport Control, contact your local airport authority or CBP port director for airport technical design standards and business requirements.
Source: Customs & Border Protection – Homeland Security Department