Intellectual Standards – Critical Thinking

Universal intellectual standards must be applied for one’s quality of reasoning to be of high quality(Elder & Paul, 2007). Without them, critical thinking loses its meaning because proficiency means one has to follow these standards. The purpose of this paper is to delve into two of the most essential standards, clarity and depth.

Considered as the gateway standard, clarity helps one determine the accuracy and relevancy of a statement(Elder & Paul, 2007). Without it, the audience cannot communicate anything about something because it does not know anything about that thing. For example, I have always heard the question “what can be done about the rising numbers of prison inmates?” This question is unclear because we need a clearer understanding of what the questioner perceives as the “problem” in order to answer them.

A statement can possess clarity, accuracy, relevancy, and preciseness, but lack depth(Elder & Paul, 2007). For instance, the statement, “Just say no!” which was a frequent phrase from our parents to discourage us from abusing drugs is clear, precise, relevant, and accurate. However, it still fails in depth because it treats a complex issue in a superficial manner.

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