•  4755
    “Critical thinking in higher education” is a phrase that means many things to many people. It is a broad church. Does it mean a propensity for finding fault? Does it refer to an analytical method? Does it mean an ethical attitude or a disposition? Does it mean all of the above? Educating to develop critical intellectuals and the Marxist concept of critical consciousness are very different from the logician’s toolkit of finding fallacies in passages of text, or the practice of identifying and dis…Read more
  •  2252
    In recent years, academics and educators have begun to use software mapping tools for a number of education-related purposes. Typically, the tools are used to help impart critical and analytical skills to students, to enable students to see relationships between concepts, and also as a method of assessment. The common feature of all these tools is the use of diagrammatic relationships of various kinds in preference to written or verbal descriptions. Pictures and structured diagrams are thought t…Read more
  •  1736
    An "infusion" approach to critical thinking: Moore on the critical thinking debate
    Higher Education Research and Development 25 (2): 179-193. 2006.
    This paper argues that general skills and the varieties of subject-specific discourse are both important for teaching, learning and practising critical thinking. The former is important because it outlines the principles of good reasoning simpliciter (what constitutes sound reasoning patterns, invalid inferences, and so on). The latter is important because it outlines how the general principles are used and deployed in the service of ‘academic tribes’. Because critical thinking skills are—in par…Read more
  •  1028
    Using Computer-Assisted Argument Mapping to Teach Reasoning to Students
    with Ashley Barnett and Tim van Gelder
    In J. Anthony Blair (ed.), Studies in Critical Thinking (2nd Edition), Windsor Studies in Argumentation. pp. 115-152. 2021.
    Argument mapping is a way of diagramming the logical structure of an argument to explicitly and concisely represent reasoning. The use of argument mapping in critical thinking instruction has increased dramatically in recent decades. This paper overviews the innovation and provides a procedural approach for new teaches wanting to use argument mapping in the classroom. A brief history of argument mapping is provided at the end of this paper.
  •  612
    Idealist Origins: 1920s and Before
    with Stein Helgeby
    In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand, Springer. pp. 15-54. 2014.
    This paper explores early Australasian philosophy in some detail. Two approaches have dominated Western philosophy in Australia: idealism and materialism. Idealism was prevalent between the 1880s and the 1930s, but dissipated thereafter. Idealism in Australia often reflected Kantian themes, but it also reflected the revival of interest in Hegel through the work of ‘absolute idealists’ such as T. H. Green, F. H. Bradley, and Henry Jones. A number of the early New Zealand philosophers were also ed…Read more
  •  551
    Critical thinking and the disciplines reconsidered
    Higher Education Research and Development 32 (4): 529-544. 2013.
    This paper argues that Moore's specifist defence of critical thinking as ‘diverse modes of thought in the disciplines’, which appeared in Higher Education Research & Development, 30(3), 2011, is flawed as it entrenches relativist attitudes toward the important skill of critical thinking. The paper outlines the critical thinking debate, distinguishes between ‘top-down’, ‘bottom-up’ and ‘relativist’ approaches and locates Moore's account therein. It uses examples from one discipline-specific area,…Read more
  •  478
    Interdisciplinary Higher Education
    with Marcia Devlin
    In W. Martin Davies, Marcia Devlin & Malcolm Tight (eds.), Interdisciplinary Higher Education: Perspectives and Practicalities, . pp. 3-28. 2010.
    In higher education, interdisciplinarity involves the design of subjects that offer the opportunity to experience ‘different ways of knowing’ from students’ core or preferred disciplines. Such an education is increasingly important in a global knowledge economy. Many universities have begun to introduce interdisciplinary studies or subjects to meet this perceived need. This chapter explores some of the issues inherent in moves towards interdisciplinary higher education. Definitional issues assoc…Read more
  •  455
    Introduction to the Special Issue on Critical Thinking in Higher Education
    Higher Education Research and Development 30 (3): 255-260. 2011.
    The articles included in this issue represent some of the most recent thinking in the area of critical thinking in higher education. While the emphasis is on work being done in the Australasian region, there are also papers from the USA and UK that demonstrate the international interest in advancing research in the area. ‘Critical thinking’ in the guise of the study of logic and rhetoric has, of course, been around since the days of the ancient Greeks and the early beginnings of universities. In…Read more
  •  339
    Critical Thinking in Business Education: Current Outlook and Future Prospects
    with Angelito Calma
    Studies in Higher Education. forthcoming.
    This study investigates all available literature related to critical thinking in business education in a survey of publications in the field produced from 1990-2019. It conducts a thematic analysis of 787 articles found in Web of Science and Google Scholar, including a specific focus on 55 highly-cited articles. The aim is to investigate the importance of critical thinking in business education, how it is conceptualised in business education research, the business contexts in which critical thin…Read more
  •  219
    In anticipation of the journal’s centenary in 2027 this paper provides a citation network analysis of all available citation and publication data of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1923–2017). A total of 2,353 academic articles containing 21,772 references were collated and analyzed. This includes 175 articles that contained author-submitted keywords, 415 publisher-tagged keywords and 519 articles that had abstracts. Results initially focused on finding the most published authors, most c…Read more
  •  208
    Computer-Aided Argument Mapping and the Teaching of Critical Thinking (Part 1)
    Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 27 (2): 15-30. 2012.
    This paper is in two parts. Part I outlines three traditional approaches to the teaching of critical thinking: the normative, cognitive psychology, and educational approaches. Each of these approaches is discussed in relation to the influences of various methods of critical thinking instruction. The paper contrasts these approaches with what I call the “visualisation” approach. This approach is explained with reference to computer-aided argument mapping (CAAM) which uses dedicated computer softw…Read more
  •  200
    Computer-Aided Argument Mapping and the Teaching of Critical Thinking (Part 2)
    Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 27 (3): 16-28. 2012.
    Part I of this paper outlined the three standard approaches to the teaching of critical thinking: the normative (or philosophical), cognitive psychology, and educational taxonomy approaches. The paper contrasted these with the visualisation approach; in particular, computer-aided argument mapping (CAAM), and presented a detailed account of the CAAM methodology and a theoretical justification for its use. This part develops further support for CAAM. A case is made that CAAM improves critical thin…Read more
  •  193
    Computer-Aided Argument Mapping as a Tool for Teaching Critical Thinking
    International Journal of Learning and Media 4 (3-4): 79-84. 2014.
    As individuals we often face complex issues about which we must weigh evidence and come to conclusions. Corporations also have to make decisions on the basis of strong and compelling arguments. Legal practitioners, compelled by arguments for or against a proposition and underpinned by the weight of evidence, are often required to make judgments that affect the lives of others. Medical doctors face similar decisions. Governments make purchasing decisions—for example, for expensive military equipm…Read more
  •  169
    Sir William Mitchell and the "New Mysterianism"
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3): 253-73. 1999.
    This paper is about the work of a long forgotten philosopher and his views which have surprising relevance to discussions in present-day philosophy of mind and cognitive science. I argue that, far from being a traditional idealist, Mitchell advanced a very subtle position best seen as marking a transition from idealist views and later materialist accounts, the latter popularly attributed to Australian philosophers in the second half of the 20th century.
  •  154
    Computer-assisted argument mapping: A Rationale Approach
    Higher Education 58 799-820. 2009.
    Computer-Assisted Argument Mapping (CAAM) is a new way of understanding arguments. While still embryonic in its development and application, CAAM is being used increasingly as a training and development tool in the professions and government. Inroads are also being made in its application within education. CAAM claims to be helpful in an educational context, as a tool for students in responding to assessment tasks. However, to date there is little evidence from students that this is the case. Th…Read more
  •  117
    Cognitive contours: recent work on cross-cultural psychology and its relevance for education
    Studies in Philosophy and Education 26 (1): 13-42. 2007.
    This paper outlines new work in cross-cultural psychology largely drawn from Nisbett, Choi, and Smith (Cognition, 65, 15–32, 1997); Nisbett, Peng, Choi, & Norenzayan, Psychological Review, 108(2), 291–310, 2001; Nisbett, The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why. New York: Free Press 2003), Ji, Zhang and Nisbett (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(1), 57–65, 2004), Norenzayan (2000) and Peng (Naive Dialecticism and its Effects on Reasoning and …Read more
  •  112
    'Not Quite Right': Helping Students to Make Better Arguments
    Teaching in Higher Education 13 (3): 327-340. 2008.
    This paper looks at the need for a better understanding of the impediments to critical thinking in relation to graduate student work. The paper argues that a distinction is needed between two vectors that influence student writing: (1) the word-level–sentence-level vector; and (2) the grammar–inferencing vector. It is suggested that much of the work being done to assist students is only done on the first vector. This paper suggests a combination of explicit use of deductive syllogistic inference…Read more
  •  109
    with Ronald Barnett
    In M. Davies and R. Barnett (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education. pp. 1-25. 2015.
    What is critical thinking, especially in the context of higher education? How have research and scholarship on the matter developed over recent past decades? What is the current state of the art here? How might the potential of critical thinking be enhanced? What kinds of teaching are necessary in order to realize that potential? And just why is this topic important now? These are the key questions motivating this volume. We hesitate to use terms such as “comprehensive” or “complete” or “definit…Read more
  •  100
    This thesis is about experiential content: what it is; what kind of account can be given of it. I am concerned with identifying and attacking one main view - I call it the inferentialist proposal. This account is central to the philosophy of mind, epistemology and philosophy of science and perception. I claim, however, that it needs to be recast into something far more subtle and enriched, and I attempt to provide a better alternative in these pages. The inferentialist proposal holds that experi…Read more
  •  73
    An argument map visually represents the structure of an argument, outlining its informal logical connections and informing judgments as to its worthiness. Argument mapping can be augmented with dedicated software that aids the mapping process. Empirical evidence suggests that semester‐length subjects using argument mapping along with dedicated software can produce remarkable increases in students’ critical thinking abilities. Introducing such specialised subjects, however, is often practically a…Read more
  •  67
    Contemporary Philosophy of Mind: A Contentiously Classical Approach (Review) (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2): 341-343. 1998.
  •  63
    Amodal or perceptual symbol systems: A false dichotomy?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (1): 162-163. 2004.
    Although Barsalou is right in identifying the importance of perceptual symbols as a means of carrying certain kinds of content, he is wrong in playing down the inferential resources available to amodal symbols. I argue that the case for perceptual symbol systems amounts to a false dichotomy and that it is feasible to help oneself to both kinds of content as extreme ends on a content continuum. The continuum thesis I advance argues for the inferential content at one end and perceptual content at …Read more
  •  60
    This book is about experiential content: what it is; what kind of account can be given of it. I am concerned with identifying and attacking one main view - I call it the inferentialist proposal. This account is central to the philosophy of mind, epistemology and philosophy of science and perception. I claim, however, that it needs to be recast into something far more subtle and enriched, and I attempt to provide a better alternative in these pages. The inferentialist proposal holds that experien…Read more
  •  22
    New Directions in the Teaching of Critical Thinking
    Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 5 (51): 18-27. 2019.
    A rehearsal of new ways of teaching critical thinking by means of computer-aided argument mapping and a procedural method by which to do so.
  •  19
    A Mind's Own Place: The Thought of Sir William Mitchell
    Dissertation, University of Adelaide. 2001.
    The subject of this book is the work of Scottish-born Sir William Mitchell, the Hughes Professor of Philosophy and Vice Chancellor at the University of Adelaide, and the first major philosopher who lived in South Australia. Mitchell worked at Adelaide University during the years 1895-1940 and died in 1962. Mitchell is a major, yet long forgotten, historical figure and intellectual, and an important figure in the history of Scottish and Australian philosophy. He was a part of Scottish schools of …Read more
  •  14
    This is a textbook in philosophy aimed at school kids doing the International Baccalaureate. One important aim of Theory of Knowledge in the International Baccalaureate is to teach students how to think for themselves. The student is encouraged to reflect on what they are learning and to reflect on themselves as learners. Theory of Knowledge is different from other areas in the International Baccalaureate because there are few hard facts to be learned. The Theory of Knowledge program aims to de…Read more
  •  14
    with Stein Helgeby
    In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. 2010.
    The honour of being the first to teach philosophy in Australia belongs to the Congregationalist minister Barzillai Quaife (1798–1873), in the 1850s, but teaching philosophy did not formally begin until the 1880s, with the establishment of universities (Grave 1984). Two approaches have dominated Western philosophy in Australia: Idealism and materialism. Idealism was prevalent between the 1880s and the 1930s, but dissipated thereafter. It was particularly associated with the work of the first prof…Read more
  •  7
    Interdisciplinary Higher Education: Perspectives and Practicalities
    with Marcia Devlin and Malcolm Tight
    Emerald Publishing. 2010.
    In an age of pressing global issues such as climate change, the necessity for countries to work together to resolve problems affecting multiple nations has never been more important. Interdisciplinarity in higher education is a key to meeting these challenges. Universities need to produce graduates, and leaders, who understand issues from different perspectives, and who can communicate with others outside the confines of their own disciplines. Drawing on contributions from 37 scholars from Austr…Read more
  •  4
    William Mitchell
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2004.
  • Alexander Miller, Philosophy of Language (review)
    Philosophy in Review 19 268-269. 1999.