Critical thinking, skepticism and the special nature of Philosophical



In the present paper we attempt to determine the distinct character of teaching philosophy by revealing the distinct character of critical thinking which is unique in philosophical reflection. We describe the problems of determining the subject matter of philosophical thinking by providing an analogy with art and by sketching a brief outline of the different metaphilosophical conceptions in the history of philosophy. Furthermore, we refer to an additional problem of determining the subject matter of teaching philosophy, that is, the ambiguity of the notion of teaching. In the fifth section, we argue for the central role of critical thinking in the educational process. Despite these difficulties, we argue that we can determine the distinct character of philosophical critical thinking by appealing to the notion of skeptical tests. We employ Hegel’s argumentation in order to reveal that while all genuine philosophical thinking includes skeptical tests, genuine philosophical thinking does not necessarily end up at skepticism. We conclude that the application of skeptical tests is an essential feature of philosophical reflection, and therefore, of teaching philosophy.


Critical thinking, skepticism, Philosophical Education

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