Does critical thinking have a role to play in the 21st Century?

What does it mean to think critically in the 21st century? At an event held at Blackwell’s Oxford bookshop, author, broadcaster and tech philosopher Tom Chatfield, and freelance philosopher and author Nigel Warburton, delved into the realms of critical thinking as they tackled the question – what’s the value of critical thinking in the 21st Century?

We are surrounded by a world that has inbuilt bias – bias built into technology, bias built into human cognition, bias built into the materials we read. So how can we tell a good source from a bad source? How do we know what to trust?

Opening up the debate by looking at what constitutes critical thinking and then moving on to address some of its nuances, its limitations and misjudgements – Warburton and Chatfield take us through a potted history and lay bare how we as individuals and as a community can ensure that we remain relevant in an age of fake news, information overload and the unique challenges posed by a world of ever-bigger data and even-smarter AI.

Want to learn more  –  watch the full video below:


But how does critical thinking relate to you? Chatfield and Warburton took some questions from the floor – have something else you want to ask? Join the debate at #talkcriticalthinking


In an age of big data, where we are constantly bombarded with streams of information and it is becoming harder to recognise the fact from fiction, the skills that are needed to analyse the world  and utilise the opportunities that big data offer are more important than ever. At SAGE Publishing we believe that critical thinking is vital for students and researchers to be able to judge good sources from bad, account from bias and evaluate evidence – effectively to become more autonomous learners – Tom Chatfield’s Critical Thinking is an active example of this and he provocatively asks readers to question the value of their own judgement, calling on the reader to question and acknowledge what it means to critically engage and what is required for clear thought and study. In an age where digital is set to take over, we could all benefit from stepping back, adopting critical thought and training our brains to think and analyse critically, in a way that arguably, no computer or algorithm will ever be able to do.

Find out more about Critical Thinking by Tom Chatfield, follow Tom @TomChatfield and search online for #TalkCriticalThinking to join the conversation. Are you attending the PSA Annual Conference this year? Tom will be delivering the keynote session for the ECN Event at the conference. Pop along! If you’re not signed up to the conference you can still follow the debate live on Twitter by following #PSA18 and #talkcriticalthinking.

This entry was posted in SAGE Connection, SAGE news and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply