RIT Office of Graduate Studies Presents
Graduate Student Success Workshop Series Special Speaker and Panel Night
October 20th 2014
Reading Room, Second Floor of The Campus Center
Special Speaker at 4 p.m.
“The Virtues of Critical Thought and Its Importance for Graduate Education”
Critical thinking is often characterized by certain core abilities (evaluation, identification, synthesis, recognition and critique, as well as effective communication). It has also been described in terms of certain underlying attitudes (introspection and self-reflection, continuous questioning, and a commitment to core intellectual virtues such as civility, humility, empathy, integrity, and courage). Critical thinking demands accountability and curiosity. It requires that one take responsibility for one’s beliefs and values, and engage actively in the world. While intellectual rigor, logical argumentation, and rational judgment are vital, they must not occur in isolation from the broader lived world. Critical thinking need not always be drily cerebral, but it should demonstrate agility, and admit the playful and ironic. What is criticality? Does it always necessarily imply a refinement, improvement or sharpening of the issue under consideration? What are the implications of the belief that “thinking critically is the quintessence of what it means to be truly alive in the fullest sense of the term?” This talk will examine such questions, and underscore their significance, especially for graduate education at RIT.
Clarence B. Sheffield, Jr. "Chip" is the Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking at RIT. He was trained as a modern art historian at Bryn Mawr, with a particular interest in the theory, criticism, and history of visual and material culture. His field of special scholarly expertise is Scandinavian Modernism--very broadly construed to include art, architecture, design, film and literature. He is an associate professor in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. He majored in philosophy as an undergraduate, and has had a deep and abiding interest in philosophy and critical inquiry for much of his academic career.
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