Critical thinking on critical theory

Critical thought, being thought, necessarily has an object of thought. There is no such thing as thinking that is not thinking about something. This is the phenomenological principle of intentionality, and it is inescapable.

With critical thought, however, the focus of the thinking is not on the various objects of thought. The focus of critical thought is on the thinking subject, the very subject doing the thinking. Critical thought tries to understand the relationship between how a thinking subject does its thinking and the kind of objectivity such thinking generates, with the understanding that the critical thoughts themselves are also subject to critical thought.

Critical thought is a practical attitude. No amount of knowledge about critical theory can substitute for the practice of critical thinking. But only critical thinking prevents this substitution from happening automatically. Because critical thinking is the art of freedom from automatic thought.

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