Reasons and Normativity in Critical Thinking

  • Guðmundur Heiðar Frímannsson University of Akureyri
Nøgleord: Reason, reasons, normativity, critical thinking, reasons conception


The reasons conception is the most prominent account of the nature of critical thinking. It consists in responding appropriately to reasons. Responding to reasons can be following a rule, it can be making an exception to a rule, it can be responding to a situation that is unique. It depends on the context each time what is the appropriate response. Critical thinking is the educational cognate of rationality and is a sine qua non for a reasonable life in a modern democratic society. Reasons are generally normative. If this is true then it is to be expected that critical thinking is normative and also rationality. Critical thinking consists in being appropriately moved by reasons. The normative element of reasons moves us to beliefs or actions. It depends on our character how reasons move us. This indicates that our character must be well formed to enable us to be appropriately moved.


Guðmundur Heiðar Frímannsson, University of Akureyri


Faculty of Education

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Frímannsson, G. (2015). Reasons and Normativity in Critical Thinking. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi, 4(1), 3-16.