The Limits of Critical Thinking

Don S. Levi


This paper examines Robert Fogelin's suggestion that there may be deep disagreements, where no argument can address what is at issue. A number of possible bases for Fogelin's position are considered and rejected: people sometimes do not have enough in common for reasons to count as reasons; doubt is possible only against the background of framework propositions; key premises may be inarguable; argument must occur within a conceptual framework. The paper concludes by reflecting on why it is important to have a point of view when thinking critically about an argument and whether that fact constitutes a limitation as to what can be achieved by critical thinking.


Deep disagreement, critical thinking, argumentative exchange, point of view, framework propositions, inarguability, conceptual framework, rule-governed activity, what is at issue, issue raised by argument, participant

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ISSN: 0824-2577