*He articulated and defended the need in thinking for clarity and precision.*He developed a method of critical thought based on the , in which every domain of the present world was subject to critique.

His book could be considered one of the earliest texts in critical thinking, for his agenda was very much the traditional agenda of critical thinking..

In it, Descartes argued for the need for a special systematic disciplining of the mind to guide it in thinking.

Among these scholars were Colet, Erasmus, and Moore in England. Francis Bacon, in England, was explicitly concerned with the way we misuse our minds in seeking knowledge.

He recognized explicitly that the mind cannot safely be left to its natural tendencies.

His method of questioning is now known as "Socratic Questioning" and is the best known critical thinking teaching strategy.

In his mode of questioning, Socrates highlighted the need in thinking for clarity and logical consistency.

Socrates set the agenda for the tradition of critical thinking, namely, to reflectively question common beliefs and explanations, carefully distinguishing those beliefs that are reasonable and logical from those which — however appealing they may be to our native egocentrism, however much they serve our vested interests, however comfortable or comforting they may be — lack adequate evidence or rational foundation to warrant our belief.

Socrates’ practice was followed by the critical thinking of Plato (who recorded Socrates’ thought), Aristotle, and the Greek skeptics, all of whom emphasized that things are often very different from what they appear to be and that only the trained mind is prepared to see through the way things look to us on the surface (delusive appearances) to the way they really are beneath the surface (the deeper realities of life).

He also called attention to the fact that most people, if left to their own devices, develop bad habits of thought (which he called "idols") that lead them to believe what is false or misleading.

He called attention to "Idols of the tribe" (the ways our mind naturally tends to trick itself), "Idols of the market-place" (the ways we misuse words), "Idols of the theater" (our tendency to become trapped in conventional systems of thought), and "Idols of the schools" (the problems in thinking when based on blind rules and poor instruction).

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