On critical thinking by Mary Heath, read by Mary Heath

In this audio recording of a favourite paper from the journal’s archives, Mary Heath sets out a personal history of her journey toward becoming a critical thinker. She considers two common barriers to critical thinking: cultural disapproval of critique, and confusing critical thinking with criticism. In response, Mary argues that rigorous thinking offers benefits – and not only risks – to cultures as well as individuals. The paper considers where cultural resources supportive of critique might be found. Further, Mary argues that critical analysis should be understood (and undertaken) as a process of collaborative support for rigorous thinking rather than as a form of hostile criticism. Some dimensions of critical thinking are outlined, together with questions that might allow readers to apply them to specific contexts. The paper closes with some reflections on the process of writing in which some of these dimensions of critical thinking are applied to the paper itself.

Key words: critical thinking; critical analysis; ethics; discrimination.


Original paper: Heath, M. (2012). On critical thinking. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (4), 11–18.

This recording: Heath, M. (2024). On critical thinking (M. Heath, Narr.) [Audio recording]. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (1). https://doi.org/10.4320/TOGS7956 (Original work published 2012)

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