Critical thinking is a process that is used on a day to day basis, it requires skills and attitudes that enable us to reflect on, rationalize and dissect information. An attitude that is vital to be able to think critically is thinking autonomously (Browne and Keeley 2012). Thinking autonomously will then allow one to possess the attitude of having an open mind (Barnet and Bedau 2011). By thinking autonomously and having an open mind it will allow one to consider others’ viewpoint and question their own. Questioning one’s own viewpoints can be hard, so a critical thinker must have humility and be able to recognizing that everybody makes mistakes, and one is not always right (Brown and Keeley 2012). A critical thinker must also posses the skill of being able to listen with understanding (Rogers 457). When someone listens with understanding they are able to understand what is being said and what is being presented to them. Once the critical thinker understands the topic, the skills of panning for gold should be used. Panning for gold is questioning the message the writer or speaker is trying to convey, rather than sponging everything in (Browne and Keeley 2012 ). After the panning for gold has been done it will make it easier to determine right from wrong and let one focus on what is important and what matters (Barnet and Bedau 2011). Lastly, a critical thinker must be able to stray away from reliance on authority, that will enable one to think and have their own thoughts and opinions. Therefore, an example of a critical thinker would be Frederick Douglass, he possessed the skills and attitude of a critical thinker and put them to great use.
Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist, an author, and a lecturer during the nineteenth century. He was an autonomous thinker because he did not think like most Americans did during the nineteenth century. He had a mind set of