"To think independently of other human beings is impossible, and if it were possible it would be undesirable. Thinking is necessarily, thoroughly, and wonderfully social. Everything you think is a response to what someone else has thought and said. And when people commend someone for 'thinking for herself' they usually mean 'ceasing to sound like people I dislike and starting to sound more like people I approve of.' ... People in my line of work [academia] always say that we want to promote 'critical thinking'—but really we want our students to think critically only about what they’ve learned at home and in church, not about what they learn from us."
~ Alan Jacobs, How To Think (Currency / Random House, 2017), page 37.
“'Critical thinking' is a form of intentional deracination and displacement. Its basic assumption is that students enter college or university with a set of under-explored moral commitments that they have inherited from the broader culture. Most dangerous and of concern are those students who enter college with traditional, particularly religious commitments that represent an obstacle to 'critical thinking.' The implicit opposite of 'critical thinking' is faith, understood as an unreflective set of commitments to pre- or anti-rational beliefs. An education in critical thinking takes on the appearance of contentless inquiry, but is in fact deeply informed by a considerable set of Enlightenment beliefs, including the effort to inculcate deracinated reason, a conception of the individual as a monadic 'self,' antipathy to culture and religion, philosophical skepticism, a deep-seated materialism, and a devotion to a cosmopolitan outlook that permits one to be comfortable everywhere and nowhere in particular. The vast panoply of our 'diverse' institutions of higher education are increasingly dedicated to the uniform formation of this particular sort of human being..."
~ Patrick Daneen, "Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking"