“Critical” is a “Dimensional” word—i.e. like a Star’s radiations. Its rays go in all directions and land on all Thinker’s Scale points (a positive ruler + a negative ruler separated by a zero). Although prominently used on the negative scale, as in an impression or researched sense leading to ill-will (e.g. fault-finding), “Critical” is also a word of high and good meaning. For example, as a critical study, it refers to an account extended to dissecting into very minute (exceedingly limited dimensions) particulars in order to arrive at what is appropriate, crucial, accurate, precise, and decisive. This means it is worthy of respect and consideration because of what one finds along the way and thereafter carries for appropriate applications to benefit the “ME/WE”. Critical Thinking’s Dimensional Group Rays include: analyzing foundations for Truth, Knowledge, Principles, + Harmony on the positive scale as well as looking for and pointing out faults, defects, limitations on the negative scale. Both scales require discerning a problem/issue to appraise/evaluate so as to interpret for judgment what is significant, complex, good, questionable, precarious/risky, threatening, disturbing, urgent, dangerous, destructive. Each or different combinations of rays can generate insights into conditions affecting what pertains to Survival, Family, Career, Sociability, Morals, Political, Beauty, Mind, Language, Psychology, Religion, Nature, Humanities, Justice Systems, Thoughts, Emotions, Behaviors, Science, Energy, Events, Space, Time, some “Raw Nerve” one is hiding, or any aspect of life. Note in the following story of “Critical,” the various avenues appearing from knowing its history. An analogy is to the “Porcupine” Effects of emergence of its strong, stiff quills mixed with back and sides coarse hairs.
In the Ancient Egyptian system of hieroglyphs, the sign representing the Sieve symbolized the selection of powers or forces needed to purify and to perfect something. In addition, the “Sieve” Concept was used to separate and gather the significant while discarding the useless—whether this related to alchemic experiments or to self-improving work. In applying ‘Sieve’ to oneself, it symbolizes Critical Thinking (CT) and ‘what it does’ because Sieve’s action separates the good from the bad. Such was likened to cutting off and extracting the “bad” with a knife—the idea at the core of “Decide”. The C16 words Critical, Critic, Criticism, Criticize, Criterion, and Crisis mean to judge; one who decides. These are relatives of the words Discern, Discriminate, Riddle, Secret, and Sieve. Ancient physicians believed diseases ebbed and flowed like tides, and there are certain moments, usually connected with the mystic number 7 and its multiples, when ones ability to judge the future course of an illness is the greatest. These are the Crises (to decide). At one time, Crisis was the turning point of a disease—a change leading either to recovery or death. In 1590, Critical arose in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, in the sense of “skilled in passing judgement.” Then it was used in relation to the crisis of a disease. Hence, in referring to a medical crisis, the term Critical Care Unit (also called Intensive Care Unit) designated its special equipment and specially trained personnel for the care of seriously ill patients requiring immediate and continuous attention. CT’s proper doings were evaluating to seek evidence, closely examine assumptions, and/or analyze the Thing in an effort to see it rightly, clearly, precisely, truly.
Like a Sieve, the objective was to discern the good from the bad—the perfect from the imperfect—and also that it, as a whole, may be fairly judged or valued. These concepts of “Critical” spread into all fields, generally implying a keen awareness of faults or imperfections, with suggestions of loss of fairness in judgment. In preparation for studying subjects, it is vital to know what is said or written does not tell the truth or it tells only part of the truth because of ignorance, stupid, Biases, Prejudices, or evil deceptions (e.g. Quacks). In addition, the method used to lay out the subject discussed is almost always on the wrong track, even though it may use the right ‘logical’ method. Handling these requires going through the CT Sieve ways. Since the Metaphysical (away from the Physical) is the realm of CT—meaning its words have no definite definition, significant study aids are: wide dictionary varieties—e.g. of Afrocentric terms (I published 30), Idioms, Medical, Philosophy, Religious, Psychological. “Workable” definitions are best self-made from the Box Concept—i.e. seeing all sides, angles, top, bottom to gather pertinent ingredients “For” or “Against” ideas. jabaileymd.com; JABLifeSkills; Theievoice.com