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Critical Thinking Lab

"Thinking is an action. For all aspiring intellectuals, thoughts are the laboratory where one goes to pose questions and find answers, and the place where visions of theory and praxis come together. The heartbeat of critical thinking is the longing to know—to understand how life works."

— bell hooks, Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom (2010).

What is the Critical Thinking Lab?

At the Critical Thinking Lab, you can expect an individualized session with a trained critical thinking consultant for help with any Philosophy or Philosophy, Politics and Law assignment.

What We Do

We are here to develop your best thinking. Whether you are a beginning student or advanced, the Critical Thinking Lab can help you with your essays, summaries, formal arguments, speeches, presentations, and application materials. We recognize that critical thinking takes many forms—writing, speaking, listening—and occurs at all stages of the creation process—questioning, analyzing, brainstorming, synthesizing, outlining, articulating, and revising. Visit us, and we'll think about your work together.

Consultations

Think out-loud in a face-to-face consultation at the Critical Thinking Lab. Walk in to be seated as soon as possible or make an appointment online. Consultations are roughly 40 minutes and take place in the Library Tower 1205.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
Use Starfish to schedule your consultation.  You can access Starfish from the MyBinghamton page under "Useful Links" on the Left-Hand side.

How to Make the Most of Your Consultation

  • Work hard to understand the material first. Where applicable, grapple with any assigned readings and texts before your consultation. Our consultants come from diverse backgrounds, but they may not be familiar with the content of your paper or project.

  • Prepare to think. Come in with a sense of what part of the thinking process you want to focus on—i.e. brainstorming, organization, revising, etc.

  • Plan time for revision. Set aside time after your appointment to reflect, revise, and ask follow-up questions as you develop your thinking further.

  • Meet early in the semester and visit often. Developing your critical thinking will take time, practice, and ongoing effort. Be patient with yourself, ask questions, and your thinking will improve.

  • Utilize your consultant's strengths. Each of our consultants has certain areas of interest and specialization with which they can provide more targeted assistance. Be sure to read their bios below to see if a particular consultant has the expertise you need.

Contact

Visit us in the Philosophy Department, Library Tower 1205.

Guides for Students

2017-18

2018-19

Who Are We?

Director

Lethbridge Photo

James Lethbridge is a Ph.D. candidate in the Social, Political, Ethical, and Legal (SPEL) Philosophy program at Binghamton University. While his primary research areas are within these spheres, he also has a keen interest in the philosophy of religion, the intersection of religion and politics, and the philosophy of literature. James' current work focuses on the ways in which the concept of toleration is understood, both in the popular social-political imagination and within social-political philosophy. In particular, he is interested in examining how society sets limits on what is tolerable, how one ought to respond to those things which one finds intolerable, and the role that the concept of toleration plays in determining individual and collective social/political conduct in the public sphere. He has taught numerous courses at Binghamton and elsewhere, including Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Political Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, Medical Ethics, Methods of Reasoning, World Religions, and Contemporary Moral Problems. He has also served as a teaching assistant for Law and Justice, Descartes, Hume and Kant, and Elementary Logic. 

 




 

Consultants

Our consultants are undergraduate Philosophy and/or PPL majors with special training in critical thinking pedagogy. They are experienced, curious, and excited to work with you.

 

Rachel DiSibio Photo

Rachel DiSibio is a senior majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Law and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. She is primarily concerned with philosophy in a legal context and how philosophical ideas can be used to influence current practical debates. Philosophy of Law (Phil 345), Law and Justice (Phil 146), and Violence, Nonviolence, and War (Phil 456B) are classes that contain both legal and philosophical elements and therefore comprise her interest and expertise. She plans to go to law school immediately after graduation and work in public interest Women’s Rights law, primarily in the reproductive justice field. Courses in which Rachel has excelled include:
PHIL 146: Law and Justice 
PHIL 345: Philosophy of Law
PHIL 456B: Violence, Nonviolence, and War

 



  

Dennis Farley is a senior majoring in philosophy from New York City. His philosophical interests lie in ethical and political philosophy. He plans on attending law school after pursuing a masters in philosophy. Additionally, he is the 2019-2020 philosophy club President. Outside of academics, Dennis enjoys running, skiing, hiking and spending time with his friends. Courses in which Dennis has excelled include:

PHIL 107: Existence and Freedom
PHIL 147: Markets, Ethics and Law
PHIL 201: Plato and Aristotle
PHIL 340: Ethical Theory 

 

 

Christina O'Hara
Christina O'Hara is a senior with a dual major in Philosophy and Philosophy, Politics, and Law, and a minor in Medieval Studies. She has previously worked as an SAT tutor, is currently a TA for Plato and Aristotle, and is participating in the Pell Honors Program in the Philosophy Department. She is most experienced writing papers in the classes of Plato and Aristotle, Law and Justice, and Metaethics. Her personal philosophical interest lies in the overlap between psychology and philosophy, and the way this overlap has changed over time. Courses in which Christina has excelled include:
PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 140: Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 146: Law & Justice
PHIL 147: Markets, Ethics & Law
 

  

Jia Pan
Jia Pan (Anita) is a senior triple majoring in PPL, Environmental Studies, and History. Her areas of philosophical interest include metaphysics and interpellation, specifically their implications upon the organization of political structures and social interactions. She serves as Team Social of Binghamton Speech and Debate, and works as a standardized patient for Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She is from Brooklyn and plans to attend graduate school post-Binghamton. Courses in which Anita has excelled include:
PHIL 146: Law & Justice
PHIL 149: Environmental Ethics & Policy
PHIL 345: Philosophy of Law
 

 

Caelum Rogers
Caelum Rogers is a senior majoring in Philosophy and Art History. Their interests include critical theory, aesthetics, posthumanism, and media theory. After graduating they plan to purse a PhD in Art History. Outside of class they enjoy photography and spending time in nature. Courses in which Caelum has excelled include:
PHIL 107: Existence and Freedom
PHIL 201: Plato and Aristotle
PHIL 480S: Contemporary Ecologies
 
   
Jake Tuckman
Jake Tuckman is a junior triple majoring in Economic Analysis, PPL, and Math. His philosophical interests lie in the philosophy of decision making, and the logic and moral psychology which accompany it. He is also interested in political and economic/market philosophy. He is from Brooklyn, NY, and plans to pursue graduate work in behavioral economics. Jake's expertise makes him particularly apt at assisting with:
PHIL 147: Markets, Ethics & Law
PHIL 458K: What We Owe to the Global Poor
 

 

Last Updated: 10/23/19