Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo

Second Advisor

Lawrence Blum

Third Advisor

Lynne Tirrell


In recent years, many theorists and practitioners in the field of critical and creative thinking have moved beyond a discrete skills understanding of critical and creative thinking to advocate a more holistic approach. This approach focuses on recognizing underlying assumptions, analyzing frames of reference, and fore grounding personal and social biases. Yet despite this much needed move toward contextualizing thinking and the thinker, there is little attention given to the role that power and identity difference play in the development and teaching of thinking. This thesis concerns itself with the issues of power, identity, and difference in thinking by comparing the work of critical thinking theorist Richard Paul with that of several race-inflected lesbian feminist theorists. I consider what happens if we try to insert a very specific thinking subject -- Gloria Anzaldua's mestiza thinker -- into Pauls theoretical milieu. INFORMATION MISSING FROM ORIGINAL inhabiting a multiple consciousness the mesliza must also deal with the issue of how she is seen as different from the norm. This necessitates a discussion of how difference is inflected by unequal power dynamics that have an effect on how we envision the thinker how we grant her authority, and how we define and validate effective thinking. I use critiques of white feminist theory by Anzaldua, Norma Alarcon, and Maria Lugones to illustrate how some of Pauls theorizing of the thinking subject parallels white feminist theorizing which has ignored devalued women of color in neglecting issues of multiple subjectivity, power, and difference. In conclusion, I argue that the critical and creative thinking field would be served by an inclusion of lesbian/feminist of color discourses. These discourses might serve as examples of critical and creative thinking, as well as give us a more complete portrait of the thinker and thinking that goes beyond the notion of the thinker as a universal, unitary self.