Symptoms and signs: asks tendentious questions, attempts to catch instructor out in contradictions, challenges instructor's logic or erudition, corrects or contextualizes instructor's factual claims. Often combined with a dangerous personalism, leading to testing of professorial claims against student's own personal experience.
Etiology: basic rebelliousness exacerbated through exposure to harmful intellectual influences (especially so-called "critical theory") and a stubborn insistence on drawing unsanctioned connections between discrete facts or claims. Critical thinkers were often coddled by permissive parents who instilled in them the alarming notion that they have a right to articulate their experiences to themselves and to others.
Treatment: obedioflavin bromide (BootCamp 500). In extreme cases raised dosages of directalis and/or cerebrophenamide X may be indicated.
Prognosis: rarely promising. Critical thinkers will succumb, finally, to pharmaceutical therapies, but usually at the expense of their will to learn.
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Copyright 1992 Bill Kaul and Doug Robinson