(From Gr. kritike discern, judge). Method of analysis and evaluation of reality, of social and individual activity, that makes it possible to establish correspondence or divorce between intentions and actions; promises and their fulfillment; words and deeds; theory and practice. The individual’s ability to pass judgment with critical spirit on the environment wherein he acts, and to subject his own experience and conduct to critical analysis is an indispensable condition for the formation of the personality and is an essential element of education. The degree to which the critical and self-critical attitudes are prevalent in society is an indicator of its vitality or decrepitude, its capacity or incapacity to perfect and develop itself. Criticism is the starting point for all innovation and forms part of the driving force for development and scientific-technical, artistic and social progress. The critical method facilitates the comprehension of errors committed and how to move beyond them; helping to understand the essence of the crisis in the development of the personality and society. This method should not be made an absolute, however, since taking it to extremes allows shifting the responsibility for one’s own errors onto others and onto society as a whole. On the other hand, turning self-criticism into an absolute can destroy a person’s dignity by steeping them in guilt. N.H. places the highest value on the practice of c., in personal daily life as well as in sociopolitical, artistic, and theoretical activity, considering it one of the pillars of liberty. In today’s mass society, c. expressed in the communications media is of particular importance.