I agree. Among the many and varied definitions, one faculty keeps coming up--that of good judgment. And good judgement, whatever else it is, certainly can't be codified or broken down into a series of steps. It involves honesty, and conviction, and a moral devotion to the truth. I guess critical thinking then comes down to character and intuition, but even these are no guarantee for being delivered from the many layers of pet assumptions and emotional biases that permeate our every line of thinking.