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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 41, Issue 3, September 2018

Linda L. Farmer
Pages 255-259
DOI: 10.5840/teachphil201882991

The Power of Parables in Critical Thinking

Parables are not frequently found in critical thinking textbooks. And, yet, because parables are relatively simple, engaging stories, they can present various principles of good reasoning and attitudes of a critical thinker in a way that is fun and accessible to the students in our classrooms. Using two well-known parables, W. K. Clifford’s Ship Owner and John Wisdom’s Invisible Gardener (as retold by Antony Flew), I outline how parables like these can be used in the teaching of critical thinking, and what the benefits of doing so are. I also argue that the religious context in which the parables were set is not a detriment to their pedagogical value but, rather, can be an added benefit.