(book in progress)
A deer came upon a hidden vineyard, and delighted at the sight of hill after hill of delicious grapes. Cautiously remaining half-hidden in the forest, she reached toward the nearest bunch and took an exploratory bite. Unknown to her, the fruit she sampled hung beneath a pine tree and was tainted with the bitter, sticky sap. "Ugh! These are terrible! Why would anyone grow such a distasteful crop?" Puckering her lips and wincing in disgust, she turned and ran off, never to return…and never to realize her mistake.
Moral: Beware of hasty generalizations.
In the tradition of Aesop, this project frames lessons about critical thinking in natural allegories. Critical thinking and formal logic, when they are taught as fields in their own right, are complex enough to demand considerable sophistication on the part of the student. As a result, such classes are not taught until some time in college, and even then, as electives in a philosophy major, where most students don’t go. By then, many habits of sloppy reasoning are deeply entrenched and will never be extracted.
If we are going to teach critical thinking, we must start earlier and frame the principles in more approachable terms. This project is my attempt at that. Presently there are about 40 illustrated fables. The book will probably be published as a small hardcover, with high-quality pen & ink art.