chapter  IV
64 Pages

-How the Child Reasons

IN the foregoing chapters we have tried to emphasize certam features m the structure of childish judgment by dIssociating ourselves as much as we could from the usual framework of the logIcal text-books. For it is not by taking the ready-made schema of adult reasoning (and of explicIt scientific or legal reasoning at that) and by submitting this schema to, say, syllogistic tests so as to see whether the child conforms to our practical and scholastic habits of thought, that we shall succeed in finding the true nature of child logic. It is rather in conneXlOn with certain problems raised by the chIld himself, in connexion WIth his language, and especially with the evolution of the meaning which he attaches to certain expreSSIOns of logical relation (conjunctions, relational substantives, prepositions, etc.) that the most significant and the most unforeseen features will be discovered. But a certain looseness mevitably attaches to this indirect method, and after three preliminary studies we are left with very fragmentary results which would have to be classified and mterpreted in the light of fresh facts in order to yield the outlIne of a psychology of childish reasoning.