The development of logical reasoning

Authored by: Henry Markovits

The Routledge International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138849303
eBook ISBN: 9781315725697
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315725697-21

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Abstract

The ability to reason is one of the critical features that distinguish humans from other species. In its most general sense, reasoning refers to any form of overtly expressed verbal thinking, irrespective of its specific nature. But the most striking form of human reasoning, and arguably the one that has received the most attention, concerns deductive reasoning – that is, the ability to make inferences that are logically valid. This is the essence of hypothetical thinking and it is this ability that arguably underlies much of the technological and scientific progress of at least the past couple of centuries. The associated question of how logical reasoning develops has also been a very important empirical and theoretical theme. This will accordingly be the specific focus of this chapter.

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