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Next: The Received View: Piaget

In Defense of Logical Minds

Selmer Bringsjord, Ron Noel, Elizabeth Bringsjord tex2html_wrap_inline293 tex2html_wrap_inline295 brings
The Minds & Machines Laboratory
Dept. of Philosophy, Psychology & Cognitive Science
Department of Computer Science (S.B.)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Troy NY USA


According to the received view in the psychology of reasoning, Piaget's view that

Humans naturally develop a context-free deductive reasoning scheme at the level of elementary first-order logic.

has been overthrown by the poor performance of educated adult subjects on specific logic problems (e.g., Wason's selection task). We propose that Piaget's tex2html_wrap_inline297 (or at least a variant) is alive and well, because the subjects in question are simply victims of a defective education. With a modicum of the right sort of logic training, humans reason deductively on logic problems well enough to vindicate Piaget.

Selmer Bringsjord
Wed May 20 21:10:26 EDT 1998