Deductive logic

A few months ago, before she turned four, we were riding along and Lillian called out:

“Daddy, is your bike old?”

“No….” I had bought the bike not long before Lillian was born.  This seems fairly recent to me, and so I think of it as my “new” bike, but as far as Lillian knows, I’ve had the bike forever.

“What makes you think it is old?”

“Well, the wheels are dirty” she observes.  She pauses, then  “And dirty means old.”

[Note: this is the official on-the-record anecdote illustrating something she does quite often, which is to exhibit clear-cut deductive inference, clearing stating both premises of a syllogistic argument.  It shows that four year olds have this capability, even before they can read and write.] 


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