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ERIC Number: EJ939473
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Reasoning Serves Argumentation in Children
Mercier, Hugo
Cognitive Development, v26 n3 p177-191 Jul-Sep 2011
The argumentative theory of reasoning (Mercier & Sperber, in press) claims that reasoning evolved for argumentation: to find and evaluate arguments in dialogic contexts. The theory has drawn most of its supportive evidence from work with adults, leaving open the possibility that argumentive features of reasoning are in fact entirely learned. Evidence is reviewed here suggesting that the special relation between reasoning and argumentation holds at all ages. More specifically, it is argued that (a) children possess at least rudimentary argument skills, (b) they are able to reap the benefits of social reasoning from very early on, (c) confirmation bias is present as soon as they start to argue, and (d) children can be victims of the same biases that affect adults when they use reasoning in the wrong contexts. These claims strengthen the argumentative theory of reasoning and support a call for more research on the interactive features of reasoning in both adults and children.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A