Incipient reasoning via categorical statements

More incipient reasoning from my eldest nephew (‘N-E’).

Driving home from pre-school on Monday, he told me that ‘All ‘droids are bad guys’.

A categorical statement!

I had his backpack riding shotgun. The backpack shows three-dimensional faces of Yoda, a stormtrooper, Darth Vader, and R2-D2. So I picked it up and pointed to R2, and said ‘Hey, R2 is a ‘droid, and he’s not a bad guy, he’s a good guy’.

There followed a mild argument between us, with N-E seeking to explain away the contradiction between his general statement and my specific statement by arguing variously that R2:

  • must be evil, because he was a ‘droid; and
  • is just a guy in a metallic barrel suit, and therefore isn’t a ‘droid.

He had his categorical statement, and he was sticking to it, and he was making arguments to invalidate my specific statement.

I enjoyed that.


About Stebbing Heuer

A person interested in exploring human perception, reasoning, judgement and deciding, and in promoting clear, effective thinking and the making of good decisions.
This entry was posted in Flotsam and Jetsam, Reasoning. Bookmark the permalink.

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