In her seventh month, KAKB was just learning to crawl. I saw her notice that the rug had an edge decoration that made a distinct line, a few inches before the true edge (like the white line in the image). She stopped and looked at that edge for as much as 5 seconds. Was something wrong? . . . to her, there was.
She reached out her hand to grab that decorative edge. Her fingers poked and pulled at that edge, trying to lift it. Then she reached forward and pulled on the actual edge. Up it came from our hardwood floor! As soon as she knew the real edge, she lost interest. But, she knew!
I had seen something in her that was more wonderful than baby’s first steps!
Her mind had asked, wordlessly,
“Is this first edge a part of the carpet or a separate thing?
Is it like the edge by the hardwood floor?“
More importantly, her mind was checking the world to see if her visual understanding of that first ‘edge’ was true, and in doing so she had discovered two facts of reality”
A simple fact about her surroundings:
—the first edge was a part of the carpet, and was simply decorative.
A complex fact about herself:
—information from one sense can be improved upon by using a second!
She was, in the most basic way, checking a premise about what she saw.
As we become adults, partly because our ideas become ever more abstract, premise checking becomes more difficult. What premise(s) underpin your view of Socialism? Capitalism? Pet ownership? Abortion? Dating rules? Parenting? Are they right? How do we check them?
Shouldn’t high school students, by their senior year, be comfortably practiced at introspecting —to habitually check what premises lie behind their ideas, choices, and conclusions?
At 7 months of age, KAKB checked, because she did not want to misjudge.
Tell us your anecdote of a child showing subtle, unexpected, thinking skills.