J. Piaget described how children first elaborate elementary, then empirical and finally logical deductions. A. R. Luria was one of the first to show that illiterate adults of premodern cultures exhibit no understanding of the syllogisms that presuppose logical deductions. He listed the explanatory factors that Piaget had also listed. An American research group led by M. Cole and S. Scribner repeated the syllogistic studies Luria had conducted. Although the results were replicated in different developmental regions and were consistent with Piaget and Luria's considerations, Cole and Scribner interpreted the results differently. They first confirmed the validity of the explanatory approach of Piaget and Luria. But then, in a second step, they withdrew this confirmation. According to their view, the test subjects did not want to deal with the logical problems because they considered other things to be more important. Finally, Cole and Scribner interpreted the answers in such a way that they might contain the same logical, abstract, and theoretical ability that is found in the answers that express an understanding of syllogisms. The present article reconstructs the argumentations of these three schools and criticizes the latter one.

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