Skip to main content
Log in

From the Logic of the Child to a Natural Logic: Perspectives as Knowledge

  • Published:
Human Arenas Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The notion of perspective is often used in Human Sciences, and some authors such as Bruner (1996) refers explicitly to a perspectivist epistemology. Yet, the general idea of such epistemology is to consider that several perspectives on the same object or phenomena can produce more relevant knowledge than one only. Yet, such epistemology is rarely theorized, which raises interesting questions: What is a perspective? Can we describe a particular perspective on something? Answering such question requires more than a philosophical standpoint or credo, none less than an empirical epistemology. Piaget and his team approached such questions empirically in Genetic Epistemology, starting from the study of actual thinking. However, formal logic of his time was not fitted for providing description of the construction of meaning. Grize later theorized and extended unconventional uses of logic within a logic of action representing the thinking of actors within irreversible time without abstracting it from particular situations and contents. Grize’s logic is about singularity—a concrete operational logic—and yet about semiotics, about meaning making. In this sense, Natural Logic may provide researchers studying knowledge with an instrument for including perspectives and points of view. As such, it can contribute to a theory of knowledge taking into account the diversity of points of view and the process of meaning making, based on a perspectivist epistemology.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Original in French: “Enfin, il n’est. pas exclu que la classe ne soit pas plus la réalité psychologique dernière que la théorie des ensembles n’est. le dernier mot du fondement des mathématiques”.

  2. In Grize’s terms “une langue d’usage.”

  3. Translated from French “le chariot le plus lourd car il n’attire pas le sol avec sa lourdeur.”

  4. Translated from French “le chariot le plus lourd car le poid augmente la vitesse en présence d’une force de soutien comme un planché, un sol (ex.: dans un bobsley, si la pers. qui la conduit est. plus lourd qu’une autre, elle a plus de chance d’arriver en bas en premier)”

  5. The syntagmatic stacking has been represented with word wrap in order to emphasize the structure of the oral discourse, and according to the short pause in the course of the conversation, indicated with a dot.


  • Atkinson, C., (1983, 2006). Making sense of Piaget. Routledge, London, New York.

  • Bertalanffy, L. v. (1973). Théorie générale des systèmes. Paris: Dunod.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beth, E. W., Grize, J. B., Matalon, B., Naess, A., Martin, R., & Piaget, J. (1962). Implication, formalisation et logique naturelle. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press.

  • Gigerenzer, G. (1997). Bounded rationality: models of fast and frugal inference. Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 133, 201–218.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gigerenzer, G., & Todd, P. M. (1999). Simple heuristics that make us smart. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grize, J.-B. (1984). Langues naturelles et langages formels. Revue européenne des sciences sociales, XXII, 231–241.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grize, J.-B. (2005). Time of soft ideas. In A.-N. Perret-Clermont (Ed.), Thinking time. Göttingen: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grize, J.-B. (2010). Logique, analogie et identité. Travaux du Centre de Recherches Sémiologiques, 68, 91–98.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grize, J.-B. (1982). De la logique à l’argumentation. Genève: Librairie Droz.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Grize, J.-B. (1996). Logique naturelle & communications. Paris: PUF.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grize, J.-B., & Bonniec, G. P.-L. (1983). La contradiction. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

  • Halbwachs, F., & Torunczyk, A. (1985). On Galileo’s writing on mechanics: An attempt at a semantic analysis of Viviani’s scholium. Synthese, 62, 459–484.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hermans, H. J. M., & Hermans-Konopka, A. (2010). Dialogical self theory: positioning and counter-positioning in a globalizing society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Inhelder, B. (1962). Some aspects of Piaget’s genetic approach to cognition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 27(2), 17–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Inhelder, B., & Piaget, J. (1955). De la logique de l’enfant à la logique de l’adolescent. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2006). How we reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kohler, A. (2015). Elements of natural logic for the study of unnoticed misunderstanding in a communicative approach to learning. Argumentum Journal of the Seminar of Discursive Logic, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, 13, 80–96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kohler, A., Lordelo, L., & Carriere, K. (2017). Researching research: three perspectives for a hint of Perspectivism. In: Sullivan, G. (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th Meeting of The International Society for Theoretical Psychology (pp. 215–223). Coventry: Captus University Publication.

  • Kohler, A. (unpublished). Approches psychologiques de situations de malentendu dans des activités de didactique des sciences. Thèse de Doctorat, Institut de psychologie et éducation, Université de Neuchâtel, Suisse.

  • Kohler, A., Lordelo, L., and Carriere, K. (2017). Researching research: three perspectives for a hint of Perspectivism. In: Sullivan, G. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 16th Meeting of The International Society for Theoretical Psychology, xx-xx.

  • Koyré, A. (1968). Etudes newtoniennes. Paris: Gallimard.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mounoud, P. (2000). Le développement cognitif selon Piaget. Structures et points de vue. In O. Houdé & C. Meljac (Eds.), L’esprit piagétien: hommage international à Jean Piaget. Paris: PUF.

    Google Scholar 

  • Papert, S. (1963). Sur la logique piagétienne. In L. Apostel, J.-B. Grize, S. Papert, & J. Piaget (Eds.), La filiation des structures (pp. 107–129). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perret-Clermont, A.-N. (1979). La construction de l’intelligence dans l’interaction sociale. Berne: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perret-Clermont, A.-N., Muller Mirza, N., Haüsermann, G., Iannaccone, A., Kohler, A., Padiglia, S., Perret, J.-F., Pochon, L.-O., & Tateo, L. (2008). Chapter 8: Description of the experimentations in Switzerland and in Italy. In B. Schwarz (Ed.), Escalate: the white book. Jerusalem: Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perret-Clermont, A., Carugati, F., and Oates, J. (2004). A socio-cognitive perspective on learning and cognitive development. In: Oates, J., and Grayson, A. (Ed.), Cognitive and Language Development in Children (pp. 303–332). Oxford: The Open University & Blackwell Publishing.

  • Piaget, J. (1968). Genetic Epistemology. A series of lectures delivered by Piaget at Columbia University (translated by Eleanor Duckworth). New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Piaget, J. (1937/1967). La construction du réel chez l’enfant. Lausanne: Delachaux et Niestlé.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piaget, J. (1967). Logique et connaissance scientifique. Paris: Editions Gallimard.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piaget, J. (1970). Genetic epistemology. Columbia: Columbia University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piaget, J. (1971). Essai de logique opératoire. Paris: Dunod.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piaget, J., & Garcia, R. (1987). Vers une logique des significations. Genève: Murionde.

    Google Scholar 

  • Psaltis, C., & Zapiti, A. (2014). Interaction, communication and development. Psychological development as a social process. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rebuschi, M., Batt, M., Heinzmann, G., Lihoreau, F., Musiol, M., & Trognon, A. (Eds.). (2016). Interdisciplinary Works in Logic, Epistemology, Psychology and Linguistics. Dialogue, Rationality, and Formalism. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salgado, J., Cunha, C., & Bento, T. (2013). Positioning microanalysis: studying the self through the exploration of dialogical processes. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 47, 325–353.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, L. (Ed.). (1992). Jean Piaget: critical assessments. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tartas, V., Perret-Clermont, A.-N., & Baucal, A. (2016). Experimental micro-histories, private speech and a study of children’s learning and cognitive development Microhistorias experimentales, habla privada y un estudio del aprendizaje y el desarrollo cognitivo en los niños. Infancia y Aprendizaje/Journal for the Study of Education and Development, 39, 772–811.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trognon, A., Batt, M., Schwartz, B., Perret-Clermont, A., & Marro, P. (2006). Logique interlocutoire de la résolution en dyade d’un problème d’arithmétique. Psychologie Française, 51, 171–187.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • van Eemeren, F. H., Garssen, B., Krabbe, E. C. W., Snoeck Henkemans, F. A., Verhei, B., Wagemans, J. H. M. (2014). Handbook of argumentation theory. Dordrecht: Springer.

  • van Eemeren, F. H., Greco Morasso, S., Grossen, M., Perret-Clermont, A. N., & Rigotti, E. (2009). Argupolis: a doctoral program on argumentation practices in different communication contexts. Studies in Communication Sciences, 9, 289–301.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weil-Barais, A. (1993). L’homme cognitif. Paris: PUF.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zittoun, T., & Iannaccone, A. (Eds.). (2014). Activities of thinking in social spaces. New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc..

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alaric Kohler.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kohler, A. From the Logic of the Child to a Natural Logic: Perspectives as Knowledge. Hu Arenas 1, 97–111 (2018).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: