Analytical stage

In The Lost Tools of Learning, Miss Dorothy Sayers says of this stage, "All events are food for such an appetite. An umpire's decision; the degree to which one may transgress the spirit of a regulation without being trapped by the letter, on such questions as these, children are born causists and their natural propensity only needs to be developed and trained - and especially be brought into intelligible relationship with events in the grown-up world."

Since the student is now interested in arguments, capitalize on his natural inclinations. Let him think about reasoning, how it is done and what works. The emphasis in each subject changes from memorization to analysis: the student learns to understand and produce an intellectual argument. It is a beginning of the study of logic or dialectic, not a formal study as one will do in Aristotle's Prior and Posterior Analytics, but preparing for that study.

The student must first see clearly what is being said and why. Reasonable arguments for opposing positions can then be worked out and resolutions proposed, based on ethical and dogmatic principles. This will be done both in writing and in conversation.

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