The logic of how cognition gives rise to rational thought processes is well-understood. Beginning ages 6-8, we first engage counterfactual thinking. From there the rocket of complex reasoning takes off.
Counterfactuals are special too in that they provide our introduction to irony and paradox... including the ability to surprise oneself.
Eventually, we may find ourselves so acutely aware of irony and paradox from a social perspective that we hardly know how to speak, act, or emote forthrightly. Or we feel constrained by our own inner tensions and, thus, less likely to surprise ourselves. Experience is screaming for us to encounter a helping or two of counterfactual maturity.