Quotations: Acting and Thinking

«A person is stimulated to think when he is performing an action and gets into difficulty, if in the course of this action, a doubt or an alternative appears before him.» (1951/1976, 35/36)

«In the young child, action dominates over thinking. He is not yet interested in the relationship between things as such, but rather in the concrete results of doing. In the course of development, however, the proportion of insight, i.e. the knowledge share within the child’s actions becomes increasingly important. Reflection strives to achieve a logical order, which becomes ever more systematic and coherent. Whether or not it is successful in its practical use can be demonstrated through suitable experiments. A richer and more mobile system of symbols allows for broader generalizations. At the end of this development of thinking are the coherent and verified intellectual systems which we call science.» (1951/1976, 37)

«We consider action as the first and original form of experience formation, and action knowledge as the first and original knowledge of man. One can therefore call our psychology and the associated didactics pragmatic, viz. close to pragmatism.  For indeed, it was the fundamental thesis of the pragmatic philosophers and pedagogues William JAMES (1907) and John DEWEY (1916) that mental life begins with action, that its truth is a truth of probation in practice, and its role is ultimately to serve this again.» (1983a, 386)

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