How We Think

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D. C. Heath & Company, 1910 - Thought and thinking - 224 pages
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Page 127 - I was then utterly astonished at Sedgwick not being delighted at so wonderful a fact as a tropical shell being found near the surface in the middle of England. Nothing before had ever made me thoroughly realise, though I had read various scientific books, that science consists in grouping facts so that general laws or conclusions may be drawn from them.
Page 31 - The eye it cannot choose but see; We cannot bid the ear be still; Our bodies feel, where'er they be, Against or with our will. Nor less I deem that there are Powers Which of themselves our minds impress; That we can feed this mind of ours In a wise passiveness.
Page 179 - I mean such a use of them as may serve to convey the precise notions of things, and to express in general propositions certain and undoubted truths, which the mind may rest upon, and be satisfied with, in its search after true knowledge.
Page 25 - Let ever so much probability hang on one side of a covetous man's reasoning, and money on the other ; it is easy to foresee which will outweigh.
Page 19 - Temples have their sacred images, and we see what influence they have always had over a great part of mankind. But, in truth, the ideas and images in men's minds are the visible powers that constantly govern them, and to these they all universally pay a ready submission.
Page 78 - Each case has to be dealt with as it arises, on the basis of its importance and of the context in which it occurs. To take too much pains in one case is as foolish — as illogical — as to take too little in another. At one extreme, almost any conclusion that insures prompt and unified action may be better than any long delayed conclusion; while at the other, decision may have to be postponed for a long period — perhaps for a lifetime. The trained mind is the one that best grasps the degree of...
Page 76 - Acceptance of the suggestion in its first form is prevented by looking into it more thoroughly. Conjectures that seem plausible at first sight are often found unfit or even absurd when their full consequences are traced out. Even when reasoning out the bearings of a supposition does not lead to rejection, it develops the idea into a form in which it is more apposite to the problem. Only when, for example, the conjecture that a pole was an index-pole had been thought out into its bearings could its...
Page 72 - Upon examination, each instance reveals, more or less clearly, five logically distinct steps: (i) a felt difficulty; (ii) its location and definition; (iii) suggestion of possible solution; (iv) development by reasoning of the bearings of the suggestion; (v) further observation and experiment leading to its acceptance or rejection; that is, the conclusion of belief or disbelief.
Page 18 - To draw inferences has been said to be the great business of life. Every one has daily, hourly, and momentary need of ascertaining facts which he has not directly observed ; not from any general purpose of adding to his stock of know[ ledge, but because the facts them!
Page 170 - Three typical views have been maintained regarding the relation of thought and language: first, that they are identical; second, that words are the garb, or clothing, of thought, necessary not for thought but only for conveying it; and third (the view we shall here maintain), that, while language is not thought, it is necessary for thinking as well as for communication.

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