Thinking as Action


As opposed to the history of thought which has been awarded thorough attention by intellectual historians in the Collingwoodian tradition, the history of thinking has hardly attracted scholarly interest within the context of European culture. The following essay traces two paradigmatic changes in history of European thinking between the early Middle Ages and the end of the 18th century. The first of these changes concerns the transformation of thinking in totalities into thinking in specificities during the high Middle Ages, and the second refers to the emergence of thinking as a ordering activity during the 17th and 18th centuries. It will be argued that changes in the history of thinking are part and parcel of wider changes affecting language and religious as well as scientific views of the world.

How to Cite

Kleinschmidt, H., (1997) “Thinking as Action”, Ethnologia Europaea 27(2), p.83-104. doi:

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  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.



Harald Kleinschmidt (University of Tsukuba)



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