Attribute Thinking vs Action Thinking

Sometimes it is valuable to think of the “thing” as a sequence of actions, not just a thing with a list of attributes. To better understand the system and context that the “thing” is in, then describing it in a sequence of actions lets you appreciate all that is required for its existance. It lets you make distinctions where other people only see identical attributes. Take a pencil as an example. It is not just a writing utensil, but it was wood that was cut, transported, manufactured, transported again, etc… A pen is a writing utensil but it is brought into existance through a different sequence of actions. You can also use this type of thinking to distinguish people that otherwise might be seen as identical if evaluated based on their attributes. Instead of just thinking that this person has a list of credentials, like a college degree, then value the person by understanding the actions they took that got them to where they are.


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