The phrase normally used is ‘theory and practice’ but Alexander wants to emphasize that, in his technique, practice precedes theory. It first appears in his Introductory to *UCL*,[1] and several times in *UCL*, specifically stating that his theory ‘ﬂowed from’ the practical procedures:

My life-work has been one of dealing with practical procedures based on the principle of unity and with the associated theoretical conclusions which ﬂowed from them.[2]

However, the preceding of ‘practice’ before ‘theory’ is a late phrasing.[3]

‘Theory and practice’ was used in ‘The theory and practice of a new method of respiratory re-education’ (1907),[4] in ‘Why we breathe incorrectly’ (1909),[5] and in *MSI*’s ‘Preface to First Edition’ (1910),[6] and in ‘New Preface’ (1918).[7] Alexander discusses the bridging of the gap between theory and practice in the preface to the new edition (1946) of *CCC*.[8]

Only two later (than *UCL*) papers contain ‘practice and theory’: ‘Manufacturing Premises for Desired Deductions’ (1949),[9] and ‘Autobiographical Sketch’ (c. 1950).[10]

Note that in *UCL* he talks about the ‘acceptance of the theory and practice of non-doing’.[11]

#### Later Writings

The observation that Alexander wants to emphasize that practice precedes theory has been made by Walter Carrington in 1984,[12] and Nicholls and Carey in 1991.[13]