conceptual thought

When you click the link below, your browser will navigate to an interview with Susan Schaller. She authored the book ‘A Man Without Words‘, a study of a 27-year-old deaf man whom Schaller teaches to sign for the first time.

Leap of Faith, the Story of a Contemporary Miracle: A Conversation with Susan Schaller, by Richard Whittaker, Apr 23, 2009

As much as we are addicted to seeing with our mind in stead of with our eyes, conceptual thinking has been a huge step forward for many members of the animal kingdom. Next, using words that name our concepts are another huge step forward, perhaps shared with dolphins and some apes, without which we would never be able to talk, and write about anything … like ‘mind silence’ :-).

The interview is a lot shorter than the book, and goes deep enough to get into the mind of a person without ‘words’ who experiences the revelation of naming things and sharing thoughts by sign-language.


Picture by bvdb (whoisbert) May 2015 – @Leuven (B) botanical gardens – Nikon D3300 – x_DSC_1613

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11 thoughts on “conceptual thought

  1. I think that we, as a species, may need to learn to conceptualize our ideas into images more so that we may cross different language (even species?) barriers to understanding.

    • I’m sure that 10 years ago, I had no clue about the concepts and thoughts going on in my head, and now, I just started scratching the surface. It’s humbling.

  2. This is very interesting although in the past there were different words for this. However people in my milieu never heard of this. I will draw their attention to this once again. Your photo is absolutely gorgeous. Be well.,

    • I can only think of a database with images as keys, and how complicated it would be to find something back in it, or even combine two of those databases … naming things is just a huge step forward when communicating.
      I remember an experience where I asked for directions to a native of the amazon forest in Venezuela. We didn’t share any language, and I remember the reaction when I showed my map of the area, which must have been completely meaningless … we could only exchange smiles.

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