more from Peter Geach

Single Idea 8769

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 5. Concepts and Language / c. Concepts without language]

Full Idea

If a man struck with aphasia can still play bridge or chess, I certainly wish to say he still has the concepts involved in the game, although he can no longer exercise them verbally.


'Aphasia' is loss of power of speech

Gist of Idea

If someone has aphasia but can still play chess, they clearly have concepts


Peter Geach (Mental Acts: their content and their objects [1957], 5)

Book Reference

Geach,Peter: 'Mental Acts: Their content and their objects' [RKP 1971], p.13

A Reaction

Geach proceeds thereafter to concentrate on language, but this caveat is crucial. To suggest that concepts are entirely verbal has always struck me as ridiculous, and an insult to our inarticulate mammalian cousins.