For if existent things, as objects of vision and of hearing and of the senses in general, are by definition externally existent, and if these visible things are apprehensible by sight and audible by hearing, and not vice versa, how, in this case, can these things be indicated to another person? For the means by which we indicate is speech, and speech is not identical with the really subsistent things; therefore we do not indicate to our neighbor the existent things but speech, which is other than what subsists. Thus, just as the visible things will not become audible, and vice versa, so too, since the existent subsists externally, it will not become identical with our speech; and not being speech, it cannot be revealed to another person.
Speech, moreover, is formed from the impressions caused by external objects, that is to say, objects of sense; for from the occurrence of flavor there is produced in us the speech uttered concerning this quality, and by the incidence of color speech respecting color. And if this be so, it is not speech that serves to reveal the external object, but the external object that proves to be explanatory of speech. Moreover, it is not possible to assert that speech subsists in the same fashion as things visible and audible, so that the subsisting and existent things can be indicated by it as by a thing subsisting and existent. For, he says, even if speech subsists, yet it differs from the rest of subsisting things, and visible bodies differ very greatly from spoken words; for the visible object is perceptible by one sense-organ and speech by another. Therefore speech does not serve to indicate the great majority of subsisting things, even as they themselves do not reveal each other’s nature.
But even if they are known, how could anyone reveal them to someone else? For how could anyone express what they have seen in speech or, how could it become clear to the hearer, if he has not seen it? For just as sight does not recognize sounds, so, likewise, hearing does not recognize colors, but only sounds; moreover, the speaker speaks, but he does not speak a color or a thing. So, when someone has no conception, how could he conceive it through someone else’s words, or through some sign which is other than that thing, unless he sees it, if it is a color, or he hears it, if it is a sound? For, firstly, nobody speaks a sound or a color, but only a word; so that it is not possible to think a color but only to see it; nor to think a sPost too long. Click here to view the full text.