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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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This story about a blind painter who gets surprisingly close to reality is astounding. He paints shadows, gets perspective right, and paints animals that he could never have seen.

The one thing I am most curious about is how prevalent such a capability is among the blind. As the article notes, artistic ability is not fostered or developed in blind children like this guy was. If it is common (though unrefined due to lack of encouragement), then sight may not be as vital as I thought.

I would also be interested in this guy’s background. He might have learned about shadows and perspective through books about art and painting. A lot of nature guides are quite descriptive about their subjects. Still, though, the nature of concepts is that you acquire the referents from reality and the language of such descriptions is inevitably couched in visual terms.