Who Am I and What Am I Thinking?

Do you remember the first thought you ever had?

Well, that depends on what you consider a thought.

I imagine that, as a baby, even in the womb, I must have felt all kinds of sensations that registered somewhere in my tiny brain as observations, like “I’m cold”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m tired”.

Are those thoughts?

In my comic, I drew my own theory of types of thoughts.

We have observations, and then start building upon those by connecting them, and then we derive conclusions.

And that process, the switching between Observing, Connecting and Concluding, is what we call Thinking.

I think.

Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics


One of my earliest recollections about my own thinking process was from when I was about five years old. Like many children, I liked cute, small animals. It bothered me that I could not pick up and cuddle the small sparrows in our garden. Oh, how I wished that one of them would come to me and be my friend!

So I made something up.

I told my teacher and parents that I had rescued a small baby-bird that had fallen out of a tree, and that I had restored it to health and then its mother came to pick it up. They both happily flapped their wings at me in thanks as they flew away.

My parents and teacher just smiled and said: “Oh, that’s nice.” At first I thought I had fooled them with a lie. But it gradually dawned on me that they knew full well that what I told them never happened, yet they seemed to enjoy listening to what I had to say.

And so I found out about another type of thinking: the story-telling thought.

Or: imagination.

Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics

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About the Author

Margreet de Heer
Margreet de Heer
Margreet de Heer lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with her husband Yiri T. Kohl. A long time ago, she studied Theology at the University of Amsterdam, but through divine intervention she ended up as a comic artist. She worked at the famous comic store Lambiek from 2000 until 2005, and wrote a book about Dutch comics together with Kees Kousemaker. Since 2005 she is a full-time comic artist producing a wide range of work, from children's comics in magazines to cartoons at business conferences. In 2007 she started making philosophical comic "reports" for newspaper Trouw. This resulted in a book edition in 2010, soon followed by graphic novels about religion and science. 'Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics' and 'Science: a Discovery in Comics' are published at NBM. 'Religion: a Discovery in Comics' is coming out in October 2015.

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