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Humans of ancient or premodern societies bestow upon subjective phenomena, such as ideas, dreams, and words, the same objective and reality status as to material and visible objects. They tend to materialize subjective phenomena and to spiritualize objective phenomena, as A. Gurjewitch once brilliantly defined. Thus, they see words as another kind of material phenomena emanating from the objects themselves.
Developmental psychologists call this phenomenon confusion of subjective and objective respectively conceptual realism, a clear indicator to the prevalence of psychological stages below the formal operational stage. It is shown that children, archaic human beings and ancient philosophers shared this conceptual realism down to the smallest details. Even Plato in his dialogue Kratylos manifests views that closely resemble those of children.