Letter on the Deaf and Dumb

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Letter on the Deaf and Dumb, for the Use of those who hear and speak (French: Lettre sur les sourds et muets a l'usage de ceux qui entendent et qui parlent) is a work by Denis Diderot containing a psychological investigation on the deaf-mute. It was published in 1751. It was meant to be a companion volume to Diderot's Letter on the Blind.


The book consists of an enquiry into the method of communication used by deaf-mutes, and seeks to shed light on the origin of language by observing the gestures, and response to gestures, of deaf-mutes.[1][2]


  1. ^ Will Durant (1965). The Story of Civilization Volume 9:The Age of Voltaire. Simon&Schuster. p. 633.
  2. ^ P.N. Furbank (1992). Diderot:A Critical Biography. Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 64–5.