I think we are saying enough of the same thing, but I'm probably encumbered by toiling in the digital domain; I conceptualize 'concept' as akin to a class or even baseclass, something more abstract even than a definition of an instance of something; a definition of the behavior of the class of somethings.
There is a baseconcept 'tools of transportation' and 'tools of writing' ... and the concepts 'cars trains boats planes' fit neatly into one baseconcept and 'pencils pens' fit neatly into the other, and skywriters using airplanes are thumbing their nose at our orderly taxonomy.
Humans are good at managing that taxonomy; when we come across a skywriter, we recognize that the tool is only nominally usable for transportation but is being used to write in a novel way, which is what delighted fans of skywriting fifty years ago or more.
When we come across an instance of something, we categorize it as "_isa" and the something we say it is an _isa of is a concept. The class of pencils, as opposed to an instance of a pencil. 'This pencil' _isa 'pencil.' 'This pencil' is an instance; 'pencil' is the concept for pencils.
Instances of pencil are unique, but are all members of the class pencil.
We can ... and do ... dream up concepts that have never been instanced(an instance of the concept has been realized, made real), might never be realized by themselves, or even can never be realized by themselves.
Sometimes, by combining such abstract concepts with other concepts into a super concept, the super concept -can- be realized. Not every such, but there are examples of this. (There are certainly examples of this in the digital domain.)
Here is the once purely abstract concept 'human being working in outer space.'
Jules Verne conceptualized that, even though nobody was able to instance that concept at the time.
Add to the concept 'human being' the future concepts 'space shuttle' and 'EVA Suit' and so on, and before you know it, whacky horndog astronaut Wolfowitz is the butt of jokes on nighttime comedy hits.
The movie "Loopers" aside, we are fairly certain we can't effectively travel back in time as an actor; maybe a passive observer. (We do that now, using telescopes.) So, for now, we can easily dream up concepts that, for instance, require that, and so, are purely abstract. An example of that would be a description of a God that created us that had arbitrary characteristics defined by us, after the fact. How could the merely created ever possibly go back in time and put constraints on that which created them?
At most, they will only ever be able to look back in time as an observer and discover that which created them; if it is cold process, it is cold process, and no amount of rolling the eyes into the back of our heads will change the past.
Because it is largely imaginative, and toils in a generally computable medium, the digital domain is largely abstract and black box, and beyond "_isa" also uses "_hasa" to categorize concepts. (A concept might encapsulate one or more other concepts without also being one of them; _isa implies, shares the characteristics of...)
To explain why s/w is always broken, it is often implemented using instances of things purely imagined, substituting a good enuf mostly hollow black box that only appears to be the imagined thing. It is a kind of faith in the future-- that you or someone will actually create the something in the future. And then... you plow ahead anyway, not really knowing for certain how the thing is going to actually behave until it actually exists, only knowing how you imagined it behaving.
To explain why mankind is sometimes broken, let's you and I start a new religion based on supernatural beings, the Antis, living in an unseen universe based on anti-matter. We will pray for our fellow mankind, and when something good happens, we will show up and say "See! The power of prayer to the Antis!" When something bad happens, we will show up and say "The Antis are a mystery, and work in mysterious ways. We can't question the Antis, we can only question ourselves. We must search ourselves for the answers; maybe our faith in the Antis was not strong enough..."
We can promise unbounded reward-- a life after this life in the anti-matter universe-- "The Anti-Life..." in exchange for signing up with our religion. We will offer a full money-back guarantee to anyone who comes back with a complaint.
We can't lose; if you want to succeed at something in the tribe, look around at what works, and emulate it.
We can scare the kids and sell our philosophy about life and keep the offering plates overflowing and put on a show complete with funny hats and throw parties complete with different colored smoke when we elect our CEO(Chief Ecumenical Officer).
If we burn the toast, it means we will be throwing another party tomorrow. If it is white smoke coming up the chimney at Party Central, then it means we've had enough and it is time to dry out with a new Head Anti Priest.
If it is grey smoke, then we are ambivalent about who we are considering, but the party will continue.
Have I missed much? We ready to roll?