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Ch. 3 - Fifty Thousand Innate Concepts 
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Nietzsche (who was a Professor of Philology - the study of ancient languages and literature) utilized the notion of Eternal Return of the Same to challenge his readers to confront their own lives: could you live with the fact that your life (in all of its relationships and details) will be repeated again, and again, eternally- exactly the same way. If you were well disposed toward the life you have lived and the path you have chosen- you might find consolation and confirmation in this tought experiment. If your life was ripe with banality and chagrin, then such a thought experiment might shock you into substantially changing your life. Perhaps The Eternal Return of the Same (ERS) could be understood as Existential Shock Therapy.

In relation to tlpounds point, I think (ERS) might make sense in this context, vaguely, if we accept that there is a finite amount of matter and an infinite amount of time. If that is the case, then eventually every possible combination of atoms, molecules, cells, personalities, cultures, planets, nebulae...and words...would be repeated. The Extreme Nativist would not have to make the case that words are innate...only that we have been uttering them for an eternity.



Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:28 pm
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Dissident Heart wrote:
In relation to tlpounds point, I think (ERS) might make sense in this context, vaguely, if we accept that there is a finite amount of matter and an infinite amount of time. If that is the case, then eventually every possible combination of atoms, molecules, cells, personalities, cultures, planets, nebulae...and words...would be repeated. The Extreme Nativist would not have to make the case that words are innate...only that we have been uttering them for an eternity.


Sorry, DH, but it still sounds like gobbledygook to me. I can understand the value of a thought experiment in which one considers having to endlessly repeat one's life. It might lead a person to be more thoughtful about the choices he or she is making. But that's as far as it goes.

And, in point of fact, from an Extreme Nativist point of view, you would have to make the case the words were innate. If we have been uttering them for an eternity, then it follows we must have known them for an eternity. If that wouldn't qualify as innate knowledge, then I don't know what would. (Incidentally, I understand you aren't necessarily arguing for the Extreme Nativist position, just offering a suggestion of how it might play out in a certain context.)

George


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Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:59 am
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Dissident Heart wrote:

In relation to tlpounds point, I think (ERS) might make sense in this context, vaguely, if we accept that there is a finite amount of matter and an infinite amount of time. If that is the case, then eventually every possible combination of atoms, molecules, cells, personalities, cultures, planets, nebulae...and words...would be repeated. The Extreme Nativist would not have to make the case that words are innate...only that we have been uttering them for an eternity.


I recently heard this concept while watching....I forget if it was a show on black holes or String theory. It is an interesting thought, but that is about it IMO. It is something to ponder while in a pondering mood...but what does it really do for us?

I am with George...it still smells of bunk, and does nothing to undergird the Extreme Nativism theory.

Mr. P.


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Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:50 pm
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Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
I am with George...it still smells of bunk, and does nothing to undergird the Extreme Nativism theory.


Hi Boys! I simply posed the idea of Eternal Return as a possible explanation for how the Nativists can even think to argue in favor of innate meanings/words since birth. However, in trying to understand from where they might be coming, I wasn't (and I believe Dissident Heart wasn't either) conceding to the plausibility of Extreme Nativism



Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:35 pm
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[quote="tlpounds"] Hi Boys! I simply posed the idea of Eternal Return as a possible explanation for how the Nativists can even think to argue in favor of innate meanings/words since birth. However, in trying to understand from where they might be coming, I wasn't (and I believe Dissident Heart wasn't either) conceding to the plausibility of Extreme Nativism


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Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:58 am
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