Relativistic Language and the Natural Philosophy Big-Bang


This article aims to show the emergence of Pre-Socratic Natural Philosophy using the cosmological Big-Bang analogy, where from a certain moment in time and space a universe appears, first in its "inflationary" moment and, soon, in constant expansion. In the case of natural philosophy, it arose with Thales at a certain moment in space and time. It also had its “inflationary” period marked by a large number of philoso-phers and a profound change in the understanding of nature. This period lasted for about 5 generations until philosophy entered its paradigmatic period with Plato and Aristotle. How was the Natural Philosophy Big Bang (NPBB) possible? What were the main factors that made this possible? The text discusses these aspects, and for the author, the main factor must be sought in the internal dynamics of Greek thought and not in external causes, such as the exchange with Babylonians and Egyptians or the economic dynamics. To explain the NPBB, I use the hypothesis of linguistic relativism, meaning that “lan-guage shapes the mind”, in the same line that Bruno Snell used in his 1956 book. That is, the development of the Greek language would be the preponderant factor to explain the dynamics that led to the NPBB. We believe that this hypothesis (currently criti-cized for being excessively deterministic) is justified when applied to the aforemen-tioned situation and can be summarized as follows: “An extraordinary situation re-quires an equally extraordinary explanation”. A set of historical occurrences justifies the application of the strong version of the concept of linguistic relativism, something that today would be difficult to occur. The text synthesizes the main milestones of linguistic relativism, goes through the description of the turn of the oralist society to a society based on writing, which rad-ically changes the way knowledge is stored, in addition to enabling its critical evalua-tion, one of the foundations of philosophy and science. Several authors who are al-ready classics follow a similar line without, however, clearly adopting the author's position. These are the cases of Burnet, Havelock, and Ong. The text also shows some details of the linguistic evolution of Greek and its origins in the oralist mythical tradi-tion. The main conclusion is that linguistic relativism in its strong version is an adequate method to deal with NPBB situation.

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