[lit-ideas] Re: Rudy and the Myth of Origin

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  • Date: Sun, 4 May 2014 10:13:32 -0400 (EDT)

My last post today!
Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it.

Nice report, thank you, D. McEvoy.
In a message dated 5/4/2014 8:05:04 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
Rudy is singing to Hello, Goodbye,  interspersed with comments about the 
passing world. Rudy sees some sheep in a  distant field and comments: “Sheeps.”
 He then adds: “Those sheeps have babies in  their tummies.” At this 
distance, this comment cannot possibly be based on  empirical observation. It 
possible that this comment reveals the cataclysmic  psychic disturbance that 
Rudy now endures about “tummies” and “babies” – that  “sheeps” operates 
as a means of “transference” for a disturbance that may now  possibly 
cripple Rudy into adulthood and beyond.
To check this, Donal asks a  few questions. 
“Rudy…” “Yes.” “Rudy, you know about sheeps...
The utterance:
i. Those sheeps have babies in their tummies.
allows for various implicatures other than the non-inductivist reading, as  
it were, proposed by McEvoy.
ii. Sheep, as a matter of principle, need to carry babies in their tummies, 
 in order to the species 'Sheep' to survive. (*)
There is a further implicature:
iv. Homo sapiens is like Ovis aries (Linnaeus, 1758) in reproductive  
(*) The words "in order" to express purpose in "in order to" are usually  
redundant, and can be removed to leave just "to" as an expression of purpose. 
 However, the full expression is required in the negative ("in order not 
to") and  occasionally to avoid ambiguity.
While McEvoy does refer to the myth of origin in the Bible, it may do to  
explore the specifics of 'human birth', or the phenomenon of birth in the 
Human  Species in the Bible, and why, not Graeco-Roman literature (if not  
The Holy Ghost is not too specific (in terms of Grice, "Be as informative  
as is required", seeing that this is the first account of the first 
'natural'  birth) on the matter:
"Now the man [Adam] had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and  
gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help 
of the  LORD." Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a 
keeper of  flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground."
I'm less sure which is the best account in the Graeco-Roman tradition  
(never mind the Germanic) but I choose Athena, since her owl is supposed to be  
the emblem of philosophy.
The story of Athena's birth comes in several versions. 
In the one most commonly cited, Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty  
thought and wisdom.

But Zeus, immediately feared the consequences.
It had been prophesied that Metis would bear children more powerful than  
the sire, even Zeus himself. 
In order to forestall these dire consequences, after lying with Metis, Zeus 
 put hMetis away inside his own belly.
He swallowed her down all of a sudden.
It was too late: Metis had already conceived.
Two days later, Zeus experienced an enormous headache.
Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares, or Palaemon (depending on the sources 
 examined) cleaved Zeus's head with the double-headed Minoan axe, the 
As a result, Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed, with a  
shout and and pealed to the broad sky her clarion cry of war. 
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