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The Language of Adam as an ideal sign
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the historical background of the Language of Adam in relation to philosophical doctrines. The doctrine of Adamic language, which found its theoretical origin in the linguistic naturalism and is incompatible with the arbitrariness of language, asserts that all names and words have a clear and real connection with the things they designated. Thus, Adamic theory proposes a sign with a motivated, rather than arbitrary, relationship between signifier and signified. The Adamic language based upon the theory of naturalism is further elaborated by Reformers in the Seventeenth century. Jacob Boehme identifies this original speech with the Language of Nature invested both in the Spirits of the Letters and in the creations of God's Words. The Adamic theory was received with some skepticism by empirical philosophers like Hobbes and Locke. Locke, inclining to Aristotle's view of language, suggests that the relation between a word and its referent is purely arbitrary. Such a view was bound to provoke the response from Neo-Platonic philosophers including Leibniz. Following in the Cartesian tradition, Leibniz regards the Adamic sign as the primal language that every linguistic naturalists have envisaged. To conclude, the language of Adam will be considered as an ideal language in that it echoes God's creative Word.
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