By the way, have the two phrases, “He has done so-&-so” and “He can do so-&-so” the same meaning in this language or have they different meanings? If you think about it, something

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will tempt you to say the one, something to say the other. This only shows that the question has here no clearly defined meaning. All I can say is: If the fact that they only say, “He can…” if he has done… is your criterion for the same meaning, then the two expressions have the same meaning. If the circumstances under which an expression is used make its meaning, the meanings are different. The use which is made of the word “can” — the expression of possibility in 49) — can throw a light upon the idea that what can happen must have happened before (Nietzsche). It will also be interesting to look, in the light of our examples, on the statement that what happens can happen.