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A question on modification of a list via a function invocation

On 06/09/17 14:02, Stefan Ram wrote:
> Chris Angelico writes:
>> The 'is' operator tests if two things are the same thing.
>        ?Roughly speaking, to say of two things that they are
>        identical is nonsense, and to say of one thing that it
>        is identical with itself is to say nothing at all.?
>      Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (5.5303)

Someone who is philosophically literate in technical forum: a rare treat! Nice!!

Wittgenstein is a favorite of mine and I often reserve one lecture for his:
?Limits of my language are the limits of my world?

Then amplified by Roman Jacobson?s ?Languages differ not in what we can say
but what we must say?

And finally with Whorf's evidence that words can set buildings on fire

[Today it would be send countries to war]

However Wittgenstein's quote above on identity is too terse to properly grasp 
the real difficulty

shows at some (verbose!) length that identity is and can only be a hopelessly
circular definition.  A problem which has little to do with python, programming 
languages, or CS in general; it is a fundamental universal problem