Re: [ANE-2] Re: [OT?] Survey: Usage of "historicity"
- While toxic-ity seems to work for clarity of meaning, my own
feeling is that historic-ity to the lay reader is more anomolous
compared to 'veracity' or 'historic-al' choices you present below.
Verbiage, the manner in which something is expressed in words, conveys
many nuances of meaning - Clarity of meaning should be the name of the
game. 'Historicity' just doesn't do that.
It was once my job to get three different disciplines to work together to
accomplish a specific goal for a Space project. The problem was that
terminology within each discipline was not clear to the others.
>> Q1.a: If "historicity" is a scientific term, what is its definition?
>> Ariel L. Szczupak
>I perceive it as a contraction of "historical veracity". That's the
>term Andrew Vaughn used in his dissertation on Chronicles ("Theology,
>History, & Archaeology in the Chronicler's Account of Hezekiah"
>[Scholars Press, 1999]; the first "scientific publication" focusing
>on a specific historical controversy that pops into my mind).
>Therein he also uses:
>"historically accurate tradition (or source)"
>They almost seem synonymous. He's also pointed out elsewhere that
>archeological data can only "raise varying degrees of probability".
>So I would define "historicity" as:
>"The quality/value of data derived from present traditions or
>tangible artifacts of the past that raises/lowers degrees of
>probability towards an accurate account of what happened in the past."
>The actual quality/value should not be thought of as true/false,
>but "in flux" getting closer to or further from the truth since we
>will never have all the data of contemporary eyewitnesses.
>Archeology is ever ongoing. Historians can agree unanimously today,
>but when a new datum makes headlines tomorrow, history textbooks must
>change to accommodate it. What's the percentage of scientific
>publications written a mere 50 years ago that have not already been
>superseded on one or more points? "Datum/data" seems like the best
>terminology to me because of its complete neutrality. Words
>like "evidence" & "facts" (suggested by Szczupak in his Q3) carry too
>much baggage for an objective definition.
>I think of History as an interpretation, & Historicity as a quality
>test (what I've done for a living the past 2 decades) or state of the
>interpretation, sort of like a thermometer measuring the degree of
>probability towards certainty. Szczupak used "toxicity" as an
>example of the word formation, & that's a good analogy since it's a
>testimony as to how toxic something is. Since science, by
>definition, must be testable, "historicity" is a scientific term.
>George Michael Grena, II
>Redondo Beach, CA