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GWODYEN

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  • E. Bruce Brooks
    Topic: Gwodyen From: Bruce Cc: EAAN, H-ASIA, CrossTalk, Synoptic-L, SJS In Response To: Archaeology Mar/Apr 99 Issue Original Date: 2 Mar 1999 Sequence: 1353
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 2, 1999
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      Topic: Gwodyen
      From: Bruce
      Cc: EAAN, H-ASIA, CrossTalk, Synoptic-L, SJS
      In Response To: Archaeology Mar/Apr 99 Issue
      Original Date: 2 Mar 1999
      Sequence: 1353

      This is not actually about Gwodyen; it is rather about the perils of text
      philology. Since some of the implications for text philology in general
      have already been raised (minutes ago; Hi, Phil) by scholars from the New
      Testament community, many of whose problems are parallel to those faced by
      us in the Early China field, I am sharing this note with them as well as
      with the usual Sinological suspects.

      With Warring States texts, where as it were the Mycenaean type storehouse
      archives are lost, and any memoria technica of the experts are lost, and we
      have little more than advocational rather than documentary texts to work
      from, and where so much of the archaeological record is mute, we must
      either give up on the real world altogether or make our best inferences
      about it from the selective and sometimes anachronistic material we have.
      Inferences as such are always risky, one would prefer artifacts, but given
      the known lack of more direct evidence, and the even more firmly known fact
      that *something* was out there in real time, the refusal to make inferences
      seems to me to be even more irresponsible than a willingness, with all due
      caution and all available philological control, to make inferences. The
      default conclusion from *not* inferring the real world from the texts is
      that the WS texts floated on nothing whatever, and we may be sure that the
      WS texts did *not* float on nothing whatsoever. There was a world.

      As an example of how little gets reported in the final text record even in
      modern times, and even where the preliminary materials are themselves
      textual (an example which is meant to be emboldening for those engaged in
      this iffy but unavoidable inferential process for the *ancient* world), I
      give below the text of a document submitted to Archaeology magazine as
      revised after discussion with its editors, which may be compared with the
      document as it actually appeared on p10 of the March/April 99 issue. Square
      brackets enclose material not appearing in the published version; Round
      parentheses indicate material rewritten in the published version; asterisks
      indicate material added in the published version. It will be noted that, as
      we must so often suspect in the Analects and other texts of similar tastes
      and propensities, it is often the hard data that get left out, and without
      the hard data, it can be hard to tell what is going on.

      What is going on in this case is a prediction made years in advance of an
      archaeological discovery, and not a rationalization constructed months
      after that discovery became available to scholarship.

      Bruce

      -----------------ORIGINAL TEXT FOLLOWS

      The Dartmouth conference on the Guodian Laozi ("Laozi Debate,"
      November/December 1998, pp. 20-21) considered *** two hypotheses for the
      differences between the (three sets of extracts found at that site) and the
      later standard version of the (text): that (they) represent a random
      selection from the complete text [written by "Laozi" in the sixth century
      B.C.], or that (they comprise) "collections of sayings circulating in
      fourth-century China" from which the text we know was later gathered.
      Neither theory fits the facts.

      If the selection (was) random, why does it neglect the latter portion of
      the [81-chapter] Laozi, [which, since it focuses on government, would have
      been of greatest interest to the tomb occupant, the tutor of a future King
      of Chu]? [And] if the Guodian (florilegia represent) a less organized body
      of aphorisms, why do all of them appear in the later standard Laozi?

      (The implication is) that the Guodian (florilegia were) drawn from a Laozi
      (which was shorter than the later standard version). Such a (result was
      predicted) by (the) accretion theory of the [text which I announced in
      1990, published in 1994, and embodied in my book The Original Analects
      (Columbia University Press, 1998), months before the Guodian materials
      became available for scholarly examination]. *** [If, as] Li Xuequin has
      suggested, *** the (heir apparent) in question (was the one who) acceded in
      262, (then his father's accession in 298 is the earliest possible date for
      the tomb; the latest is the abandonment of the site as the Chu capital in
      278; the midpoint is 288). (The accretion) theory (predicts) that a Laozi
      (discovered in that year might draw from chapters 1-64, but nothing much
      later). [The actual range of chapters represented is 2-65. The
      archaeological evidence thus strikingly confirms the prediction of the
      accretion theory, which in turn supports Li Xueqin's identification of the
      future Chu ruler].

      E Bruce Brooks
      [Warring States Project]
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • E. Bruce Brooks
      Topic: Gwodyen From: Bruce Cc: EAAN, H-ASIA, CrossTalk, Synoptic-L, SJS In Response To: Archaeology Mar/Apr 99 Issue Original Date: 2 Mar 1999 Sequence: 1353
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 2, 1999
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        Topic: Gwodyen
        From: Bruce
        Cc: EAAN, H-ASIA, CrossTalk, Synoptic-L, SJS
        In Response To: Archaeology Mar/Apr 99 Issue
        Original Date: 2 Mar 1999
        Sequence: 1353

        This is not actually about Gwodyen; it is rather about the perils of text
        philology. Since some of the implications for text philology in general
        have already been raised (minutes ago; Hi, Phil) by scholars from the New
        Testament community, many of whose problems are parallel to those faced by
        us in the Early China field, I am sharing this note with them as well as
        with the usual Sinological suspects.

        With Warring States texts, where as it were the Mycenaean type storehouse
        archives are lost, and any memoria technica of the experts are lost, and we
        have little more than advocational rather than documentary texts to work
        from, and where so much of the archaeological record is mute, we must
        either give up on the real world altogether or make our best inferences
        about it from the selective and sometimes anachronistic material we have.
        Inferences as such are always risky, one would prefer artifacts, but given
        the known lack of more direct evidence, and the even more firmly known fact
        that *something* was out there in real time, the refusal to make inferences
        seems to me to be even more irresponsible than a willingness, with all due
        caution and all available philological control, to make inferences. The
        default conclusion from *not* inferring the real world from the texts is
        that the WS texts floated on nothing whatever, and we may be sure that the
        WS texts did *not* float on nothing whatsoever. There was a world.

        As an example of how little gets reported in the final text record even in
        modern times, and even where the preliminary materials are themselves
        textual (an example which is meant to be emboldening for those engaged in
        this iffy but unavoidable inferential process for the *ancient* world), I
        give below the text of a document submitted to Archaeology magazine as
        revised after discussion with its editors, which may be compared with the
        document as it actually appeared on p10 of the March/April 99 issue. Square
        brackets enclose material not appearing in the published version; Round
        parentheses indicate material rewritten in the published version; asterisks
        indicate material added in the published version. It will be noted that, as
        we must so often suspect in the Analects and other texts of similar tastes
        and propensities, it is often the hard data that get left out, and without
        the hard data, it can be hard to tell what is going on.

        What is going on in this case is a prediction made years in advance of an
        archaeological discovery, and not a rationalization constructed months
        after that discovery became available to scholarship.

        Bruce

        -----------------ORIGINAL TEXT FOLLOWS

        The Dartmouth conference on the Guodian Laozi ("Laozi Debate,"
        November/December 1998, pp. 20-21) considered *** two hypotheses for the
        differences between the (three sets of extracts found at that site) and the
        later standard version of the (text): that (they) represent a random
        selection from the complete text [written by "Laozi" in the sixth century
        B.C.], or that (they comprise) "collections of sayings circulating in
        fourth-century China" from which the text we know was later gathered.
        Neither theory fits the facts.

        If the selection (was) random, why does it neglect the latter portion of
        the [81-chapter] Laozi, [which, since it focuses on government, would have
        been of greatest interest to the tomb occupant, the tutor of a future King
        of Chu]? [And] if the Guodian (florilegia represent) a less organized body
        of aphorisms, why do all of them appear in the later standard Laozi?

        (The implication is) that the Guodian (florilegia were) drawn from a Laozi
        (which was shorter than the later standard version). Such a (result was
        predicted) by (the) accretion theory of the [text which I announced in
        1990, published in 1994, and embodied in my book The Original Analects
        (Columbia University Press, 1998), months before the Guodian materials
        became available for scholarly examination]. *** [If, as] Li Xuequin has
        suggested, *** the (heir apparent) in question (was the one who) acceded in
        262, (then his father's accession in 298 is the earliest possible date for
        the tomb; the latest is the abandonment of the site as the Chu capital in
        278; the midpoint is 288). (The accretion) theory (predicts) that a Laozi
        (discovered in that year might draw from chapters 1-64, but nothing much
        later). [The actual range of chapters represented is 2-65. The
        archaeological evidence thus strikingly confirms the prediction of the
        accretion theory, which in turn supports Li Xueqin's identification of the
        future Chu ruler].

        E Bruce Brooks
        [Warring States Project]
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Paul Rakita Goldin
        For what it is worth, a date of ca. 300 B.C. fits well for the corpus of texts encompassing Xing zi ming chu, Cheng zhi wen zhi, Liu te, Zun de yi, and
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 2, 1999
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          For what it is worth, a date of ca. 300 B.C. fits well for the corpus of
          texts encompassing "Xing zi ming chu," "Cheng zhi wen zhi," "Liu te," "Zun
          de yi," and others (which I see as one philosophical unit). As I will
          argue at the AAS conference in Boston, these texts anticipate Xunzi in
          fascinating ways. (So I find nothing inconceivable about a tomb date in
          the 298-278 range.)

          PRG

          At 02:27 PM 3/2/99 -0500, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:
          >Topic: Gwodyen
          >From: Bruce
          >Cc: EAAN, H-ASIA, CrossTalk, Synoptic-L, SJS
          >In Response To: Archaeology Mar/Apr 99 Issue
          >Original Date: 2 Mar 1999
          >Sequence: 1353
          >
          >This is not actually about Gwodyen; it is rather about the perils of text
          >philology. Since some of the implications for text philology in general
          >have already been raised (minutes ago; Hi, Phil) by scholars from the New
          >Testament community, many of whose problems are parallel to those faced by
          >us in the Early China field, I am sharing this note with them as well as
          >with the usual Sinological suspects.
          >
          >With Warring States texts, where as it were the Mycenaean type storehouse
          >archives are lost, and any memoria technica of the experts are lost, and we
          >have little more than advocational rather than documentary texts to work
          >from, and where so much of the archaeological record is mute, we must
          >either give up on the real world altogether or make our best inferences
          >about it from the selective and sometimes anachronistic material we have.
          >Inferences as such are always risky, one would prefer artifacts, but given
          >the known lack of more direct evidence, and the even more firmly known fact
          >that *something* was out there in real time, the refusal to make inferences
          >seems to me to be even more irresponsible than a willingness, with all due
          >caution and all available philological control, to make inferences. The
          >default conclusion from *not* inferring the real world from the texts is
          >that the WS texts floated on nothing whatever, and we may be sure that the
          >WS texts did *not* float on nothing whatsoever. There was a world.
          >
          >As an example of how little gets reported in the final text record even in
          >modern times, and even where the preliminary materials are themselves
          >textual (an example which is meant to be emboldening for those engaged in
          >this iffy but unavoidable inferential process for the *ancient* world), I
          >give below the text of a document submitted to Archaeology magazine as
          >revised after discussion with its editors, which may be compared with the
          >document as it actually appeared on p10 of the March/April 99 issue. Square
          >brackets enclose material not appearing in the published version; Round
          >parentheses indicate material rewritten in the published version; asterisks
          >indicate material added in the published version. It will be noted that, as
          >we must so often suspect in the Analects and other texts of similar tastes
          >and propensities, it is often the hard data that get left out, and without
          >the hard data, it can be hard to tell what is going on.
          >
          >What is going on in this case is a prediction made years in advance of an
          >archaeological discovery, and not a rationalization constructed months
          >after that discovery became available to scholarship.
          >
          >Bruce
          >
          >-----------------ORIGINAL TEXT FOLLOWS
          >
          >The Dartmouth conference on the Guodian Laozi ("Laozi Debate,"
          >November/December 1998, pp. 20-21) considered *** two hypotheses for the
          >differences between the (three sets of extracts found at that site) and the
          >later standard version of the (text): that (they) represent a random
          >selection from the complete text [written by "Laozi" in the sixth century
          >B.C.], or that (they comprise) "collections of sayings circulating in
          >fourth-century China" from which the text we know was later gathered.
          >Neither theory fits the facts.
          >
          >If the selection (was) random, why does it neglect the latter portion of
          >the [81-chapter] Laozi, [which, since it focuses on government, would have
          >been of greatest interest to the tomb occupant, the tutor of a future King
          >of Chu]? [And] if the Guodian (florilegia represent) a less organized body
          >of aphorisms, why do all of them appear in the later standard Laozi?
          >
          >(The implication is) that the Guodian (florilegia were) drawn from a Laozi
          >(which was shorter than the later standard version). Such a (result was
          >predicted) by (the) accretion theory of the [text which I announced in
          >1990, published in 1994, and embodied in my book The Original Analects
          >(Columbia University Press, 1998), months before the Guodian materials
          >became available for scholarly examination]. *** [If, as] Li Xuequin has
          >suggested, *** the (heir apparent) in question (was the one who) acceded in
          >262, (then his father's accession in 298 is the earliest possible date for
          >the tomb; the latest is the abandonment of the site as the Chu capital in
          >278; the midpoint is 288). (The accretion) theory (predicts) that a Laozi
          >(discovered in that year might draw from chapters 1-64, but nothing much
          >later). [The actual range of chapters represented is 2-65. The
          >archaeological evidence thus strikingly confirms the prediction of the
          >accretion theory, which in turn supports Li Xueqin's identification of the
          >future Chu ruler].
          >
          >E Bruce Brooks
          >[Warring States Project]
          >University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          >
          >
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