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Re: [Synoptic-L] Foster in NovT

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  • Mark Goodacre
    Thanks for that, Jeffery. I had taken disingenuous to mean something at least verging on dishonesty, which is one of the reasons that I took it up with Paul
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 14, 2003
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      Thanks for that, Jeffery. I had taken "disingenuous" to mean
      something at least verging on dishonesty, which is one of the reasons
      that I took it up with Paul in correspondence prior to the article
      having been accepted for publication. There is a weaker meaning of
      the word that one sometimes hears in the media where it equates to
      something like "naive" but I don't think this makes any sense in
      Foster's context. I think that what Foster is trying to do is (a) to
      group me together with Farrer, who had said that Q has an
      unparalleled genre, and then (b) to say that given the discovery of
      Thomas, we Q sceptics have changed the argument. Now we no longer
      say Q is unparalleled; we say it's not similar enough. As I read
      Foster, and I am trying my best to understand the charge, he regards
      this change of argument as "rather disingenuous" -- i.e. argument (a)
      was proved incorrect by the discovery of Thomas but instead of
      admitting our mistake in making that argument, we move the goalposts
      and make argument (b) -- now Q is not similar enough to Thomas. So I
      rather suspect, given the way his argument is constructed, that he is
      indeed implying dishonesty. (I should add that argument (b) is how
      Foster construes me; it is not what I actually argue -- far from
      it.) What is disappointing about this to me is that given the
      seriousness of the charge, one would have expected him to have read
      the major argument in the specialist treatment (Case Against Q) and
      to deal with that rather than to deal with it solely in the limited
      context in the undergraduate textbook (Way through the Maze), though
      even a more careful reading of the latter might have helped.

      Mark
      -----------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
      Dept of Theology
      University of Birmingham
      Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
      Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

      http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
      http://NTGateway.com


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    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      Mark Goodacre wrote:
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 14, 2003
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        Mark Goodacre wrote:

        <I had taken "disingenuous" to mean something at least
        verging on dishonesty, which is one of the reasons
        that I took it up with Paul in correspondence prior to
        the article having been accepted for publication.
        There is a weaker meaning of the word that one
        sometimes hears in the media where it equates to
        something like "naive" but I don't think this makes
        any sense in Foster's context.>

        I suspect that the weaker meaning is a back formation
        from "ingenious." Since "ingenious" means something
        like "brilliant" (as in intellectually impressive),
        then "disingenuous" is misunderstood as the
        (nonexistent) "disingenious" and presumed to mean
        something like "naive," as you noted.

        Jeffery Hodges

        =====
        Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
        447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
        Yangsandong 411
        South Korea

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      • Eric Eve
        ... I don t have Paul Foster s final article in front of me, but I do have an earlier draft of it he gave me (which is probably the same as the one he sent
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 14, 2003
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          Mark Goodacre wrote:

          > Thanks for that, Jeffery. I had taken "disingenuous" to mean
          > something at least verging on dishonesty, which is one of the reasons
          > that I took it up with Paul in correspondence prior to the article
          > having been accepted for publication. There is a weaker meaning of
          > the word that one sometimes hears in the media where it equates to
          > something like "naive" but I don't think this makes any sense in
          > Foster's context. I think that what Foster is trying to do is (a) to
          > group me together with Farrer, who had said that Q has an
          > unparalleled genre, and then (b) to say that given the discovery of
          > Thomas, we Q sceptics have changed the argument. Now we no longer
          > say Q is unparalleled; we say it's not similar enough. As I read
          > Foster, and I am trying my best to understand the charge, he regards
          > this change of argument as "rather disingenuous" -- i.e. argument (a)
          > was proved incorrect by the discovery of Thomas but instead of
          > admitting our mistake in making that argument, we move the goalposts
          > and make argument (b) -- now Q is not similar enough to Thomas. So I
          > rather suspect, given the way his argument is constructed, that he is
          > indeed implying dishonesty. (I should add that argument (b) is how
          > Foster construes me; it is not what I actually argue -- far from
          > it.) What is disappointing about this to me is that given the
          > seriousness of the charge, one would have expected him to have read
          > the major argument in the specialist treatment (Case Against Q) and
          > to deal with that rather than to deal with it solely in the limited
          > context in the undergraduate textbook (Way through the Maze), though
          > even a more careful reading of the latter might have helped.

          I don't have Paul Foster's final article in front of me, but I do have an
          earlier draft of it he gave me (which is probably the same as the one he
          sent you). Perhaps the real problem with Foster's statement in the draft
          (which presumably appears also in the final text from your earlier
          reference) is the statement that "Goodacre dismisses the positive evidence
          that Thomas offers for the Q hypothesis in the following cursory manner.
          [Following which is a brief quotation from _Maze_, p. 61]", since, as you
          say "Dismiss ... in a cursory manner" scarcely does justice to _Case Against
          Q_ Chapter Nine.

          From looking at the draft of Foster's article, I think his argument is not
          simply that your have illegitimately ruled Thomas out of consideration, but
          that "Kloppenborg has highlighted a number of ancient sayings collections
          that demonstrate that Q was not a generic anomaly. The three types of
          sayings collections that have close affinities with Q at different stages of
          its formation are the instruction genre, Hellenistic gnomologia, and small
          collections of chriae... The same observation holds for Q, and it is a
          mistake to limit the comparison only to Thomas..." So I think Foster is
          construing you as saying "Q is alleged to be a sayings collection, but we
          have a real sayings collection in the form of Thomas, Q doesn't look much
          like Thomas because Q had narrative elements, so Thomas provides no support
          for supposing Q to have belonged to a plausibly extant genre of
          sayings-collections." (This exegesis of Foster is based also on a
          half-remembered conversation I had with him about his draft). Foster's
          counter-argument is that Q and Thomas belong to a range of texts/genres
          along which one may find other texts that should also be taken into account.
          I suspect Foster may also have at the back of his mind (since he keeps
          citing Kloppenborg) that Q1 would have a closer resemblance to Thomas than
          the final redaction of Q, into which narrative elements have been
          introduced. Thus, I think he has failed to engage with your actual argument
          in at least two ways: (1) your point that the narrative element in Q is
          predicted by the Farrer Hypothesis and (2) that, quite apart from the
          narrative element, Q appears more structured than Thomas.

          How the charge of disingenuousness comes into that I'm not entirely clear.
          I've had several friendly chats with Paul Foster on the 2SH vs the FH and
          none of them would lead me to suppose that he in fact believes supporters of
          the FH to be dishonest - at worst he thinks we may be a bit stubborn. From
          the context (and from personal knowledge) I'd guess that the word
          'disingenuous' may simply be ill-chosen; the real charge seems to be not
          dishonesty, but moving the goalposts (perhaps Foster sees that as scholarly
          sleight-of-hand, and that's what suggested 'disingenuous' to him). Again,
          from his draft article it seems reasonably clear that the shift in
          goal-posts Foster has in mind is from Q sceptics complaining that Q was too
          amorphous (before Thomas was taken into consideration) to complaining "that
          Q is not amporphous enough" (compared with Q). This really only makes sense
          on the somewhat odd presupposition that all Q-sceptics ought to think alike
          and deploy the same arguments (Goodacre disagrees with Farrer therefore
          Goodacre has shifted the goalposts, or at least made an "inappropriate
          manoeuvre"). Perhaps Paul Foster's real complaint is that (on his view) the
          shift of goalposts is somehow unfair ("first they complain that Q is too
          amorphous now they complain it's not amporphous enough") and it's that sense
          of unfairness that "disingenuous" was intended to convey - again from my
          recollection of private discussions with him this perhaps seems the most
          likely sense intended. Of course, you could quite fairly respond that
          Foster's critique is not entirely fair to your argument.

          Eric
          ----------------------------------
          Eric Eve
          Harris Manchester College, Oxford




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        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... The American Heritage Dictionary gives a different sense progression for the evolution of meaning of disingenuous. Originally, ingenuous meant (and still
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 14, 2003
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            Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges@...> wrote:
            >Mark Goodacre wrote:
            ><I had taken "disingenuous" to mean something at least
            >verging on dishonesty, which is one of the reasons
            >that I took it up with Paul in correspondence prior to
            >the article having been accepted for publication.
            >There is a weaker meaning of the word that one
            >sometimes hears in the media where it equates to
            >something like "naive" but I don't think this makes
            >any sense in Foster's context.>
            >
            >I suspect that the weaker meaning is a back formation
            >from "ingenious." Since "ingenious" means something
            >like "brilliant" (as in intellectually impressive),
            >then "disingenuous" is misunderstood as the
            >(nonexistent) "disingenious" and presumed to mean
            >something like "naive," as you noted.

            The American Heritage Dictionary gives a different sense
            progression for the evolution of meaning of disingenuous.
            Originally, "ingenuous" meant (and still does) naively honest,
            especially about one's faults, so "disingenuous" meant
            lacking candor about one's own faults, and the dishonesty
            is one of omission, not commission. (This seems to be
            how it is used in the Foster article.)

            The next step in the sense progression for "disingenuous"
            is a weaking of its moral opprobrium to playful insincere
            or lacking candor in one's own sophistication, i.e. faux-naif,
            or pretending to be naive. Perhaps, pretending to be
            ingenuous, but actually not. The example given by AHD is:
            "'I don't have a clue about late Beethoven!' he said. The
            remark seemed disingenuous, coming from one of the world's
            foremost concert pianists."

            From there the meaning has weakened even further becoming
            almost a synonym for "ingenuous," i.e. naive as "a disingenuous
            tourist who falls prey to stereotypical con artists." This last
            meaning is considered unacceptable by AHD's usage experts,
            and probably represents a reinterpretation of the dis- prefix
            as an intensitive of "ingenuous" (which I suspect is misunderstood
            as "ingenious").

            Stephen Carlson

            --
            Stephen C. Carlson,
            mailto:scarlson@...
            "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
            ... Stephen Carlson suggested:
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 14, 2003
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              Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges@...> wrote:

              >I suspect that the weaker meaning is a back formation
              >from "ingenious." Since "ingenious" means something
              >like "brilliant" (as in intellectually impressive),
              >then "disingenuous" is misunderstood as the
              >(nonexistent) "disingenious" and presumed to mean
              >something like "naive," as you noted.

              Stephen Carlson suggested:

              <The American Heritage Dictionary gives a different
              sense progression for the evolution of meaning of
              disingenuous. Originally, "ingenuous" meant (and still
              does) naively honest, especially about one's faults,
              so "disingenuous" meant lacking candor about one's own
              faults, and the dishonesty is one of omission, not
              commission. (This seems to be how it is used in the
              Foster article.)

              The next step in the sense progression for
              "disingenuous" is a weaking of its moral opprobrium to
              playful insincere or lacking candor in one's own
              sophistication, i.e. faux-naif, or pretending to be
              naive. Perhaps, pretending to be ingenuous, but
              actually not. The example given by AHD is:

              "'I don't have a clue about late Beethoven!' he said.
              The remark seemed disingenuous, coming from one of the
              world's foremost concert pianists."

              From there the meaning has weakened even further
              becoming almost a synonym for "ingenuous," i.e. naive
              as "a disingenuous tourist who falls prey to
              stereotypical con artists." This last meaning is
              considered unacceptable by AHD's usage experts, and
              probably represents a reinterpretation of the
              dis-prefix as an intensitive of "ingenuous" (which I
              suspect is misunderstood as "ingenious").>

              Jeffery Hodges responds:

              This explanation sounds correct, but I still wonder
              about some interference from "ingenious." I used to
              conflate and therefore confuse "ingenuous" with
              "ingenious," so I imagine that others might also have
              the same difficulty.

              Jeffery Hodges

              =====
              Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
              Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
              447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
              Yangsandong 411
              South Korea

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