Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: tc-list new book review on TC

Expand Messages
  • Jean VALENTIN
    ... Or, more sumply, his vocabulary is different because the issues he addresses are different, or because his thinking is original... Jean V.
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 31, 1969
    • 0 Attachment
      >unusual and hard-to-understand words. He is, in other words,
      >pretentious.
      Or, more sumply, his vocabulary is different because the issues he
      addresses are different, or because his thinking is original...

      Jean V.


      _________________________________________________
      Jean Valentin - Bruxelles - Belgique
      e-mail: jgvalentin@...
      _________________________________________________
      "Ce qui est trop simple est faux, ce qui est trop complexe est
      inutilisable"
      "What's too simple is wrong, what's too complex is unusable"
      "Wat te eenvoudig is, is verkeerd; wat te ingewikkeld is, is onbruikbaar"
      _________________________________________________
    • U. Schmid
      ... Under point 4. of your review, Jimmy, I read: ...Landon offers a set of distinctive characteristics of Jude s style: the frequent use of [italics]hapax
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 8, 1997
      • 0 Attachment
        On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, Jimmy Adair wrote:

        >A review of Charles Landon's _A Text-Critical Study of the Epistle of
        >Jude_ is now available in TC, vol. 2. To see it, go to the volume 2 Table
        >of Contents page at http://purl.org/TC/vol02/vol02-toc.html. Comments on
        >the book (or the review) are welcome on the list.
        >

        Under point 4. of your review, Jimmy, I read: "...Landon offers a set of
        distinctive characteristics of Jude's style: the frequent use of
        [italics]hapax legomena[/italics]...".

        Do you (or Landon) really consider the "_use_ of hapax legomena" (Of what?
        The NT? The Biblical Greek? The Koine Greek? The...???) to be
        characteristic of someone's "_style_"? If so, this amazing phenomenon
        should be treated under the heading "providential anticipation of a NT
        author's vocabulary choices when compared to the rest of his fellow
        collegues" (filling in just the first reference at hand for "hapax
        legomena").
        Or is there a different way to understand your text, overlooked by the
        non-native speaker?


        Ulrich Schmid,
        Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies
      • U. Schmid
        On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, Jimmy Adair wrote in part: [quoting Landon] ... That s all I wanted to emphasize. Hapax legomena are NOT stylistic features of a text as,
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 9, 1997
        • 0 Attachment
          On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, Jimmy Adair wrote in part:

          [quoting Landon]
          > He says, "The presence of so
          >many hapax legomena in such a short text has implications for my handling
          >of transcriptional evidence at some points of variation in Jude: scribes
          >habitually substituted unfamiliar words with familiar words, and the
          >possibility of such substitution having been effected must always be
          >considered whenever a hapax legomenon is not firm in the text of Jude."
          >True, hapax legomena are not independent stylistic criteria like triadic
          >illustration or synonymous parallelism, but they do serve as a measure of
          >Jude's vocabulary in comparison with the rest of the NT (in a manner
          >similar to Jude's use of set expressions found elsewhere in the NT).

          That's all I wanted to emphasize. Hapax legomena are NOT stylistic features
          of a text as, e.g., some features of word order, parallelisms, position of
          the adjective, etc. I do not question the (limited) use of hapax legomena
          when considering transcriptional evidence of a larger body of texts as
          outlined above.

          Ulrich Schmid,
          Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies
        • Robert B. Waltz
          On 9 Dc 97, Jean VALENTIN ... Possibly true -- but this doesn t match experience. (Remember, I am an editor, and I have to deal with a
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 9, 1997
          • 0 Attachment
            On 9 Dc 97, Jean VALENTIN <jgvalentin@...>

            >>unusual and hard-to-understand words. He is, in other words,
            >>pretentious.
            >Or, more sumply, his vocabulary is different because the issues he
            >addresses are different, or because his thinking is original...

            Possibly true -- but this doesn't match experience. (Remember, I
            am an editor, and I have to deal with a lot of really bad writing. :-)

            Usually, the people who use long, unusual words are not people
            who are original or highly intelligent. Rather, they are people
            who are trying to use long words to hide their lack of intelligence.
            Great writers -- from Julius Caesar to the author of the Gospel
            of John to Winston Churchill -- could convey their meanings
            in simple words that everyone could understand.

            In general, if you cannot state your opinions at the eighth
            grade reading level, then either the subject is mathematical
            or you don't know how to write. :-)

            I realize that I am projecting a modern viewpoint onto ancient
            authors -- but I don't see anything in the letter of Jude that
            couldn't have been said with ordinary words. Jude used big words
            because he liked them.

            And this does have a textual application. A canon of criticism
            that we don't hear much is that the less familiar reading is
            more likely to be original. (This follows from the fact that
            scribes tended to conform readings to the familiar.) So, since
            Jude preferred unusual words, we should tend to prefer unusual
            words when dealing with his writings. (This applies equally
            strongly to 2 Peter, but much less so to other books.)


            Bob Waltz
            waltzmn@...

            "The one thing we learn from history --
            is that no one ever learns from history."
          • Matthew Johnson
            ... To which I respond: I have to agree with Schmid s implication that the use of hapax legomena does not tell us much about Jude s style, especially when
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 10, 1997
            • 0 Attachment
              On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, schmiul@... (U. Schmid) wrote:


              >Under point 4. of your review, Jimmy, I read: "...Landon offers a set of
              >distinctive characteristics of Jude's style: the frequent use of
              >[italics]hapax legomena[/italics]...".
              >
              >Do you (or Landon) really consider the "_use_ of hapax legomena" (Of what?
              >The NT? The Biblical Greek? The Koine Greek? The...???) to be
              >characteristic of someone's "_style_"? If so, this amazing phenomenon
              >should be treated under the heading "providential anticipation of a NT
              >author's vocabulary choices when compared to the rest of his fellow
              >collegues" (filling in just the first reference at hand for "hapax
              >legomena").

              To which I respond:

              I have to agree with Schmid's implication that the use of hapax legomena
              does not tell us much about Jude's style, especially when "hapax legomena"
              is defined as "a word that occurs only once in the NT".

              A much more useful category, one that tells us more about Jude's style, is
              that of rare words. Yet more useful is to break them down into:
              1) Rare word likely to stump Jude's contemporaries
              2) Rare words likely to be recognized despite their rarity.

              The number of words in category 2) is surprisingly high, higher than one
              might expect if reacting to the shockingly high number of "hapax legomena"
              (in the NT scholar's sense) in Jude.

              In fact, I claim that a more representative number would be:
              #hapax legomena - #words in 2).

              But even this is not as informative as:
              #words in 1)

              Also, since it has been pointed out that hapax legomena are significant
              for TC, I should like to point out that the copyist is just as likely to
              be stumped by a word that occurs only twice in the NT as he is by a word
              occuring only once (all other things being equal).

              As it turns out, there are enough examples of both in Jude.

              Now on Mon, 8 Dec 1997 waltzmn@... wrote:

              >A quick glance at my specially-marked-up Bible shows 14 unique words in
              >Jude -- a very high rate. (Though it's not as high as the 51 in 2
              >Peter.) To me, this means that the author of Jude liked to use unusual
              >and hard-to-understand words. He is, in other words, pretentious.

              This is not fair at all. To demonstrate why, I will look at several of the
              rare words used and show that Jude _does_ accomplish something with these
              choices of words, even though these choices of expression are still
              probably not the best (from the viewpoint of epistolary style).

              Rare words of category 2):

              GOGGUSTE^S - grumbler. This word occurs once in the NT, but is
              a common suffix on a common verb in the LXX and Gospels. Surely
              this is not a problem for most of Jude's audience.
              Haplax legomenon in the NT sense.

              MEMPSIMOIRIOS - a complainer, esp. one who complains about his
              lot. This too is compounded from common words, although not
              quite as likely to be familiar to the reader, only a few would
              not recognize MOIRA and MEMPSI as comming from MEMPHO^. A
              reader would pause, but after a moment recognize it, especially
              when helped by the context. Haplax legomenon in the NT sense.


              HYPEROGKOS - Certainly not the usual word for "proud", but
              both the prefix HYPER and the root OGKOS (=arrogance) would
              be readily recognized. This is more emphatic than simply
              using OGKOS. A "diplex legomenon"!

              ENYPNIAZOMAI - dreamer; again, all common roots although the
              word occurs in only one other place in the NT. Another
              "diplex legomenon".

              EMPAIKTE^S - A scoffer. Again, a common suffix -TE^S on the
              very common verb EMPAIZO^. A native speaker would NOT be
              confused by the consonant mutation Z to K. Another
              "diplex legomenon".

              SYNEUO^CHEOMAI - to feast together. Again, this is a compound
              of a common prefix with a fairly common verb, EUO^CHEOMAI.

              So just with these examples we have a substantial reduction in the number
              of rare words likely to cause the copyist difficulty.

              It is also interesting to note that many of the "diplex legomena" occur
              (outside of Jude) only in 2 Peter. Did they use the same amanuensis?

              Now for words rather more likely to have stumped the readers:

              SPILAS - cave or rock (esp. over which sea dashes).
              The Vulgate translates it as cave, the KVJ as
              spot, which seems to be a misreading (no variant for this word is
              listed in NA26). This is common in Greek, esp. Homer, but
              a haplax legomenon in the NT sense.

              PAREISDYNO^ - to infiltrate, slip in stealthily. This is also used in
              medicine to describe the action of a poison or a leech's byte, and
              in law courts to describe a loophole. It is a rather negative word!
              Haplax legomenon in the NT sense.

              A this point, two patterns have emerged, the first more clearly than the
              second. They are 1) many uncommon words have common roots so are
              recognizable 2) both the words of 1) and _some_ of the words of 2) seem to
              be deliberately chosen to have a Classical or oratorical flavor.
              PAREISDYNO^, for example, is an excellent word for a fiery denunciation.
              KYMATA AGRIA EPAPHRIZONTA TAS hEAUTO^N AISCHYNAS, is almost as good. Would
              _you_ follow a false teacher described with such scathing words?

              In fact, although the author uses a few words in a clearly non-Attic,
              Hellenistic sense, (such as hAPAX meaning "formerly"), he knows how to use
              the Greek particle quite well, avoiding the heavy parataxis so noticeable
              elsewhere in the NT.

              So by combining this not entirely unsuccessful attempt at Greek rhetorical
              style with the frequent quotes from Enoch and other Jewish Apocrypha, he
              has created an energetic appeal to avoid the false teachers, an appeal
              that will strike a resonant chord in the hearts of both Jewish Christian
              and Greek. This makes the epistle a truly catholic epistle.

              PS: I would continue looking for evidence of my second pattern, but it is
              time for me to become an ENYPNIAZOMENOS for the night!

              Matthew Johnson
              Waiting for the blessed hope and the appearance of the glory of our
              great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13).
            • Robert B. Waltz
              On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson wrote, in part: [ ... ] ... I think these are all good points. On the other hand, I think it
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 10, 1997
              • 0 Attachment
                On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote, in
                part:

                [ ... ]

                >I have to agree with Schmid's implication that the use of hapax legomena
                >does not tell us much about Jude's style, especially when "hapax legomena"
                >is defined as "a word that occurs only once in the NT".
                >
                >A much more useful category, one that tells us more about Jude's style, is
                >that of rare words. Yet more useful is to break them down into:
                > 1) Rare word likely to stump Jude's contemporaries
                > 2) Rare words likely to be recognized despite their rarity.
                >
                >The number of words in category 2) is surprisingly high, higher than one
                >might expect if reacting to the shockingly high number of "hapax legomena"
                >(in the NT scholar's sense) in Jude.
                >
                >In fact, I claim that a more representative number would be:
                > #hapax legomena - #words in 2).
                >
                >But even this is not as informative as:
                > #words in 1)
                >
                >Also, since it has been pointed out that hapax legomena are significant
                >for TC, I should like to point out that the copyist is just as likely to
                >be stumped by a word that occurs only twice in the NT as he is by a word
                >occuring only once (all other things being equal).

                I think these are all good points. On the other hand, I think it
                somewhat dangerous to make assumptions about this. I think the assumption
                is that compound words based on common roots will generally belong in
                category 2, and that words from odd roots will belong in Category 1.

                I think that's true in general -- but let's take a case in English.
                The word is "understand." (The identical argument applies with
                German "verstehen.") Analysed by its roots under- and -stand, it
                means "to have someone walking on your shoulders" (all right, that's
                an amplified definition, but it gets its point across :-). But
                the word really means "to make sense of."

                If word is truly unusual, how can either we or a scribe be sure that
                it means what it appears to mean, no matter how clear the roots are?

                Chances are, in any sample, there will be rare words that are easily
                understood and rare words that are not easily understood -- and the
                ratio probably will not change all that much. (This could be probably
                be verified with a little work, but I doubt it's worth it.) So,
                as a measure of style, it's probably just as useful to measure
                *total* hapax legomena (or, perhaps, total rare words -- the marked-up
                NT I mentioned shows words occurring once in green and those occurring
                two to four times in pink) as it is to measure "difficult" hapax
                legomena. And much easier....

                Bob Waltz
                waltzmn@...

                "The one thing we learn from history --
                is that no one ever learns from history."
              • Matthew Johnson
                ... [snip] ... True. This is why I did not stop with the assumption, but detailed several of the rare words in Jude to verify the assumption. ... The
                Message 7 of 25 , Dec 10, 1997
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:

                  > On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote, in
                  > part:
                  >
                  > [ ... ]
                  >
                  > >I have to agree with Schmid's implication that the use of hapax legomena
                  > >does not tell us much about Jude's style, especially when "hapax legomena"
                  > >is defined as "a word that occurs only once in the NT".
                  > >
                  > >A much more useful category, one that tells us more about Jude's style, is
                  > >that of rare words. Yet more useful is to break them down into:
                  > > 1) Rare word likely to stump Jude's contemporaries
                  > > 2) Rare words likely to be recognized despite their rarity.
                  > >
                  > >The number of words in category 2) is surprisingly high, higher than one
                  > >might expect if reacting to the shockingly high number of "hapax legomena"
                  > >(in the NT scholar's sense) in Jude.
                  [snip]
                  >
                  > I think these are all good points. On the other hand, I think it
                  > somewhat dangerous to make assumptions about this. I think

                  True. This is why I did not stop with the assumption, but detailed
                  several of the rare words in Jude to verify the assumption.

                  > the assumption is
                  > is that compound words based on common roots will generally belong in
                  > category 2, and that words from odd roots will belong in Category 1.

                  The assumption is based on experience; when traveling in Russia, I heard
                  or read new words (new for me) all the time, yet often I could recognize
                  the meanings immediately (if the speaker is not too fast). This works in
                  Russian because the language has a _habit_ of building new words on its
                  own roots instead of relying on other languages (as English does).

                  But Greek is very similar to Russian in this respect. So if I can do this
                  for a second language, then a native speaker should be able to do this
                  even more frequently. In fact, I have met native speakers of Russian
                  who do this all the time. Nor are they all that highly educated.

                  >
                  > I think that's true in general -- but let's take a case in English.
                  > The word is "understand." (The identical argument applies with
                  > German "verstehen.") Analysed by its roots under- and -stand, it
                  > means "to have someone walking on your shoulders" (all right, that's
                  > an amplified definition, but it gets its point across :-). But
                  > the word really means "to make sense of."

                  This is an example of a compound word that takes a surprising sense
                  of its roots to derive its meaning. These exist in Greek too, but
                  rather more rarely. Besides, none of the words I analyzed fit this
                  category. Jude appears not to have used any.

                  >
                  > If word is truly unusual, how can either we or a scribe be sure that
                  > it means what it appears to mean, no matter how clear the roots are?

                  We can't. But of the several words I analyzed, only one fits in that
                  category, SPILAS. The others are all common enough in non-biblical
                  Greek, and in the meanings that appear to be correct in Jude. SPILAS
                  is the exception; although it _does_ occur commonly elsewhere, Jude's
                  metaphor is so odd (remember I said his attempt at Attic oratory was
                  not completely successful), it leaves me wondering if Jude had in
                  mind a sense not preserved elsewhere (Sophocles does this often
                  in even a single play).

                  >
                  > Chances are, in any sample, there will be rare words that are easily
                  > understood and rare words that are not easily understood -- and the
                  > ratio probably will not change all that much. (This could be probably
                  > be verified with a little work, but I doubt it's worth it.) So,
                  > as a measure of style, it's probably just as useful to measure
                  > *total* hapax legomena (or, perhaps, total rare words -- the marked-up
                  > NT I mentioned shows words occurring once in green and those occurring
                  > two to four times in pink) as it is to measure "difficult" hapax
                  > legomena. And much easier....

                  Much easier, yes. But the whole point of my example was to show that it
                  is also much less informative. After all, of the several examples I
                  treated all but two had meanings given by straightforward combinations of
                  common roots, even though they were hapax (or "diplex") legomena (in the
                  NT sense).

                  It is a surprising amount of work, but since Jude is _so_ short, it is
                  quite practical. Nor do I claim that my previous posting is complete,
                  there are several other words requiring the same analysis. But I expect
                  to find that at least a third of the hapax legomena are in fact readily
                  understandable to Jude's audience. This means that the number of haplax
                  legomena has about that much less significance.


                  Matthew Johnson
                  Waiting for the blessed hope and the appearance of the glory of our
                  great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13).
                • Ken Litwak
                  I can t imagine connecting hapax legomena with style, and I can t imagine trying to talk intelligibly about the style of Jude. Relying on others, oe would
                  Message 8 of 25 , Dec 10, 1997
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I can't imagine connecting hapax legomena with style, and I can't
                    imagine trying to talk intelligibly about the style of Jude. Relying on
                    others, oe would have to have a much larger sample than afforded by the
                    entire NT to be able to judge one author's style, certainly more than
                    the tiny sample from the letter of Jude. It would be difficult I think
                    also to make textual decisions over hapax legomena. Would a hapax
                    always be the more difficult reading and hence the one we should always
                    choose? Or should the fact that it is a hapax argue against its
                    originality because a hapax might seem like a mistake? I raise that as
                    a serious question.


                    Ken Litwak
                    University of Bristol, Entgland
                  • Abigail Ann Young
                    Message 9 of 25 , Dec 11, 1997
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On the question of hapax legomena in Jude, I would be more impressed
                      if the words in question were rare in general rather than hapax just
                      in the very limited NT corpus. After all, the readers/hearers of Jude
                      were not restricted in their daily conversation or regular reading to
                      the NT and its vocabulary. Many of them would have spoken Koine
                      regularly in business or family life. Many of them would have read
                      Greek texts not in the NT, whether letters, manuals, treatises,
                      perhaps even works of literature (gasp!). So I am not at all sure it
                      is fair to make the kind of assumptions that Bob did on the basis of
                      Jude's fondness for rare words if the words in question are only rare
                      within the NT and not generally rare in Koine and the work of popular
                      authors.

                      What may be more interesting is that Jude and 2Peter seem to share
                      vocabulary not used in the rest of the NT. Bo Reicke (I believe)
                      argued for the author of Jude having been the amanuensis of 2Peter on
                      the basis of shared vocabulary and themes.....

                      Dr Abigail Ann Young, Records of Early English Drama| young@chass.|
                      Victoria College, University of Toronto | utoronto.ca |
                      http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~reed/reed.html | REED's Home Page |
                      http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~reed/stage.html|Our New Theatre Resource Page |
                    • Robert B. Waltz
                      On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson wrote, ... [ etc. ] I m not going to carry on much about this, since we only have two of us talking.
                      Message 10 of 25 , Dec 11, 1997
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote,
                        in part:

                        >On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:
                        >
                        >> On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote, in
                        >> part:
                        >>
                        >> [ ... ]
                        >>
                        >> >I have to agree with Schmid's implication that the use of hapax legomena
                        >> >does not tell us much about Jude's style, especially when "hapax legomena"
                        >> >is defined as "a word that occurs only once in the NT".
                        >> >
                        >> >A much more useful category, one that tells us more about Jude's style, is
                        >> >that of rare words. Yet more useful is to break them down into:
                        >> > 1) Rare word likely to stump Jude's contemporaries
                        >> > 2) Rare words likely to be recognized despite their rarity.
                        >> >
                        >> >The number of words in category 2) is surprisingly high, higher than one
                        >> >might expect if reacting to the shockingly high number of "hapax legomena"
                        >> >(in the NT scholar's sense) in Jude.
                        >[snip]
                        >>
                        >> I think these are all good points. On the other hand, I think it
                        >> somewhat dangerous to make assumptions about this. I think
                        >
                        >True. This is why I did not stop with the assumption, but detailed
                        >several of the rare words in Jude to verify the assumption.

                        [ etc. ]

                        I'm not going to carry on much about this, since we only have two
                        of us talking. :-)

                        But I will stand by counting all rare words. Your analysis is
                        excellent -- but it is also subjective. The list of rare words
                        is relatively objective (I say "relatively" because, of course,
                        there is textual variation :-).

                        I'm trained as a scientist, I am, and I can't help but prefer
                        the most objective method possible. While I probably agree with
                        every one of your examples, they are still based on somewhat
                        subjective analysis.

                        Given that I think both methods are equally effective, I'll
                        prefer the one I can reduce to an algorithm. :-)



                        -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                        Robert B. Waltz
                        waltzmn@...

                        Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                        Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                        (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                      • Robert B. Waltz
                        ... This is true in part, but not entirely. Consider these examples: I delight to employ a vocabulary of prodigious obscurity versus I like to use big fancy
                        Message 11 of 25 , Dec 11, 1997
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, kdlitwak@... wrote:

                          >I can't imagine connecting hapax legomena with style, and I can't
                          >imagine trying to talk intelligibly about the style of Jude. Relying on
                          >others, oe would have to have a much larger sample than afforded by the
                          >entire NT to be able to judge one author's style, certainly more than
                          >the tiny sample from the letter of Jude.

                          This is true in part, but not entirely. Consider these examples:

                          "I delight to employ a vocabulary of prodigious obscurity"

                          versus

                          "I like to use big fancy words."

                          They both say the same thing. But I suspect you can tell quite
                          a bit about style from either one. :-)

                          It's true that short samples are not as reliable as long samples.
                          It's even more true that an author's style can vary. (Witness the
                          above. :-)

                          But there's a good chance that something an author releases for
                          public consumption (e.g. a letter to a church) will be typical
                          of his style. So we are justified in making assumptions based
                          on even short selections such as Jude.

                          >It would be difficult I think
                          >also to make textual decisions over hapax legomena. Would a hapax
                          >always be the more difficult reading and hence the one we should always
                          >choose? Or should the fact that it is a hapax argue against its
                          >originality because a hapax might seem like a mistake? I raise that as
                          >a serious question.

                          It's a good question, too. But I would argue that there are two sorts
                          of writers in the world: Those who never use a simple word when a
                          complex one is available, and those who never use a big word when
                          a small one will do.

                          This *is* relevant. Take, as extreme examples, the authors of John and
                          2 Peter. John very much prefers simple words; 2 Peter likes the complex
                          sort. So if we see a variant in John between a simple word and a complex
                          one, all else being equal (e.g. the two words mean the same), we should
                          prefer the simpler. In 2 Peter, by contrast, we should prefer the harder.

                          Now I would consider this a "weak" canon -- that is, one we should only
                          apply if most of the others fail. But it is a legitimate rule.

                          -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                          Robert B. Waltz
                          waltzmn@...

                          Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                          Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                          (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                        • Matthew Johnson
                          ... style, is ... I too will be brief, since if we keep going on, we will no doubt wander further and further away from topics of genuine interest to the list.
                          Message 12 of 25 , Dec 17, 1997
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On Thu, 11 Dec 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:

                            > On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote,
                            > in part:
                            >
                            > >On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:
                            > >
                            > >> On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote, in
                            > >> part:
                            > >>
                            > >> [ ... ]
                            > >>
                            > >> >A much more useful category, one that tells us more about Jude's
                            style, is
                            > >> >that of rare words. Yet more useful is to break them down into:
                            > >> > 1) Rare word likely to stump Jude's contemporaries
                            > >> > 2) Rare words likely to be recognized despite their rarity.
                            > >[snip]
                            >
                            > I'm not going to carry on much about this, since we only have two
                            > of us talking. :-)
                            >

                            I too will be brief, since if we keep going on, we will no doubt wander
                            further and further away from topics of genuine interest to the list.

                            > But I will stand by counting all rare words.

                            Even this represents of convergence of our opinions. After all, your
                            original proposition was to count only "hapax legomena" (in the NT sense).
                            My point was to a) count other rare words too and b) do more than _just_
                            counting, especially in such a short example as the letter of Jude.

                            > Your analysis is
                            > excellent -- but it is also subjective.

                            Ah, yes. I have noticed that other members of the list have a prejudice
                            against subjectivity as well. But what is wrong with subjectivity? After
                            all, TC is no less a science because it is a humanities topic, and
                            humanities topics always involve subjectivity.

                            Even the physical sciences involve substantially more subjectivity than is
                            commonly recognized. To quote an example you would certainly be familiar
                            with, Dirac said that in order for an equation (of physics) to be correct,
                            it must have beauty. His own conjectures of the wave equation and the
                            existence of the positron are examples of this.

                            Surely beauty, being in the "eye of the beholder", must be subjective.

                            [snip]
                            > I'm trained as a scientist, I am, and I can't help but prefer
                            > the most objective method possible. While I probably agree with
                            > every one of your examples, they are still based on somewhat
                            > subjective analysis.
                            >
                            > Given that I think both methods are equally effective, I'll
                            > prefer the one I can reduce to an algorithm. :-)
                            >

                            But then how do you decide when two methods are equally effective? Do you
                            have an algorithm for that, even when one of the methods is clearly not
                            algorithmic?

                            Does not even this question make it clear that subjectivity is necessary
                            for TC, as well as many other fields, even physics?


                            Matthew Johnson
                            Waiting for the blessed hope and the appearance of the glory of our
                            great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13).
                          • Robert B. Waltz
                            On Wed, 17 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson wrote, in part: [ ... ] ... I ll agree with (a). Better to count unusual words than just hapax
                            Message 13 of 25 , Dec 17, 1997
                            • 0 Attachment
                              On Wed, 17 Dec 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote, in
                              part:

                              [ ... ]

                              >> But I will stand by counting all rare words.
                              >
                              >Even this represents of convergence of our opinions. After all, your
                              >original proposition was to count only "hapax legomena" (in the NT sense).
                              >My point was to a) count other rare words too and b) do more than _just_
                              >counting, especially in such a short example as the letter of Jude.

                              I'll agree with (a). Better to count unusual words than just
                              hapax legomena. I'm also willing to analyse the use of the words
                              in other sources. Beyond that I will not go.

                              >> Your analysis is
                              >> excellent -- but it is also subjective.
                              >
                              >Ah, yes. I have noticed that other members of the list have a prejudice
                              >against subjectivity as well.

                              Not enough of them. :-)

                              >But what is wrong with subjectivity? After
                              >all, TC is no less a science because it is a humanities topic, and
                              >humanities topics always involve subjectivity.

                              I can't agree with that. I will agree that humanities topics involve
                              subjectivity. And I assuredly agree that most religious studies are
                              subjective. But TC, unlike other areas of the humanities, involves
                              controllable data (manuscripts and their readings). It is therefore
                              at least *capable* of scientific, mathematically-based methods.

                              >Even the physical sciences involve substantially more subjectivity than is
                              >commonly recognized. To quote an example you would certainly be familiar
                              >with, Dirac said that in order for an equation (of physics) to be correct,
                              >it must have beauty. His own conjectures of the wave equation and the
                              >existence of the positron are examples of this.
                              >
                              >Surely beauty, being in the "eye of the beholder", must be subjective.

                              Your examples are correct, but hardly relevant. Surely no sane person
                              would regard modern subatomic physics (quark theory) as attractive!

                              It's also worth noting that Albert Einstein ceased to be a practicing
                              physicist because he didn't like the aesthetic (religious) implications
                              of the Uncertainty Principle. But the Uncertainty Principle has passed
                              every challenge it has faced; if it is not fact, then it is a good
                              approximation of fact.

                              In other words, scientists like "beautiful" theory in the same way
                              that mathematicians prefer "elegant" demonstrations. But an honest
                              scientist will not *demand* such beauty.

                              >[snip]
                              >> I'm trained as a scientist, I am, and I can't help but prefer
                              >> the most objective method possible. While I probably agree with
                              >> every one of your examples, they are still based on somewhat
                              >> subjective analysis.
                              >>
                              >> Given that I think both methods are equally effective, I'll
                              >> prefer the one I can reduce to an algorithm. :-)
                              >>
                              >
                              >But then how do you decide when two methods are equally effective? Do you
                              >have an algorithm for that, even when one of the methods is clearly not
                              >algorithmic?

                              If a method is not algorithmic, I won't call it a scientific method. :-)

                              As for deciding between scientific models that both fit, I concede
                              there is no simple method. Often Occam's Razor is applied. (For
                              example, at the time of Kepler, the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems
                              of planetary motion were equally accurate. Kepler and Galileo preferred
                              the Copernican because it was simpler.)

                              However, the key test of a theory is not how it fits known facts, but
                              how well it predicts the *unknown*. If a theory has an implication,
                              not previously tested, and that implication proves to fit the fact,
                              *that* is the strongest evidence for a theory.

                              >Does not even this question make it clear that subjectivity is necessary
                              >for TC, as well as many other fields, even physics?

                              This, I think, gets to the heart of the difference between us.
                              Subjectivity may be "necessary" (though I question even that).
                              But it is certainly not *desirable*.

                              At least to me.

                              Bob Waltz
                              waltzmn@...

                              "The one thing we learn from history --
                              is that no one ever learns from history."
                            • Robert B. Waltz
                              ... Of course -- but this is true of almost every science. Astronomy jas to assume that the universe is uniform -- that is, that the universal constants are in
                              Message 14 of 25 , Dec 18, 1997
                              • 0 Attachment
                                On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, "Mark O'Brien" <markus@...> wrote:

                                >However, the very fact that we have massive gaps in our knowledge about the
                                >history and transmission of the text must surely mean that whatever
                                >"scientific, mathematically-based methods" you come up with must
                                >necessarily be founded upon presuppositions at certain points.

                                Of course -- but this is true of almost every science. Astronomy
                                jas to assume that the universe is uniform -- that is, that
                                the universal constants are in fact universal (no evidence at all
                                to support that theory!) and that stars take the same form everywhere.
                                Biology, particularly evolutionary biology, has to assume that ancient
                                life for the most part used the same energy processes as modern life.
                                Cosmology has to make assumptions about the history of the universe
                                when it can only examine the *present* universe.

                                I could go on (though I can't think of a science that begins with
                                "D" :-). *All* sciences make assumptions. The goal is simply to
                                reduce the assumptions, and test all things possible.

                                I would argue that, as compared to the other evolutionary sciences
                                (e.g. biology, cosmology), Biblical Textual Criticism is in
                                relatively good shape; it has an appreciable fraction of the
                                total evidence at its disposal. Compare this to cosmology: The
                                universe is believed to be 18 billion years old. We have recorded
                                observations for only the last 2500 years, telescopic observations
                                for only the last 400, photographic for only the last 150 or so,
                                and only 50 years of observations outside the visible spectrum.
                                In other words, cosmologists have, for all intents and purposes,
                                *no* data.

                                Which may explain why they have so many goofy theories. :-)

                                >I agree with your point that we ought to have consistent and accurate
                                >approaches to the manner in which we deal with the available data, but the
                                >unavailable data is what makes TC both a science and an art, as most
                                >introductory textbooks are quick to point out. I'm not going against your
                                >point, but am saying that I can see Matthew's (?) point.

                                Oh, I can too. And I do not deny the value of intuition. For that matter,
                                it takes intuition to create a method. I am simply saying that a method
                                that cannot be reduced to an algorithm will *always* be subject to
                                argument, and *cannot* be proved. Indeed, you can't even offer evidence
                                of its accuracy.

                                A truly brilliant scholar without an algorithm could probably produce
                                a better NT text than I can with my various calculations. But turn
                                that genius's rules over to an idiot and you'll get garbage. Turn
                                my algorithm over to the same idiot and you'll get a text which is
                                at least reasonably good. :-)

                                And, let's face it, most of us (I include myself) are idiots. If you
                                don't believe it, look at the people we keep electing to our respective
                                governments. :-)

                                -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                                Robert B. Waltz
                                waltzmn@...

                                Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                                Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                                (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                              • Mark O'Brien
                                Bob-- At 08:45 AM 12/17/97 -0600, you wrote: ... However, the very fact that we have massive gaps in our knowledge about the history and transmission of
                                Message 15 of 25 , Dec 18, 1997
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Bob--

                                  At 08:45 AM 12/17/97 -0600, you wrote:
                                  <snip>
                                  >I can't agree with that. I will agree that humanities topics involve
                                  >subjectivity. And I assuredly agree that most religious studies are
                                  >subjective. But TC, unlike other areas of the humanities, involves
                                  >controllable data (manuscripts and their readings). It is therefore
                                  >at least *capable* of scientific, mathematically-based methods.

                                  However, the very fact that we have massive gaps in our knowledge about the
                                  history and transmission of the text must surely mean that whatever
                                  "scientific, mathematically-based methods" you come up with must
                                  necessarily be founded upon presuppositions at certain points.

                                  I agree with your point that we ought to have consistent and accurate
                                  approaches to the manner in which we deal with the available data, but the
                                  unavailable data is what makes TC both a science and an art, as most
                                  introductory textbooks are quick to point out. I'm not going against your
                                  point, but am saying that I can see Matthew's (?) point.

                                  Regards,

                                  M.
                                • Robert Lagore
                                  ... I agree with you completely on one point... that we are all idiots... , but grant me the opportunity to be picky on one or two points and I hope that I
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Dec 18, 1997
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    On December 18, 1997, Robert B. Waltz <waltzmn@...> wrote:

                                    > Of course -- but this is true of almost every science. Astronomy
                                    > jas to assume that the universe is uniform -- that is, that
                                    > the universal constants are in fact universal (no evidence at all
                                    > to support that theory!) and that stars take the same form everywhere.
                                    > Biology, particularly evolutionary biology, has to assume that ancient
                                    > life for the most part used the same energy processes as modern life.
                                    > Cosmology has to make assumptions about the history of the universe
                                    > when it can only examine the *present* universe.
                                    >
                                    > I could go on (though I can't think of a science that begins with
                                    > "D" :-). *All* sciences make assumptions. The goal is simply to
                                    > reduce the assumptions, and test all things possible.

                                    > And, let's face it, most of us (I include myself) are idiots. If you
                                    > don't believe it, look at the people we keep electing to our respective
                                    > governments. :-)

                                    I agree with you completely on one point... that we are all idiots...<bg>,
                                    but grant me the opportunity to be picky on one or two points and I hope
                                    that I do not completely demonstrate the fact that I am fully capable of
                                    being just as much an idiot as most others.

                                    I would take issue with your claim that "universal constances" being "in
                                    fact universal" is not supported by any evidence at all. In case you were
                                    not over generalizing for effect, might I point out that enumerative
                                    induction is one of the most common forms of evidence we appeal to. I would
                                    grant you that as evidence it is not always conclusive, but in the absence
                                    of such conclusive evidence, we appeal to "universal" (that is in all of
                                    our known experience) constants. I hope that those who use the phrase
                                    "universal constant" are not implying their own deity, which is of course
                                    what such an absolutely literal interpretation of the phrase would require.
                                    It is my understanding that when we refer to "universal constants", we are
                                    referring to that which is the case for all (or most) of human experience.
                                    David Hume used the phrase "a firm and unalterable experience", and while
                                    this has been interpreted literally as well, I wonder if we might be more
                                    realistic with such phrases and admit both our finitude and the "apparent"
                                    universality of human experience with regards to certain phenomena.

                                    Secondly, the fact that "all sciences make assumptions" would seem to be a
                                    "no brainer" in that I cannot conceive of too much that does not require
                                    certain assumptions. As one logician stated, "There are some forms of
                                    circular reasoning that are more vicious than others, and some forms that
                                    are necessary for reasoning to take place at all!" The destructive nature
                                    of circularity would seem to be most dangerous when assumptions are ignored
                                    or denied in the attempt to capture that elusive creature - "total
                                    objectivity". I for one, believe that "total objectivity" should be
                                    considered as part of the same category of things as unicorns and "The
                                    Great Pumpkin" since we always seem to include a bit of ourselves in our
                                    interpretation. That being said, I do not think that necessitates a
                                    completely relativistic approach. While "total objectivity" would seem to
                                    be out of reach, this does not mean that "objectivity" is out of reach. And
                                    I wonder if "objectivity" is not the responsibility of, not merely
                                    individuals who strive to be objective, but of the academic community that
                                    realizes its role as providing the means to greater objectivity. The
                                    greatest problem for the community in this instance is of course being
                                    caught up in our own "zeitgeist", thinking that we have evolved to the
                                    point of not needing to learn from the past. I suggest that as an academic
                                    community, we must seriously return to the past so as to fulfill our
                                    responsibility as a community striving for objectivity. Bernard of Chartes
                                    wisely said, "We are as dwarves sitting on the shoulders of giants; and if
                                    we can see any further than our own noses, it is because they have lent us
                                    their stature."

                                    What does this mean for the "science of interpretation"? First, I suggest
                                    that your advice to minimize our assumptions be followed. The principle of
                                    parsimony in the area of presuppositions would seem to require no
                                    evidential support because it seems to me to be an obvious advantage in our
                                    theorizing. Second, at the same time, we must be honest enough (and
                                    courageous enough) to face and clearly state the presuppositions that we
                                    believe we reason and theorize upon. Hopefully this means that our
                                    interactions (or disagreements) with others will centered on the most
                                    critical points of our interpretations. It hardly seems advantageous to
                                    debate peripheral points when there are such foundational differences in
                                    how and what evidence we consider relevant. Third, in clearly stating our
                                    presuppositions, I hope that as an academic community, we might better
                                    serve each other by providing critical evaluations that really address the
                                    pertinent issues.

                                    Well that was longer than I intended. It must be obvious that while I talk
                                    about Occam's Razor, I am not always consistent in using it.

                                    R.D. Lagore
                                  • Robert B. Waltz
                                    ... [ ... ] ... As your following sentences prove, we do not mean the same thing by universal constants. I was not speaking of the rules of mathematics and
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Dec 18, 1997
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, "Robert Lagore" <lagorer@...> wrote:

                                      >On December 18, 1997, Robert B. Waltz <waltzmn@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >> Of course -- but this is true of almost every science. Astronomy
                                      >> jas to assume that the universe is uniform -- that is, that
                                      >> the universal constants are in fact universal (no evidence at all
                                      >> to support that theory!) and that stars take the same form everywhere.
                                      >> Biology, particularly evolutionary biology, has to assume that ancient
                                      >> life for the most part used the same energy processes as modern life.
                                      >> Cosmology has to make assumptions about the history of the universe
                                      >> when it can only examine the *present* universe.

                                      [ ... ]

                                      >I would take issue with your claim that "universal constances" being "in
                                      >fact universal" is not supported by any evidence at all.

                                      As your following sentences prove, we do not mean the same thing by
                                      "universal constants." I was not speaking of the rules of mathematics
                                      and logic. Such laws are not part of reality, and would exist even
                                      if the universe didn't. They are simply *methods.*

                                      When I referred to "universal constants," I was referring to such
                                      things as the speed of light in a vacuum or the gravitational
                                      constant. Physical scientists universally treat these as constant --
                                      but while we have never seen any variation in them on earth,
                                      we don't *know* what they are in intergalactic space. And any change
                                      in the values of either of those constants, be it noted, would
                                      completely understand our understanding of (for instance) the
                                      red shift, in turn affecting the age of the universe, etc.

                                      Thus, astronomy as we now know it is reduced to a "faith assumption"
                                      (admittedly backed by every bit of evidence available) that certain
                                      physical properties of the universe are the same throughout the
                                      universe.

                                      Since we were talking about different things, I think I can
                                      skip over replying to the rest. We were in closer agreement
                                      than you thought. (I think. :-)

                                      -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                                      Robert B. Waltz
                                      waltzmn@...

                                      Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                                      Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                                      (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                                    • Robert Lagore
                                      ... I have no doubt that we are in relative agreement and if either my tone or subject matter implied otherwise, I apologize. And because you have brought up
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Dec 18, 1997
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        > On December 18, 1997, Robert B. Waltz <waltzmn@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > As your following sentences prove, we do not mean the same thing by
                                        > "universal constants." I was not speaking of the rules of mathematics
                                        > and logic. Such laws are not part of reality, and would exist even
                                        > if the universe didn't. They are simply *methods.*
                                        >
                                        > When I referred to "universal constants," I was referring to such
                                        > things as the speed of light in a vacuum or the gravitational
                                        > constant. Physical scientists universally treat these as constant --
                                        > but while we have never seen any variation in them on earth,
                                        > we don't *know* what they are in intergalactic space. And any change
                                        > in the values of either of those constants, be it noted, would
                                        > completely understand our understanding of (for instance) the
                                        > red shift, in turn affecting the age of the universe, etc.
                                        >
                                        > Thus, astronomy as we now know it is reduced to a "faith assumption"
                                        > (admittedly backed by every bit of evidence available) that certain
                                        > physical properties of the universe are the same throughout the
                                        > universe.

                                        I have no doubt that we are in relative agreement and if either my tone or
                                        subject matter implied otherwise, I apologize. And because you have brought
                                        up the possibility of my concerns being minor linguistic problems, I will
                                        phrase this post as a request for clarification rather than a critique.

                                        My use of the phrase "universal constant" was surely not limited to the
                                        areas of mathematics and logic, as the problem of subjectivity must have
                                        implied. There can hardly be any subjective value of my negative or
                                        positive feelings toward the law of non-contradiction. Subjectivity, as I
                                        understand it in this context, of necessity deals with things in the real
                                        world (though I think the more precise philosophic term is "synthetic" of
                                        the analytic-synthetic distinction). The necessity of treating such
                                        "constants" as "universal" is, as I see it, is a pragmatic consideration
                                        based upon our "experience" of the universe, or at least that little bit of
                                        the universe that we have had contact with. I would still assert that
                                        enumerative induction is the basis for such an extrapolation, and the
                                        benefit of such a "leap" would be that we are able to construct reasonable
                                        hypotheses about how the universe works. You are certainly correct to point
                                        out that if our presuppositional views of the speed of light, etc. were to
                                        be incorrect, then we would suffer the consequences of that error. However,
                                        since the Logical Positivist problem (I hope I am not over-generalizing
                                        here), we have moved away from a Verificationist approach to science, to a
                                        view that is more indicative of Popper's Falsification approach. That is,
                                        that we realize the problems with verifying any claim because of the
                                        limited nature of our position, and so we opt for a view that tries to
                                        create the best hypothesis given the available evidence, test it against
                                        the data, and where that hypothesis is not falsified, we tentatively hold
                                        to it as "true" until either more evidence is forthcoming or we find a flaw
                                        in our hypothesis.

                                        I guess the bottom line is that when you say that "astronomy as we now know
                                        it is reduced to a faith assumption", it seems to be critiquing science in
                                        the basis of what is true of all things in reality. It is possible that I
                                        am reacting to the phrase "faith assumption". which in these discussions is
                                        often used pejoritively. While we might think that such hypothetical
                                        presuppositions are indicative of "faith assumptions", do you not think
                                        that this is going too far? After all, we are not going to put our
                                        "hypothesis" of light's speed being a constant 186,000 miles per second,
                                        alongside other "faith assumptions" are we? The category of "faith
                                        assumptions" seems to have quickely become too large and to ambiguous for
                                        any real benefit, especially if such diverse items are both placed under
                                        the heading of "faith".

                                        Upon reading your last post, I am quite sure that I have jumped into your
                                        discussion midstream, and so I wish to apologize if I have missed your
                                        point or grabbed on to a point that really was not central to your primary
                                        concern. Thanks for your time....:)

                                        R.D. Lagore
                                      • Robert B. Waltz
                                        On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, Thu, 18 Dec 1997 wrote: [ ... ] ... Since I knew we were talking about different things, I took no offense. It s not as if you accused me
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Dec 18, 1997
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, Thu, 18 Dec 1997 wrote:

                                          [ ... ]

                                          >
                                          >I have no doubt that we are in relative agreement and if either my tone or
                                          >subject matter implied otherwise, I apologize.

                                          Since I knew we were talking about different things, I took no
                                          offense. It's not as if you accused me of being a fundamentalist
                                          or the like.

                                          I just hope what follows does not prove too utterly irrelevant. :-)

                                          And because you have brought
                                          >up the possibility of my concerns being minor linguistic problems, I will
                                          >phrase this post as a request for clarification rather than a critique.
                                          >
                                          >My use of the phrase "universal constant" was surely not limited to the
                                          >areas of mathematics and logic, as the problem of subjectivity must have
                                          >implied. There can hardly be any subjective value of my negative or
                                          >positive feelings toward the law of non-contradiction.

                                          Actually, there *is* some controversy over this (if I understand
                                          you correctly). There is a mathematical method known as proof by
                                          contradiction. And there is a school of mathematicians which does
                                          not accept this method. They are trying to recreate mathematics
                                          solely by direct proofs.

                                          I must admit I don't understand their problem with it.

                                          And, BTW, this *is* relevant to TC. The Colwell 70% "definition"
                                          of a text-type can be shown to be inadequate because it leads
                                          to contradictions.

                                          >Subjectivity, as I
                                          >understand it in this context, of necessity deals with things in the real
                                          >world (though I think the more precise philosophic term is "synthetic" of
                                          >the analytic-synthetic distinction). The necessity of treating such
                                          >"constants" as "universal" is, as I see it, is a pragmatic consideration
                                          >based upon our "experience" of the universe, or at least that little bit of
                                          >the universe that we have had contact with.

                                          I won't argue with that.

                                          >I would still assert that
                                          >enumerative induction is the basis for such an extrapolation, and the
                                          >benefit of such a "leap" would be that we are able to construct reasonable
                                          >hypotheses about how the universe works.

                                          But induction is a techique which applies only if you can assign
                                          a discrete positive integral value to each possible "instance."
                                          It applies only to discrete, not continuous, phenomena. Thus it
                                          cannot tell us anything about the (analog) universe.

                                          I concede this is a nitpick. :-)

                                          >You are certainly correct to point
                                          >out that if our presuppositional views of the speed of light, etc. were to
                                          >be incorrect, then we would suffer the consequences of that error. However,
                                          >since the Logical Positivist problem (I hope I am not over-generalizing
                                          >here), we have moved away from a Verificationist approach to science, to a
                                          >view that is more indicative of Popper's Falsification approach. That is,
                                          >that we realize the problems with verifying any claim because of the
                                          >limited nature of our position, and so we opt for a view that tries to
                                          >create the best hypothesis given the available evidence, test it against
                                          >the data, and where that hypothesis is not falsified, we tentatively hold
                                          >to it as "true" until either more evidence is forthcoming or we find a flaw
                                          >in our hypothesis.

                                          I'm perfectly willing to do so. I'm *not* trying to argue that,
                                          say, the speed of light is something different in the Andromeda
                                          Galaxy. I made them "by way of concession," not because I think
                                          these claims are true.

                                          >I guess the bottom line is that when you say that "astronomy as we now know
                                          >it is reduced to a faith assumption", it seems to be critiquing science in
                                          >the basis of what is true of all things in reality. It is possible that I
                                          >am reacting to the phrase "faith assumption". which in these discussions is
                                          >often used pejoritively.

                                          And which I'm perfectly capable of using pejoratively. In all honesty,
                                          I usually *do* use it in such a manner. But in this case, where the
                                          sciences have no other choice, it was not meant so.

                                          >While we might think that such hypothetical
                                          >presuppositions are indicative of "faith assumptions", do you not think
                                          >that this is going too far? After all, we are not going to put our
                                          >"hypothesis" of light's speed being a constant 186,000 miles per second,
                                          >alongside other "faith assumptions" are we? The category of "faith
                                          >assumptions" seems to have quickely become too large and to ambiguous for
                                          >any real benefit, especially if such diverse items are both placed under
                                          >the heading of "faith".

                                          Agreed.

                                          >Upon reading your last post, I am quite sure that I have jumped into your
                                          >discussion midstream, and so I wish to apologize if I have missed your
                                          >point or grabbed on to a point that really was not central to your primary
                                          >concern. Thanks for your time....:)

                                          It wasn't central to my primary concern. But I suppose it's best to
                                          clear the air. :-)

                                          -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                                          Robert B. Waltz
                                          waltzmn@...

                                          Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                                          Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                                          (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                                        • STORYBROWN
                                          In a message dated 97-12-18 12:37:08 EST, waltzmn@skypoint.com writes:
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Dec 21, 1997
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            In a message dated 97-12-18 12:37:08 EST, waltzmn@... writes:

                                            << *All* sciences make assumptions. The goal is simply to reduce the
                                            assumptions, and test all things possible. >>

                                            I would just step out of lurkerdom to note in passing that this view is
                                            fairly garden variety Kantianism and subject to all the objections to which
                                            Kantianism is open. The doctrine that knowledge begins with its own
                                            criticism, or that nothing can be known unless first critically proven, in
                                            fact presumes this proven knowledge without first critically proving it.
                                            There is no algorithmical formula or demonstration that would cope with the
                                            relation between the knower and the external objective world known by him.
                                            (Consider Thomas, *Quaestiones disputata de anima* I, art. 5, ad resp.) Maybe
                                            some of your other comments begin to come around to this.

                                            Merry Christmas,

                                            Guy Story Brown, Dallas & LA
                                            storybrown@...
                                          • Robert B. Waltz
                                            FAIR WARNING: This has *nothing* to do with textual criticism, and probably will never return to the subject. But I m confused, and I ll ask the question
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Dec 21, 1997
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              FAIR WARNING: This has *nothing* to do with textual criticism, and
                                              probably will never return to the subject. But I'm confused, and I'll
                                              ask the question on-list in case others are, too.

                                              On Sun, 21 Dec 1997, STORYBROWN <STORYBROWN@...> wrote:

                                              >In a message dated 97-12-18 12:37:08 EST, waltzmn@... writes:
                                              >
                                              ><< *All* sciences make assumptions. The goal is simply to reduce the
                                              >assumptions, and test all things possible. >>
                                              >
                                              > I would just step out of lurkerdom to note in passing that this view is
                                              >fairly garden variety Kantianism and subject to all the objections to which
                                              >Kantianism is open.

                                              I wouldn't know anything about that. A good scientist stays away
                                              from philosophy, lest it pollute his or her mind. :-)

                                              (And don't tell me that that's a form of Russell's Paradox, because
                                              it isn't -- quite.)

                                              >The doctrine that knowledge begins with its own
                                              >criticism, or that nothing can be known unless first critically proven, in
                                              >fact presumes this proven knowledge without first critically proving it.
                                              >There is no algorithmical formula or demonstration that would cope with the
                                              >relation between the knower and the external objective world known by him.
                                              >(Consider Thomas, *Quaestiones disputata de anima* I, art. 5, ad resp.) Maybe
                                              >some of your other comments begin to come around to this.

                                              I suppose I agree -- but I think I'm failing to understand this.
                                              The problem of interaction between the observer and the observed
                                              is well known (e.g. the Uncertainty Principle). There is also
                                              the problem of correspondence between the internal and external
                                              worlds -- but how can we solve *that* except by assuming some
                                              sort of correlation. At least science displays an ability to
                                              affect the perceived external world in a way that correlates with
                                              our internal expectations.

                                              My point was different. There are things science cannot measure --
                                              e.g. the gravitational constant in another galaxy. We can't *get*
                                              there to conduct the measurement. In that case, one must make
                                              reasonable assumptions. They may be wrong -- but what are we
                                              supposed to do, make *unreasonable* assumptions?

                                              We always must make assumptions. The point is to know what we're
                                              assuming. One might almost call science the task of documenting
                                              our assumptions. :-)

                                              -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                                              Robert B. Waltz
                                              waltzmn@...

                                              Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                                              Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                                              (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                                            • Matthew Johnson
                                              ... At the risk of appearing merely contrary, I ust express my vehement disagreement. It has much to do with Textual Criticism. However, I suspect that most
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Dec 27, 1997
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                On Sun, 21 Dec 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:

                                                > FAIR WARNING: This has *nothing* to do with textual criticism, and
                                                > probably will never return to the subject. But I'm confused, and I'll
                                                > ask the question on-list in case others are, too.
                                                >

                                                At the risk of appearing merely contrary, I ust express my vehement
                                                disagreement. It has much to do with Textual Criticism. However, I
                                                suspect that most of the subscribers (at least those who are published
                                                professional TCers) already understand the connection well enough that
                                                this is a wast of time for them. So your "fair warning" is appreciated.

                                                > On Sun, 21 Dec 1997, STORYBROWN <STORYBROWN@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > >In a message dated 97-12-18 12:37:08 EST, waltzmn@... writes:
                                                > >
                                                > ><< *All* sciences make assumptions. The goal is simply to reduce the
                                                > >assumptions, and test all things possible. >>
                                                > >
                                                > > I would just step out of lurkerdom to note in passing that this view is
                                                > >fairly garden variety Kantianism and subject to all the objections to which
                                                > >Kantianism is open.
                                                >

                                                I thought Kant would have known better. This view does not even merit the
                                                name "Kantianism", but is just a late 20th century regurgitation of
                                                Logical Positivism.

                                                > I wouldn't know anything about that. A good scientist stays away
                                                > from philosophy, lest it pollute his or her mind. :-)
                                                >

                                                Again, I must vehemently disagree. The entire notion of "gauge theory",
                                                which you _must_ know with your physics background, is due to a stellar
                                                counterexample, Hermann Weyl, whose philosophical erudition overflows from
                                                practically every one of his sentences in his classic "Group Theory and
                                                Quantum Mechanics", which was THE book for working theoretical physicists
                                                in both non-relativistic and relativistic Quantum Mechanics from 1932 when
                                                it was published, to 1948 when Feynman's much simpler scattering wave
                                                approach finally displaced Second Quantization and Hole Theory.

                                                I'll even dare conjecture that if Weyl _had_ become interested in NT TC,
                                                he would not persist in trying to apply the methods of the experimental
                                                physical sciences to philology!

                                                Nor was Weyl alone (among great physicists) in having such a thorough
                                                classical education. Bohr and Schroedinger also had excellent humanities
                                                backgrounds before specializing in physics. A little biographical
                                                research on the other leading lights of quantum mechanics would surely
                                                show that many others had such a background, since that was the _norm_ in
                                                Europe before the War. Of course this background included philosophy.

                                                > >The doctrine that knowledge begins with its own
                                                > >criticism, or that nothing can be known unless first critically proven, in
                                                > >fact presumes this proven knowledge without first critically proving it.
                                                > >There is no algorithmical formula or demonstration that would cope with the
                                                > >relation between the knower and the external objective world known by him.
                                                > >(Consider Thomas, *Quaestiones disputata de anima* I, art. 5, ad resp.) Maybe
                                                > >some of your other comments begin to come around to this.

                                                It is refreshing to see that _someone_ else on this list appreciates
                                                Aquinas's relevance even to modern day issues!

                                                >
                                                > I suppose I agree -- but I think I'm failing to understand this.
                                                > The problem of interaction between the observer and the observed
                                                > is well known (e.g. the Uncertainty Principle).

                                                But the Uncertainty Principle seems like such a _small problem_ when
                                                compared to the problem of Quantum MEasurement!
                                                > There is also
                                                > the problem of correspondence between the internal and external
                                                > worlds -- but how can we solve *that* except by assuming some
                                                > sort of correlation. At least science displays an ability to
                                                > affect the perceived external world in a way that correlates with
                                                > our internal expectations.
                                                >
                                                Even in the Bell Experiment?

                                                > My point was different. There are things science cannot measure --
                                                > e.g. the gravitational constant in another galaxy. We can't *get*
                                                > there to conduct the measurement. In that case, one must make
                                                > reasonable assumptions. They may be wrong -- but what are we
                                                > supposed to do, make *unreasonable* assumptions?
                                                >

                                                And this judgement, which assumptions are _reasonable_, is often highly
                                                subjective, as when Dirac assumed that all negative energy levels were
                                                occupied (La Theorie du Positron).


                                                Matthew Johnson
                                                Waiting for the blessed hope and the appearance of the glory of our
                                                great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13).
                                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.