<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Secondly, textual criticism is not a branch of mathematics, nor indeed an exact science at all. It deals with amatter not rigid and constant, like lines and numbers, but fluid and variable; namely the frailties and aberrations of the humanmind, and of its insubordinate servants, the human fingers. It therefore is not susceptible of hard-and-fast rules. It would bemuch easier if it were; and that is why people try to pretend that it is, or at least behave as if they thought so. Of course you canhave hard-and-fast rules if you like, but then you will have false rules, and they will lead you wrong; because their simplicity willrender them inapplicable to problems which are not simple, but complicated by the play of personality. A textual critic [69]engaged upon his business is not at all like Newton investigating the motions of the planets: he is much more like a dog hunting forfleas. If a dog hunted for fleas on mathematical principles, basing his researches on statistics of area and population, hewould never catch a flea except by accident. They require to be treated as individuals; and every problem which presents itself tothe textual critic must be regarded as possibly unique.

Textual criticism therefore is neither mystery nor mathematics: it cannot be learnt either like the catechism or likethe multiplication table. This science and this art require more in the learner than a simply receptive mind; and indeed the truthis that they cannot be taught at all: criticus nascitur, non fit . If a dog is to hunt for fleas successfully he must be quick and he must be sensitive. It is no good for arhinoceros to hunt for fleas: he does not know where they are, and could not catch them if he did. It has sometimes been said thattextual criticism is the crown and summit of all scholarship. This is not evidently or necessarily true; but it is true that thequalities which make a critic, whether they are thus transcendent or no, are rare, and that a good critic is a much less commonthing than for instance a good grammarian. I have in my mind a paper by a well-known scholar on a certain Latin writer, half ofwhich was concerned with grammar and half with criticism. The grammatical part was excellent; it showed wide reading andaccurate observation, and contributed matter which was both new and valuable. In the textual part the author was like nothing somuch as an ill-bred child interrupting the conversation of grown men. If it was possible to mistake the question at issue, hemistook it. If an opponent's arguments were contained in some book which was not at hand, he did not try to find the book, but hetried to guess the arguments; and he never succeeded. If the book was at hand, and he had read the arguments, hedid not understand them; and represented his opponents as saying the opposite of whatthey had said. If another scholar had already removed a corrup-[70]tion by slightly altering the text, he proposed to remove it by altering the text violently. So possible is it to bea learned man, and admirable in other departments, and yet to have in you not even the makings of a critic.

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Difference between extinct and extici spicies
Amanpreet Reply
While the American heart association suggests that meditation might be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments as a way to manage hypertension
Beverly Reply
in a comparison of the stages of meiosis to the stage of mitosis, which stages are unique to meiosis and which stages have the same event in botg meiosis and mitosis
Leah Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Text as property/property as text. OpenStax CNX. Feb 10, 2004 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10217/1.7
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Text as property/property as text' conversation and receive update notifications?