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[72] Thirdly, these internal causes of error andfolly are subject to very little counteraction or correction from outside. The average reader knows hardly anything about textualcriticism, and therefore cannot exercise a vigilant control over the writer: the addle-pate is at liberty to maunder and theimpostor is at liberty to lie. And, what is worse, the reader often shares the writer's prejudices, and is far too well pleasedwith his conclusions to examine either his premises or his reasoning. Stand on a barrel in the streets of Bagdad, and say ina loud voice,"Twice two is four, and ginger is hot in the mouth, therefore Mohammed is the prophet of God,"and your logic will probably escape criticism; or, if anyone by chance shouldcriticise it, you could easily silence him by calling him a Christian dog.

Fourthly, the things which the textual critic has to talk about are not things which present themselves clearly and sharply to themind; and it is easy to say, and to fancy that you think, what you really do not think, and even what, if you seriously tried tothink it, you would find to be unthinkable. Mistakes are therefore made which could not be made if the matter underdiscussion were any corporeal object, having qualities perceptible to the senses. The human senses have had a much longer historythan the human intellect, and have been brought much nearer to perfection: they are far more acute, far less easy to deceive.The difference between an icicle and a red-hot poker is really much slighter than the difference between truth and falsehood orsense and nonsense; yet it is much more immediately noticeable and much more universally noticed, because the body is more sensitivethan the mind. I find therefore that a good way of exposing the falsehood of a statement or the absurdity of an argument intextual criticism is to transpose it into sensuous terms and see what it looks like then. If the nouns which we use are the namesof things which can be handled or tasted, differing from one another in being hot or cold, sweet or sour, then we realise whatwe are saying and take care what we say. But [73] the terms oftextual criticism are deplorably intellectual; and probably in no other field do men tell so many falsehoods in the idle hope thatthey are telling the truth, or talk so much nonsense in the vague belief that they are talking sense.

This is particularly unfortunate and particularly reprehensible, because there is no science in which it is morenecessary to take precautions against error arising from internal causes. Those who follow the physical sciences enjoy the greatadvantage that they can constantly bring their opinions to the test of fact, and verify or falsify their theories by experiment.When a chemist has mixed sulphur and saltpetre and charcoal in certain proportions and wishes to ascertain if the mixture isexplosive, he need only apply a match. When a doctor has compounded a new drug and desires to find out what diseases, ifany, it is good for, he has only to give it to his patients allround and notice which die and which recover. Our conclusions regarding the truth or falsehood of a MS. reading can never beconfirmed or corrected by an equally decisive test; for the only equally decisive test would be the production of the author'sautograph. The discovery merely of better and older MSS. than were previously known to us is not equally decisive; and even this inadequate verification is not to beexpected often, or on a large scale. It is therefore a matter of common prudence and common decency that we should neglect nosafeguard lying within our reach; that we should look sharp after ourselves; that we should narrowly scrutinise our own proceedingsand rigorously analyse our springs of action. How far these elementary requirements are satisfied, we will now learn fromexamples.

Questions & Answers

Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
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 .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
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
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Source:  OpenStax, Text as property/property as text. OpenStax CNX. Feb 10, 2004 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10217/1.7
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