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This I cite as a specimen of the things which people may say if they do not think about the meaning of what theyare saying, and especially as an example of the danger of dealing in generalisations. The best way to treat such pretentiousinanities is to transfer them from the sphere of textual criticism, where the difference between truth and falsehood or between senseand nonsense is little regarded and seldom even perceived, into some sphere where men are obliged to use concrete and sensuousterms, which force them, however reluctantly, to think.

I ask this scholar, this critic who knows his business, and who says that the more sincere of two MSS. is andmust be the better—I ask him to tell me which weighs most, a tall man or a fat man. He cannot answer; nobody can; everybodysees in a moment that the question is absurd. Tall and fat are adjectives which transport even a textual critic from the worldof humbug into the world of reality, a world inhabited by comparatively thoughtful people, such as butchers and grocers,who depend on their brains for their bread. There he begins to understand that to such general questions any answer must befalse; that judgment can only be pronounced on individual specimens; that everything depends on the degree of tallness andthe degree of fatness. It may well be that an inch of girth [76]adds more weight than an inch of height, or vice versa; but that altitude is incomparably more ponderous than obesity, orobesity than altitude, and that an inch of one depresses the scale more than a yard of the other, has never been maintained.The way to find out whether this tall man weighs more or less than that fat man is to weigh them; and the way to find outwhether this corrupt MS. is better or worse than that interpolated MS. is to collect and compare their readings; notto ride easily off on the false and ridiculous generalisation that the more sincere MS. is and must be the better.

When you call a MS. sincere you instantly engage on its behalf the moral sympathy of the thoughtless: moral sympathy is a line in which they are verystrong. I do not desire to exclude morality from textual criticism; I wish indeed that some moral qualities were commonerin textual criticism than they are; but let us not indulge our moral emotions out of season. It may be that a scribe whointerpolates, who makes changes deliberately, is guilty of wickedness, while a scribe who makes changes accidentally, becausehe is sleepy or illiterate or drunk, is guilty of none; but that is a question which will be determined by a competent authority atthe Day of Judgment, and is no concern of ours. Our concern is not with the eternal destiny of the scribe, but with the temporalutility of the MS.; and a MS. is useful or the reverse in proportion to the amount of truth which it discloses or conceals,no matter what may be the causes of the disclosure or concealment. It is a mistake to suppose that deliberate change is always ornecessarily more destructive of truth than accidental change; and even if it were, the main question, as I have said already, is oneof degree. A MS. in which 1 per cent. of the words have beenviciously and intentionally altered and 99 per cent. are right is not so bad as a MS. in which only 1 per cent. are right and 99 percent. have been altered virtuously and unintentionally; and if you go to a critic with any such vague inquiry as the question whetherthe"more sincere"or the"more [77] correct"of two MSS. is the better, he will reply,"If I am to answer that question, you must show me the two MSS. first; for aught thatI know at present, from the terms of your query, either may be better than the other, or both may be equal."But that is what the incompetent intruders into criticism can never admit.They must have a better MS., whether it exists or no; because they could never get along without one. IfProvidence permitted two MSS. to be equal, the editor would have to choose between their readings by considerations of intrinsicmerit, and in order to do that he would need to acquire intelligence and impartiality and willingness to take pains, andall sorts of things which he neither has nor wishes for; and he feels sure that God, who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, cannever have meant to lay upon his shoulders such a burden as this.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
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
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
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
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit 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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