Saturday, July 14, 2012

“Some examples…”

A phrase we try to avoid in every aspect of our work on the Homer Multitext is “some examples”.

This phrase is a hallmark of an older school of scholarship, in which select experts had exclusive access to the data on which knowledge depends. When these experts published their discoveries and insights, they would support their arguments with “some examples”.

This was not scientific scholarship, where “scientific” means “reproducible”. “Some examples” are clearly marked as a sub-set of the data behind the argument, whose authors built their expertise on a super-set of the data that they made available to the reading public.

Obviously, the physical and economic limitations of traditional print publication generally precluded publishing exhaustive sets of data, especially for scholarship that involved artifacts like manuscripts. But whether intentional or not, “some examples” are explicitly not an invitation to follow the trail of thought, discovery, and insight.

For the Homer Multitext, we think it is important to expose every bit of data we have, before we try to make arguments about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment