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Rigorous or Reasoned Eclecticism - Which?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter spells out in greater detail the inadequacy of rigorous eclecticism as a total method, an inadequacy which is essentially two-fold: it assumes a faulty theory of textual corruption and transmission, and therefore an unrealistic an unhistorical attitude toward the various textual witnesses. Having abandoned the evidence of the witnesses, it leaves textual judgments to the whims of the individual practitioner. This problem is especially acute whenever variation can be shown to have two equally plausible explanations. In such cases rigorous eclecticism will tend either to become monotone, i.e. to lock in on one possibility of error to the exclusion of others, or else it will simply be cast adrift amid a weIter of options, wherein choices are made in a most random and arbitrary fashion.

Keywords: rigorous eclecticism; textual corruption; textual transmission



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