Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
What’s On the Page
Objectivity and Subjectivity and the
Editorial Work

Elena Pierazzo
King’s College London
Three main points
Well, two, most probably
1.  The role of interpretation and objectivity
in textual scholarship from a th...
Tanselle, 1995
The search for properly ‘scientific’ method
has been perhaps the dominant thread
running through the histor...
The red line of aspiration to
objectivity in Textual Scholarship
•  Starts from antiquity (Aristarchus of
Alexandria? Poli...
Why an objective text is better?
•  Instrumental value of editorial work
•  Text are supposed to be ‘neutral’ agents
so th...
What is objectivity?
•  Daston and Galison, 2007-2010
•  A concept invented in the late 18th century
(loads to do with Kan...
True-to-nature
•  You select the best
specimens from a
species for them to be
representative
•  You reproduce it at
your b...
Mechanical objectivity
•  Mechanical
reproduction of reality
•  Better many copies of
imperfect specimens
than one that
co...
Structural objectivity
•  The mathematical
laws, the logical
relationship among
members of group or
organism, beyond
appea...
Trained judgment
•  Raw data is
smoothed by expert
to study it better
•  Unsmoothed and
smoothed data are
presented to the...
Epistemic virtue

From before 1820
True-to-nature

After 1820
Mechanical
objectivity

After 1920
Trained judgment

Persona...
Objectivity as Social Agreement
“If the judgement is valid for everyone,
provided only he is in possession of reason,
its ...
Sounds very civilized, but
•  How do we assess such an agreement?
•  How do we assess competencies?

13
Objectivity – Subjectivity

A continuity that has no ending nor beginning.
All our activities collocate somewhere in this
...
Interpretation is inevitable
Here is where Tanselle and I
part ways: I’d rather say that,
by definition, the purpose of
ed...
However: Documentary editing
and objectivity
Documentary editing is editing sources
without altering them except for the
c...
What’s on the page?
What is this?

And this?

17
How many assumptions are behind
the reading of primary sources?
•  That signs are components of a alphabetical
system
•  T...
How many zones do you see?

19
20
A new definition of documentary
editing?
•  Edition of primary sources with the aim of
analyzing and representing them for...
To Conclude
Objectivity. Recording without interpretation.
They will not occur (Shillingsburg, 2006)
We are The Competent ...
Pray, what’s wrong with
interpretation?
One’s understanding of texts is worth
sharing
[…] if our understanding of texts is...
What about accountability
instead?
•  At the base of any rigorous methodology
•  I have no problem with an emendatio ope
i...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Presentation for The European Society of Textual Scholarship (Paris, 22-24 November)

862 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • DOWNLOAD FULL eBOOK INTO AVAILABLE FORMAT ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF eBook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB eBook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc eBook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF eBook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB eBook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc eBook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... .............. Browse by Genre Available eBooks ......................................................................................................................... Art, Biography, Business, Chick Lit, Children's, Christian, Classics, Comics, Contemporary, CookeBOOK Crime, eeBOOK Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, History, Horror, Humor And Comedy, Manga, Memoir, Music, Mystery, Non Fiction, Paranormal, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, Religion, Romance, Science, Science Fiction, Self Help, Suspense, Spirituality, Sports, Thriller, Travel, Young Adult,
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

Presentation for The European Society of Textual Scholarship (Paris, 22-24 November)

  1. 1. What’s On the Page Objectivity and Subjectivity and the Editorial Work Elena Pierazzo King’s College London
  2. 2. Three main points Well, two, most probably 1.  The role of interpretation and objectivity in textual scholarship from a theoretical point of view 2.  Role of objectivity within specific editorial models 3. The shapes that interpretations assume in texts 2
  3. 3. Tanselle, 1995 The search for properly ‘scientific’ method has been perhaps the dominant thread running through the history of textual criticism… Too often, however, rigor of method has been equated with the minimization of human judgment: instead the two must be carefully distinguished. 3
  4. 4. The red line of aspiration to objectivity in Textual Scholarship •  Starts from antiquity (Aristarchus of Alexandria? Politian? Scaliger?) •  In Nineteenth century, in coincidence with the definition of scientific method, TS acquires a ‘scientific’ method (or two) •  Objectivity is declared a value per se, ethically superior to interpretation: being a intellectual discipline of self-denial, is perceived as morally superior to any other practice 4
  5. 5. Why an objective text is better? •  Instrumental value of editorial work •  Text are supposed to be ‘neutral’ agents so that interpretation can be done by others Is it what we really want? Do we really think that justification for editing is only to allow other people’s research? 5
  6. 6. What is objectivity? •  Daston and Galison, 2007-2010 •  A concept invented in the late 18th century (loads to do with Kant) •  History of objectivity via photographic atlas •  Different epistemic virtues in the representation of ‘objects’ to be studied –  True-to-nature –  Objectivity: Mechanical and Structural –  Trained Judgment 6
  7. 7. True-to-nature •  You select the best specimens from a species for them to be representative •  You reproduce it at your best, conflating various exemplars so one stands for all à In Textual Scholarship: best manuscript, eclecticism 7
  8. 8. Mechanical objectivity •  Mechanical reproduction of reality •  Better many copies of imperfect specimens than one that conflates exemplars à Facsimile edition, new philology, Befund (Deutung) 8
  9. 9. Structural objectivity •  The mathematical laws, the logical relationship among members of group or organism, beyond appearance •  Based on systematic analysis and abstractions à Stemmatology, phylogenetics 9
  10. 10. Trained judgment •  Raw data is smoothed by expert to study it better •  Unsmoothed and smoothed data are presented to the judgment of the user/ reader à Digital editions 10
  11. 11. Epistemic virtue From before 1820 True-to-nature After 1820 Mechanical objectivity After 1920 Trained judgment Persona Sage Manufacturer Expert Representation Reasoned Mechanical Interpreted Practice Selection, synthesis Automated transfer Pattern recognition Ontology Universals Particulars Families 11
  12. 12. Objectivity as Social Agreement “If the judgement is valid for everyone, provided only he is in possession of reason, its ground is objectively sufficient” (Kant, trad. Kemp,1965) “we may conclude that there is such a thing as objectivity of interpretation: the vast majority of decisions we make in this realm are decisions on which all (or most) competent readers agree or seem likely to agree” (Huitfeldt, 2006) 12
  13. 13. Sounds very civilized, but •  How do we assess such an agreement? •  How do we assess competencies? 13
  14. 14. Objectivity – Subjectivity A continuity that has no ending nor beginning. All our activities collocate somewhere in this continuity (Huitfeldt, 2006) Where? Does it really matter? 14
  15. 15. Interpretation is inevitable Here is where Tanselle and I part ways: I’d rather say that, by definition, the purpose of editing is to analyze and represent in a meaningful way texts from the past, which may or may not implying correcting them. But this is another story. A coherent rationale of approach is properly a desideratum of textual scholarship, but any rationale of critical editing that seeks to limit (rather than to systematize) the role of judgment is not coherent, since by definition critical editing exists to draw strengths of human judgment as a mean of correcting the defects of documentary texts (Tanselle, 1995) 15
  16. 16. However: Documentary editing and objectivity Documentary editing is editing sources without altering them except for the compromises entailed in presenting them in a new physical form (Tanselle, 1995) Hence: •  Documentary editing is (has to, is expected to be) objective •  Has to mimic the source 16
  17. 17. What’s on the page? What is this? And this? 17
  18. 18. How many assumptions are behind the reading of primary sources? •  That signs are components of a alphabetical system •  That they are part of any given language •  That we know the rules of the language •  That the scribe knew them as well •  That such rules are the same And so on (Bordalejo 2010; Robinson 2013) 18
  19. 19. How many zones do you see? 19
  20. 20. 20
  21. 21. A new definition of documentary editing? •  Edition of primary sources with the aim of analyzing and representing them for a research purpose •  Making them look like the source itself may or may not be a goal, may or may not be meaningful for such purpose. “Representation is always an exercise in portraiture, albeit not necessarily one in mimesis” (Daston & Galison) 21
  22. 22. To Conclude Objectivity. Recording without interpretation. They will not occur (Shillingsburg, 2006) We are The Competent Readers, we are The Experts: let’s allow ourselves to share our understanding. We are worth it. 22
  23. 23. Pray, what’s wrong with interpretation? One’s understanding of texts is worth sharing […] if our understanding of texts is worth sharing in critical essays, it is worth sharing in our markup of electronic texts. (SperbergMcQueen, 1991) An in editions, may I add. 23
  24. 24. What about accountability instead? •  At the base of any rigorous methodology •  I have no problem with an emendatio ope ingenii if it is well documented and argued for. Do you? •  Allow readers to verify, reproduce and improve our work •  Documentation: precise, accurate, detailed. •  In other words, markup: explicit and scholarly. 24

×