Thoughts on "Rules of Construction" To Apply In Textual Controversies

  • This is a paste of a post from an earlier discussion where the issue was buried in a "Welcome" thread. It would be good to discuss general approaches to how to construe texts which may seem corrupted or may seem contradictory with other passages. How do we decide between them?

    The issue of how contracts and statutes are construed in court is certainly not exactly the same issue, but it seems to me that similar principles provide at least a starting point for analysis. Here's the earlier post, and I hope we can find more to add to the discussion and maybe compile our own list of considerations to think about in any textual controversy. I bet there are lists of considerations for more general critical analysis, but these below are the first that come to my own mind.

    The issue of textual construction is never going away no matter how many Herculaneum texts we find.


    Here's a good list of rules of construction. A work of philosophy isn't exactly a statute, and many of these obviously don't apply, but many do:

    This list might actually be better than the first list I linked:

  • I see copying this post to a new thread did not indicate that it is new today. Here's a part from the "Court Canons" that seems particularly on point (and it will bump the date of the thread). It seems to me that some or a lot of this makes good sense in construing the works of any philosopher who claims to promote reason and clarity and consistency:

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “Rules of Construction For Textual Controversies” to “Thoughts on "Rules of Construction" To Apply In Textual Controversies”.