Original Analects Supplement
Pages: 202 248
General. Despite the suggestion in note 2 on page 1 of the TOA Introduction, it seems that specialist readers have often skipped this Appendix, or not reached it until their impression of our method was already formed by looking at the translation. As we also note in the Rejoinders section of this Supplement, such impressions are not reliable. Our basic argument is an argument from form, and Appendix 1 presents that argument in an orderly way. The procedure is to identify interpolations by their formally intrusive quality, not by their content, or by an a priori idea of what "early" passages should be like. The reordering of the text from such formal arguments becomes a hypothesis which can then be tested, by seeing whether the content of individual passages, in the work as thus rearranged, makes historical sense. That independent test of the hypothesis is carried out in Appendix 2. In Appendix 1, we are concerned only to formulate a testable hypothesis in the first place.
Japanese Theories. Some readers have expressed a wish that we had given more attention to the Analects theories put forward by Japanese scholars. We did not do so because we do not find those theories convincing, and we did not want to burden the commentary by stating theories only for the purpose of refuting them. The most suggestive of them, in our opinion, is that of Kimura Eiichi, which is mentioned at several points in this Appendix. The single most important thing to say about previous theories of the Analects, in any language, is that none of them has succeeded in overturning the orthodox but evidently incorrect theory which holds that the Analects, in its entirety, represents the thought of Confucius.
202. It should be noted that the rate of accretion inferred here from the preserved details of differences between the Chi and Lu texts of the Analects is merely a way of getting started on the investigation, and is subject to revision as the investigation itself proceeds. The end result as summarized on page 248 differs considerably from that initial calculation. These and other working hypotheses, which are revised during the later course of the work, are given not to report our conclusions, but to give the reader a taste of the actual process by which we reached our conclusions. That process was one of initial trial and gradual refinement; an upward spiral (with some downward loops), not a single breakthrough. "Order of discovery" narratives are longer and messier (and less dignified for the author) than reports of conclusions, and for all those reasons such narratives are rare in the sciences. We have thought that a few hints of the discovery process might be suggestive for students in the humanities, where such narratives are even rarer.
248. We might have remarked somewhere on this page that we consider that our identification of interpolated passages is reasonably sound, and the confirmation by implied development patterns in the restored text minus those interpolations is reasonably convincing, but that our relocating the removed interpolations at their points of composition within the restored main text is inherently more problematic. This is because there is less chronological evidence in a single detached passage than in a reconstructed whole chapter. We therefore expect these interpolation placements to be subject to a certain amount of revision and fine-tuning in the light of further research, whereas we also expect that our reconstruction and sequencing of the primary text will hold up rather well over time. Time itself will tell.
This Supplement is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks
Comments to The Project / Exit to TOA Supplement Page