Original Analects Responses
The Intentional Fallacy
It has been more than once publicly asserted that we have moved the Analects sayings around, not for any analytical reason, but simply to produce a clustering which we happen to prefer. That would not be a study of the text; it would be an anthology from the text. Our actual method is quite different. It is set forth in detail in the Appendices to the book. Briefly, it has three steps:(1) We identify by formal criteria, such as violation of the pairing tendency, the Analects sayings which, whatever their content, are intrusive in context. We remove these passages from that chapter as a first hypothesis. The identification of intrusive passages is done in Appendix 1. That process leaves behind, as presumptively original in their respective chapters, 388 sayings, or 73% of the received Analects text (page 248).
(2) We test that hypothesis by seeing whether the 388-saying presumptive original text makes coherent developmental sense, as the received text certainly does not. This is done in Appendix 2. The outcome is that the text does make developmental sense, thus confirming the indications of successively later date in successively higher-numbered chapters that were noted earlier (page 204f).
(3) We further test that hypothesis by considering the relations between the proposed original Analects and texts which appear to be contemporary with all or part of it. This is done in Appendix 3. The result is to reveal dialogues between the Analects and the Chi statecraft thinkers who wrote the earliest Gwandz chapters (mid 04c and later), with the Dzwo Jwan and its later suppletions (late 04c and early 03c), and with several Lu Mician chapters (spanning the period from the mid 04c to the late 03c). This confirms that the formal argument leads to a text whose historical plausibility can be confirmed on independent evidence (page 262). It also adds suggestions of precise date to the merely relative dates arrived at in the previous steps.
Finally, rather than discard the interpolations altogether, we fit them as best we can (on the whole, there is less evidence in a single saying than there is in a whole chapter) onto the chronological and stylistic sequence established for the main text.
This method is as open to challenge as any other, but it cannot be refuted by substituting for it a different or "straw man" method, and then dismissing that method as invalid.
This Supplement is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks
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