By M. I. Finley
During this examine, the writer demanding situations the existing traditions of studying and writing approximately old civilizations. He questions, for instance, the particular prestige accorded to vintage texts, exposes the fake assumptions historians have made, in keeping with restricted info, and offers the issues inherent in traditional causes of the Greek city-state. Emphasizing the necessity to ask the best questions so that it will extend our realizing of existence within the historic international, this paintings exhibits how historians may well larger take care of the proof that's to be had and gives replacement tools that may be used to reconstruct historical past.
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Additional resources for Ancient History: Evidence and Models
3. Publication-pressure justifies the printing of much junk. When is a work ripe? Any interested student of any intellectual problem may benefit from writing, but not all written material will benefit the public. This is not a taboo-ridden approach, but a practical attitude towards the printing press. Novels are usually published in the hope that enough people would wish to read them, but this is not the case with logarithmic tables; whether statistical tables are printed in order to be read, checked, or impress readers, I do not know.
The problems concerning editorial rules, are well known, and supply regular topics of conversation and complaint in university faculty clubs. They are occasionally discussed in meetings of editors of learned periodicals. (I have participated on one such meeting and in an international conference on it that enterprising Miriam Balaban has organized in Jerusalem decades ago. ) The need for a public discussion of these matter increases, the need to make publication more of a means of communication of new results ─ theoretical as well as experimental ─ to those who may be interested in them.
It does: we are far from having an obvious and commonsense answer to the question, how is this obvious commonsense idea best applicable to specific circumstances ─ for instance under the circumstances of increasing publication pressure. The idea that publication is a technical mode of communication contrasts sharply with another, equally commonsense idea: that discoveries ought to be published in order to be put on record once and for all, in order to secure priority, or in some other way to increase the scope of human knowledge.