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orion-list Re: Kuhn and Popper
Dear Russell and orion group,
With all due respect, I see things differently. Surprised? :-)
That the two deceased scholars had disagreed quite deeply about the
juxtaposition of Kuhn type paradigm shifts and Popper type falsifiability
is documented fact. So is the unhappiness, even perhaps disdain, sometimes
expressed by Kuhn about various uses of his paradigm shift analysis outside
of hard science.
Do I need to document this or are you already aware?
There are, I suggest, some myths and some straw-man uses of DSS
"consensus." Few fields, after all, have seen more vigorous debate than
DSS. You wrote that "the reigning paradigm" is that the sect arose early in
first century BCE. Have you checked that with Vermes, Milik, Puech,
Stegemann, et al. who insist Jonathan Maccabee was the wicked priest? No
scholar with whom I am acquainted claims that all Qumran mss were penned at
Qumran. Though some mss, I think, were. The inkwells suggest writing,
surely. One can give many examples of lack of consensus about "the
consensus." E.g., some time ago P. Davies and P. Callaway wrote books which
described the consensus. The former included Murphy-O'Connor, who wrote
that Essenes came in 2nd century BC from Babylon; the latter did not
include him. J. Magness and others have revised de Vaux's chronology. Is
that not progress, without revolution? Need the old historians be wrong
about everything? Indeed, is that possible? As for what is and is not in
"the historical record." we see that, and attending requirements,
differently. E.g., if the Teacher is Judah the Essene, then he is mentioned
in Josephus, teaching. Yet such a Teacher might hypothetically not be
mentioned by Josephus, and still have existed. The historical record is, to
some extent, growing and being refined.
As for what you call "crisis" and what you see as evidence to help those
like me putatively consensus-bound out of crisis, by all means present what
evidence you have.
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