Counting and Weighing: On the Role of Intuition in Philology and Linguistics
Linguistic and Philological Perspectives: Papers forming part of the 2017 and 2018 SBL Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Seminar
Keywords:philology and linguistics, intuition in science, Thomas Kuhn
The intuition of established scholars often holds them back from appreciating revolutionary advances in the understanding of how biblical texts evolved and how to view their language in that context. Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shifts helps elucidate the current debate regarding the linguistic dating theories of Avi Hurvitz and others. We discuss these linguistic dating theories and use Richard Friedman’s book on the exodus as an example of the old paradigm. We then juxtapose it with the emerging paradigm that is founded on more robust data collection and analysis.
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