Interests and Arguments

Studies Towards an Analytic Philosophy of Textual Scholarship

In my PhD thesis, entitled Interests and Arguments: Towards an Analytic Philosophy of Textual Scholarship (University of Oslo), I set out a conceptual framework for the analytical reconstruction of philological practice. Ensuing from the tradition of analytic philosophy and focusing mainly on terminological and methodological aspects of recent textual scholarship, I adopted a meta-theoretical (second-order) perspective and followed up on the more general project of ‘analytic philosophy of literary studies’.

In exemplary case studies I put this way of approaching (conceptual analysis, rational reconstruction, analysis of arguments) to the test. Amongst other things, I examined pivotal concepts of editorial discourse (such as ‘empirical evidence’, ‘text’, ‘work’ or ‘version’), the logic and methodology of textual criticism, the justification of specific editorial approaches (modes and types of editing), or the critical evaluation of editions (their merits, effects, and functions). I also scrutinized alleged ‘semantic’ qualities of textual objects and, accordingly, ‘hermeneutic’ dimensions of textual scholarship. At this, my overall aim was to clarify (1) how terminological commitments and conceptual schemes shape or influence editorial practice, and (2) how editorial statements, decisions and actions are justified and evaluated, that is, what arguments and reasons are presented in favor of certain (theoretical or practical) editorial judgements.

For project related publications see the publications and talks pages on this website.