Paul J. Bodin writes:

>At the risk of sounding "relativistic", I don't think methods of this
>sort are "right" or "wrong".  They may be judged acceptable or
>unacceptable, productive or unproductive, by one group or another
yaccording to that group's standards.  I judge methodologies by whether
>they are effective in addressing the questions I want to investigate
>and whether they produce meaningful and trustworthy results.

Yes it sounds very reletivistic.  "effective in addressing the questions
I want to investigate" and "produce meaningful and trustworthy results"
It sounds very reletivistic, until "trustworthy results."  I don't really
care what questions you wish to investigate, and I know many different
methodologies which produce meaningful results, each methodology a different
contradictory yet meaningful result.  Now trustworth is a different
question, because trustworthy implies to me, trustworthy in general, not
just to one particular interpreter.  Trustworthy implies that you can have
some confidence that it corresponds to reality, or the author's intent, or
the cultural situation, or something objective outside of your own head.

My standard in methodologies the analysis of whatever clues the author uses
to convey their intent to their audience, and for the text to be true
then their intention must correspond to reality.  These seem like
objective standards to me, and ones that we can converse about.

In my arguement about what I thought Paul's intention was in using the terms
"all of Abraham's seed" verses "one group" people's criticism's seemed to be
along the lines of "I don't think that is what Paul meant."  It seem quite
silly to criticise me for missing Paul's intention and then saying that
authorial intent is not a criteria for judging methodologies by.

David John Marotta, Medical Center Computing, Stacey Hall
Univ of Virginia (804) 982-3718 wrk INTERNET: djm5g@virginia.edu
Box 512 Med Cntr (804) 924-5261 msg   BITNET: djm5g@virginia
C'ville VA 22908 (804) 296-7209 fax   IBM US: usuvarg8