The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2295 Friday, 29 December 1999.
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 12:23:34 -0500
Subject: 10.2291 Re: Quartos and Folios
Comment: Re: SHK 10.2291 Re: Quartos and Folios
Well no, of course there is no resemblance. The analogy was based not
on the source of Heisenberg's uncertainty, but on the principle of
uncertainty itself (i.e. that human science has limits. There are
realms of reality into which we will never be able to peer, no matter
how could our data or instruments get. In the case of Heisenberg, there
is the realm of the very small; in the case of textual scholarship,
there is the realm of authorial (or compositorial, etc.) intention.
Since Heisenberg, Quantum mechanics does not waste time trying
simultaneously to establish the location and velocity of subatomic
particles. Textual scholarship, however, still seeks a quasi-scientific
certainty in matters which are permanently and fundamentally analogously
(but not similarly) uncertain.
>Heisenberg postulated that the energy imparted to a subatomic
>particle by the
>process of observation alters the particle's location or velocity and,
>therefore, we may observe one but not both, and in the process of
>observing one we change the other. This bears no resemblance to the
>notion that an author might try to be so obfuscatory that he makes
>determination of his text difficult.