[Ads-l] doxograph-

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Wed Oct 19 12:26:06 EDT 2016


Given that "doxology", OED:  "1. †a. The utterance of praise to God;
thanksgiving. Obs." already exists, with citations from 1649, I would have
expected "doxography" to mean "the study of divine texts".  That the lexis of
English here seems to have diverged from my expectations seems due (as the OED
notes) to Burnet in his _Early Greek Philosophy_ having picked it up from Diels,
presumably in the course of reading his collection of Greek texts, specifically
(again the OED notes), _Doxographi graeci_

The OED: 

doxographer, n.
A writer who collects and records the opinions or _placita_ of the Greek
philosophers.
1892 J. Burnet _Early Greek Philos._ 371 By the term doxographers we understand
all those writers who relate the opinions of the Greek philosophers.

But Diels is best-known for his later collection of the fragments of
Pre-Socratic Philosophers, so where on the cline between a full-scale Collected
(Plato, Aristotle) and a mere collection of fragments (Heraclitus) does a
doxographer lie?

This from the (online) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on "Doxography of
Ancient Philosophy":

<<   The great majority of Greek (and Roman) philosophical writings have been
irretrievably lost. But this loss is made good to some extent not only by
quotations from lost works recorded by later writers, but also by the varieties
of ancient reportage that are extant. The modern name for these forms of
reportage is ‘doxography’, which could be be translated ‘tenet-writing’. Broadly
speaking, doxography encompasses those writings, or parts of writings, in which
the author presents philosophical views of some or other of the ancient
philosophers or schools, in some or other areas, or on some or other topics, of
philosophy, whether with or without presentation of the argumentation or
analysis through which they offered philosophical support or reasons in favor of
their ‘tenets’, and whether or not they also include critical evaluations and
comments of the author's own. In other words, these are works (or sections of
works) taking as their subject matter the tenets or doctrines of the
philosophers, rather than independent works of philosophy in which the author
addresses in the first instance issues or topics of philosophy, with ancillary
discussion along the way of the opinions of other philosophers. The terms for
tenets, or views, in ancient Greek are doxai or dogmata, in Latin opiniones;
those for doctrines are, in Greek, areskonta, translated into Latin as placita.
But note that these designations were used interchangeably.   >>

The OED definition obviously hasn't the space to go into as much detail as SEP
[though as it's electronic, one might justly ask, "Why not?], but it could, I
think, be clearer.  

Further, I wonder about labelling "doxology" as "obsolete".  I haven't googled
the term, but I am at least vaguely familiar with it.

One last point: although no instances have yet been found, it is possible that
the term "doxographer" for one who draws pictures of lewd women (doxy, Cant, a
member of the set, "terms for females from childhood onwards" *** => SE "a
mistress, paramour, prostitute") may nevertheless exist.

Robin Hamilton

*** I was about to say, the OED definition of "doxy" draws on Thomas Harman in
1566/1567, a notoriously unreliable witness when it comes to the nuances of
meaning with regard to Cant terms, but on consulting the entry there, I find
that it mysteriously omits that specific early lexicographer.  

And why, and by what logic, do we have, "?1515 Hyckescorner (de Worde) sig.
C.iiiiv" here as a source for "doxy", when the earliest current citation of
"gibberish" presents us with: "c1557 Enterlude of Youth (new ed.) sig. Aiiv"."
 Ian Lancashire in his _Two Tudor Interludes_ locates Youth as earlier than
Hickscorner, and places the date of composition for Youth as c1513/14.  

It is (probably) fair to date the appearance of a term from its inferred
occurrence in a lost MS (but given the way that c.1515 is strikingly early for a
Cant term, I'm not absolutely convinced that it would appear in this form in the
original postulated manuscript of _Hickscorner_), but why do this in one case
and not the other, for two intimately related texts?

R.

> 
>     On 19 October 2016 at 15:27 Tim Stewart <timoteostewart1977 at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
> 
> 
>     Similar disappointment here. Thought it was a noun for the scholarly
>     treatment of doxxing <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/doxx#English>. ;-)
> 
>     - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> -
>     - - - - - - - - - - -
>     Read excerpts from the forthcoming *Dictionary of Christianese
>     <http://www.dictionaryofchristianese.com/>*
> 
> 
>     On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 9:17 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>     wrote:
> 
>     > Shucks. I was hoping it meant a method of comparing famous doxies.
>     >
>     > JL
>     >
>     > On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 9:32 PM, Benjamin Barrett
>     > <mail.barretts at gmail.com
>     > >
>     > wrote:
>     >
>     > > The online Oxford English dictionaries are missing these terms.
>     > >
>     > > doxography (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxography <
>     > > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxography>)
>     > > doxographer
>     > > doxographical
>     > >
>     > > Benjamin Barrett
>     > > Formerly of Seattle, WA
>     > > ------------------------------------------------------------
>     > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>     > >
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     > --
>     > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
>     > truth."
>     >
>     > ------------------------------------------------------------
>     > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>     >
> 
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list