Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Feb. 24, 2021, 8:38 a.m. Humanist 34.231 - books of note (available online)

				                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 231.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2021-02-24 08:22:00+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: publications of note

Dear colleagues,

Two publications of note (among many). I admit to some involvement in
the second of these :-).

(1) L.W.C. van Lit, Among Digitized Manuscripts. Philology, Codicology,
Paleography in a Digital World (Leiden: Brill 2019), the pdf of which is
online at https://brill.com/view/title/56196.

Here's a brief passage from the Introduction that ends with a wise
suggestion:

 > In digital humanities, research, all too often, is conducted using
 > team-based projects funded by generous grants. The rationale behind
 > this is that expertise in digital humanities can best be partitioned
 > into two groups: those specializing in the \u2018digital\u2019 aspect and
 > those who focus on the \u2018humanities\u2019 aspect. At the simplest 
 > level, this  would result in teams of two experts, the one being a humanities
 > scholar and the other a technician or a developer. While the scholar
 > would develop the research questions and the conceptual path to a
 > solution, the technician would make it happen. Experience shows,
 > however, that what Snow calls \u2018the two cultures problem\u2019 becomes
 > almost insurmountable. If the scholarly problem becomes more
 > intricate and advanced, it becomes more likely that the technician
 > will fail to provide a solution that truly encapsulates the problem.
 > And when the technology becomes more advanced, it becomes more likely
 > that the scholar will fail to understand how it can be improved to
 > meet their requirements. If we scale back our ambitions towards using
 > and modifying the existing technology, it is possible to have
 > scholars operate on their own, as is customary in the humanities...
 > (p. 3)

(2) Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd and Aparecida Vilaa, eds. Science in the
Forest, Science in the Past. Chicago: HAU Books, 2020. Downloadable from:
https://haubooks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/SFSP_Webready.pdf

 From the back cover:

> Is there one big Science, or are there many legitimate forms of
> knowledge? Are primary qualities the sole object of scientific
> inquiry, or is there a space of investigating the multidimensionality
> of phenomena? Are the ontological foundations of different systems of
> worlding incompatible or do they allow hybridization and the
> expression of foundational principles? This innovative book tackles
> these questions afresh by bringing together an impressive set of
> international scholars in fields ranging from ancient civilizations
> and non-Western cultures to the computing sciences. Their
> deconstruction of the sterile deadlock between universalism and
> relativism will be a milestone for years to come.
>
> --Philippe Descola, Professor Emeritus, Collège de France, author of
> Beyond Nature and Culture

Yours,
WM

--
Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist
www.mccarty.org.uk


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