Hamblin 19: Why Methodology?

Hamblin 19: Why Methodology? June 27, 2015

In his #11, Jenkins asks:

Why would that [importance of a methodological discussion] be? We are both grown ups, we are both published historians, we know these issues extremely well. I have lived with these issues for forty-plus years, and I am guessing that your track record is similar. We are not trying to run a senior history seminar for undergraduates.

First, Methodology is important because other people are reading this besides you and me.  

Second, it is important because I’ve had this type of debate before, and it usually has devolved into epistemological and methodological impasse.  

Third, because things you have said indicate that we are not on the same page on the methodological questions.  For example, you ask for Nephite pottery.  My answer is that pottery alone–without either art or text–can tell us precisely nothing of the ethnicity, political status, culture, language, or religion of the people who made the pot, or the people who used the pot (which can be two different groups).  Your request for “Nephite pottery” seems extremely naive.  

Fourth, your repeated insistence that there is somehow a parity in quantity and quality between ancient Mesoamerican and the ancient Near Eastern is misinformed (see my #18)

Fifth, your response to the Nahom inscription was methodologically weak.  I’ll probably get to that later, if the discussion has not imploded by then.

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