Fwd: [INDOLOGY] Are diacritics NOW irrelevant ? (Re: [INDOLOGY] the koti

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 26 07:19:04 EST 2010


This must be intended for everyone, rather than just for me:

Begin forwarded message:

> From: <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>
> Date: 26 November 2010 4:34:36 PM GMT+05:30
> To: "Dominic Goodall" <dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Are diacritics NOW irrelevant ? (Re: [INDOLOGY] the koti
> 
> 
> Ifrah's book suffers from the flaws of many large
> synthetic works -- the author cannot be (and cannot
> be expected to be!) -- a specialist in all the domains
> treated. 
> 
> One might of course object: well then why not organize
> a collaborative work by specialists? In response, I 
> offer the lopsided and barely coherent collection
> of articles one finds in the Oxford Handbook of the
> History of Mathematics (though many of the
> articles, taken individually are useful and interesting). Multi-authored works seldom attain
> to the sort of synthesis that a work by a
> single author may aspire to, even if flawed.
> 
> It's certainly good to be aware of the shortcomings as
> detailed in Dauben's review, and thanks to Dominic
> for circulating it. 
> 
> But I don't think the case has been made yet to
> abandon Ifrah's work like the plague. It's a work of
> first reference, not of last recourse. 
> 
> Matthew T. Kapstein
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
> The University of Chicago Divinity School
> Directeur d'études
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris



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