Friday, February 24, 2012


I Could Well Be Wrong

M.A. Screech, Erasmus: Ecstasy and the Praise of Folly (London: Penguin Books, © 1980), p. 63 (discussing Erasmus, Praise of Folly 180-181 Kan):
There are several nuances here which are difficult to render in English. There is, for example, the use of the word religio in apparently two different senses, with religiosae res in another. I have done my best to translate what seems to be the appropriate shade of meaning, but I could well be wrong.
This expression (itself Erasmian in tone) of scholarly diffidence struck me when I read it —"I could well be wrong."

I wish I heard it more often, especially in public discourse these days, when I listen to politicians pontificating about subjects far outside their expertise, e.g. theology and science. What a heavy burden, to be so certain about everything!

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