Thursday, January 29, 2015


The Courage to Make a Mistake

H. Craig Melchert, "In Memoriam Calvert Watkins," Journal of Indo-European Studies 41 (2013) 506-526 (at 509):
[H]e epitomized this view by borrowing the phrase of the late Jochem Schindler: to be a productive scholar, one needs to have “Mut zum Irrtum” (1999: 11-12).
Id. (at 509-510):
His own openness to new ideas included the ability to change his mind, and one of the most important lessons he taught his students was that one must never invest too much of one's ego (much less one's sense of self-worth) in any of one's hypotheses. When asked about something he had written that he now rejected, he repeatedly cited with relish a quotation he attributed to Rudolf Thurneysen: "Das, was ich da geschrieben habe, ist Quatsch."
Mut zum Irrtum: Courage to err.

Das, was ich da geschrieben habe, ist Quatsch: What I've written there is nonsense.

Related post: In the Wrong.

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