[b-hebrew] Prophetic Perfect? Psalm 107

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Sun May 23 11:57:22 EDT 2004


The reference to white swans and induction is extremely interesting.
Let us say that you saw 1000 white swans and 2 black ones.
Further let's say that you saw 1000 black crows and (for argument's sake)
two white ones.
Now suppose I told you that there is a white bird out there.
Would you assume it to be a swan or a crow?
Liz

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Peter Kirk
> Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2004 2:23 PM
> To: furuli at online.no
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Prophetic Perfect? Psalm 107
> 
> On 20/05/2004 14:01, furuli at online.no wrote:
> 
> >
> > ...
> >
> > To ignore the examples that contradict one's view with the argument 
> > that they are errors, does not recommend itself as a good 
> scientific 
> > method. Errors will occur, but they must be shown to be 
> errors on the 
> > basis of a scientific analysis. If you have studied the 
> Philosophy of 
> > science, you should be familiar with the problem of induction; one 
> > million white swans do not prove that all swans are white, but two 
> > black swans, who are not dyed or have gone through a fire, will 
> > falsify the hypothesis. Thus, the 1.000 non-past WAYYIQTOLs are a 
> > stronger basis for saying that WAYYIQTOL is not 
> semantically speaking 
> > past tense than the 12.000 WAYYIQTOLs occurring in past 
> narratives. ...
> 
> 
> Your argument from swans is an interesting one. Suppose we do 
> find a million white swans and two black ones. What do we 
> conclude? Of course not that all swans are white. But we 
> suspect that there is some reason for the exceptions. Maybe 
> the black ones are a different species, or mutations. Or 
> maybe they have been in some special environment which has 
> changed their colour. Good scholars will look for a reason. 
> But they will not argue that "not all swans are white, 
> therefore the colour of swans is irrelevant". However, that 
> seems to be how you argue when you reject the significance of 
> the observation that the great majority of WAYYIQTOLs are 
> sequential, and most of these are in past context although 
> some are future because they follow future verb forms.
> 
> 
> --
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
> 
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