Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blindspots or going over your own written work

    One of the papers I submitted for publication got an important comment from the editor. Looking over it with the help of the editor, it was a glaring mistake on my part. Not just a mere typographical error and incomplete passage, but rather the passage itself was one of the major reasons I wrote the paper in the first place! So if I messed that up, it would be bad indeed. Here is the passage:
Natural science tells us that our ongoing cognitive access to the world around us is limited to meager channels. There is the triggering of our sensory receptors by the impact of molecules and light rays. Also there is the difference in muscular effort sensed in walking up or down a hill. What more? Even the notion of a cat, let alone a class or a number, is a human artifact, rooted in an innate predisposition and cultural tradition. The very notion of an object at all, concrete or abstract, is a human contribution, a feature of our inherited apparatus for organizing the amorphous welter of neural input.

The above is taken from page 6 Willard Van Orman Quine's  "Structure and nature" (published in the Journal of Philosophy).  

   It may be a truism, but having another person go over your work is important. Perhaps, this just buttresses the idea that the experience of reading is better when done with other persons who read also. Not necessarily arguing or critiquing. Sometimes blindspots do come out, whether one is submitting  a paper or one is reading a novel.

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