I came across the word philology while reading an article about the work of Anne Carson. From the Wikipedia article:

Philology (from Ancient Greek φιλολογία (philología) 'love of word') is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics with strong ties to etymology. Philology is also defined as the study of literary texts and oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning. A person who pursues this kind of study is known as a philologist. In older usage, especially British, philology is more general, covering comparative and historical linguistics.

The Wikipedia article gives short descriptions of several styles (sub-branches, specialization) of philology: Comparative, textual, cognitive, and decipherment.

This is from the description of textual philology.:

Philology also includes the study of texts and their history. It includes elements of textual criticism, trying to reconstruct an author's original text based on variant copies of manuscripts.

I find this interesting because it reminds me of originalism, which is the current dominant form of constitutional interpretation being used by the SCOTUS.

From the Wikipedia article on originalism:

Originalism is a method of constitutional and statutory interpretation. Originalists assert that legal text should be interpreted based on the original understanding at the time of adoption.

I often post things about the work of Anne Carson.

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