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October 1962

Science and Literary Criticism

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(4):543-545. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620220135024

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Among the scientists of our time Herbert Dingle is a notable exception. He has made a searching analysis of criticism and its function in science. In a series of scholarly articles, addresses, and books he has built up a substantial body of critical material on criticism. He has done all this despite the fact that he believes strongly that in the present state of knowledge it is impossible to make criticism scientific. Despite this, and to add injury to insult, criticism has made errors which could have been avoided if the general principles of scientific thought had been followed.

This booklet, Science and Literary Criticism, is divided into 2 parts. One poses the question, Is a science of criticism possible? The other deals with scientific methods of criticism as applied to Wordsworth, Swinburne, and Browning. Dingle is very emphatic that he confines the term criticism strictly to literary criticism. Though

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