Originally Posted by mafoofan
Again, the lessons to be learned from history must be derived and interpreted, just as those from any other basis. We don't just copy what people did at a certain time. We pick and choose, and think about what to apply based on other considerations. As Sator's counter-examples show, you can always find something that was acceptable at one point that breaks any given rule, no matter how commonly accepted that rule is today.
The point you're making doesn't have any bearing on my point. And this particular confusion on your part is what leads to so much typing and so little denouement.
So, assuming that you care about your carpal tunnels...
What I'm saying is that, in order for a discussion to be even mildly worthwhile, you have to figure out what sort of discussion it is because that determines what types of arguments make sense.
When Manton talks about history, he does so to demonstrate what was acceptable (with the implication that it has some bearing on what is / ought to be acceptable now). And those are the sorts of discussions where you can point to an established record and - more nearly - use words like correct / incorrect.
When you talk about history, you do so merely as an illustration of preferences / opinions you hold for a-historical reasons. That's not the sort of thing that you can really argue. And it's misplaced to talk about your interpretation of what's good / bad as being factually accurate or not.
Not that you care, but I agree with your approach and think that placing too great an emphasis on the weight of precendent leads to suboptimal results in most regards.
I'm talking about how we should go about having the diferent sorts of discussions that quickly get all jumbled up.