Passages got transcribed without any inquiry as to whether they made sense, or contradicted other authorities. … Scholarship consisted in the compilation of quotes and facts, which were not used to support arguments but, rather, to render argumentation unnecessary.

We can thus point to the [medieval] scriptoria as the loci of cultural preservation, but the copying of manuscripts was more of a manual training than an intellectual one: calligraphy rather than philosophy.

Morris Berman, The Twilight of American Culture. W. W. Norton & Co. 2000. p 80,81.