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The Translator- Centered Multidisciplinary Construction

Douglas Robinson’s Translation Theories Explored

Lin Zhu

This book embraces the epistemological and methodological issues of theoretical construction in the field of Translation Studies from a historical and global perspective. The theoretical stances are explained in detail through a systemic inquiry into the constructive aspects of theoretical innovation of the American translation theorist Douglas Robinson. In order to renew and promote theoretical thinking in the field of Translation Studies, this book aims to reflect on existing theoretical problems in translation, trace the translation theorist’s innovative and constructive ways of thinking about translation theory, and explore productive philosophical and theoretical resources of translation studies. This book will not only be helpful to a further and full understanding of Robinson’s thoughts on translation, but also offers a rethinking of how to advance Translation Studies epistemologically and methodologically.


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3 The Solid Ground of Robinson’s Theoretical Construction:Pluralistic Philosophical Approaches 81


81 CHAPTER 3 The Solid Ground of Robinson’s Theoretical Con- struction: Pluralistic Philosophical Approaches Robinson’s theoretical construction exemplifies a new stage of transla- tion studies beyond both the structuralist paradigm and the deconstructivist paradigm, especially in respect of the constructive ways of thinking underlying those theoretical models, which is well grounded in his plu- ralistic philosophical approaches. This chapter will investigate the plu- ralistic philosophical approaches underlying his translation theories, which involves his multicomponent epistemology, his pluralistic philo- sophical methodology, his postrationalist view of rationality, as well as his somatic and performative views of language. All those aspects con- stitute the philosophical ground of his translation theories. More impor- tantly, through its discussion of these pluralistic philosophical approaches, this chapter contributes philosophical inspiration both ideologically and methodologically to the advancement of translation studies. 3.1 Multicomponent Epistemology According to The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology (Moser 2005: 3), epistemology, characterized broadly, is the account of knowledge. Within the discipline of philosophy, epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge and justification. Most of the debates in this field have fo- cused on how knowledge is acquired (such as empiricism, rationalism, and constructivism) and how to perceive the world. As the history of science indicates, the development of each discipline was inescapably influenced by its contemporary philosophical movement(s), and the theo- retical construction of each discipline must inevitably be guided by cer- tain philosophies. In a similar vein, theorists’ theoretical constructions 82 inevitably present their own epistemological orientation although they may...

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