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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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9 Summary and Conclusion 231


231 CHAPTER 9 Summary and Conclusion At all levels of investigation of this book, epistemology in translation studies is a major concern, from multicomponent philosophical episte- mology to social-constructivist views of translation. Methodology is another concern, from pluralistic philosophical approaches to multi- disciplinary approaches and translator-centered theoretical approaches. These aspects have been demonstrated by the book’s systemic inquiry into the different levels of constructiveness of Robinson’s theoretical construction. This book’s argument might be summarized in terms of the following research findings that it has achieved: 1. Revealing Robinson’s constructive theoretical approaches In the climate of the “cultural turn” in translation studies, Robinson’s translator-centered theories argue for a “translator’s turn,” which can address, to a great extent, more active images of contemporary transla- tors in a broad sociocultural context. More importantly, his multidiscipli- nary approach to translation studies has cast new light on theoretical construction in the field. Through its inquiry into Robinson’s theoreti- cal approach, this book has demonstrated how translation studies might be advanced with more dynamic, open, dialectical, and innovative think- ing, in more philosophically credible, multidisciplinary, and culturally and psychologically aware ways, and in practice-oriented and people- centered directions. This is also the position that the book has taken regarding theoretical construction in the field. Translation research needs critical thinking about traditional and metaphysical translation theories, and also needs innovative thinking about how to adapt theories to new translation practice. It needs dialec- tical thinking about translation standards, translation strategies, intersubjective relations, different theoretical approaches, mainstream theories...

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