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Translation and Philosophy


Edited By Lisa Foran

To what extent is philosophy reliant on translation and how does this practice impact on philosophy itself? How should philosophical texts be translated? Is translation inherently philosophical? Can philosophy be described as a ‘type of translation’? The essays in this collection seek to respond to these intriguing and provocative questions. Exploring a wide range of issues, from the complexities of translating ambiguous philosophical terms to the role of language in concepts of identity and society, each essay highlights the manner in which the two disciplines rely on (and intersect with) each other. Drawing the collection together is an understanding of both translation and philosophy as practices which seek for meaning in our complex relationship with language and the world.


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Sergey Tyulenev - Systemics and Lifeworld of Translation 139


Sergey Tyulenev Systemics and Lifeworld of Translation There is nothing so practical as a good theory. — Kurt Lewin Ce n’est pas moins de théorie qu’il nous faut, mais plus de théorie, plus de recherche pour construire une pédagogie ef ficace et des traducteurs compétents. — Annie Brisset I Introduction After the social turn in translation studies, a curious form of purism has developed. This purism manifests itself in that it is believed that such socio- logical theories as Bourdieu’s theory of social fields and Luhmann’s social systems theory are incompatible. Among the reasons why they are so, it has been suggested that even the creators of these paradigms dismissed each other and, if so, how can we combine them? I addressed this issue elsewhere (Tyulenev 2009a) and, in this paper, I am not going to repeat my argu- mentation, but rather, build on it. I will attempt to consider some aspects of translation, as practiced in what can loosely be referred to as modern Western world, in terms of the theories elaborated by Niklas Luhmann and his life-long opponent Juergen Habermas. Arguably, a combination of the two theories can provide valuable insights into the social functioning of translation in modern world. 140 Sergey Tyulenev II Systemics of Translation Translation is a system because it can be described as a system. This state- ment may be criticized for being too reductionist and constructionist. Yet, it is no more reductionist than any description of a phenomenon of reality because...

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