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The Translation of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Translation

September 23September 24

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The topic of this conference is the relation between philosophy and its translation into different traditions and languages. We aim at investigating the pertinence of the concept of translation to our understanding of the nature and character of the transmission of tradition, and in particular of a philosophical tradition of thought.

There are different ways of thinking of what a temporal medium of tradition is, and what transmission comes to. This involves various practices of interpretation of the past, and various forms of establishing continuity and differentiation.

We will be concerned specifically with the question whether the concept of translation, as it is elaborated by different theories of translation, could give us a particular understanding of these continuities and transformations. Thus, we will distinguish the transmission of contents from the translation of terms. Whereas much of our understanding of meaning is directed to think in terms of propositional unities, the focus on translation can open for us the unity of a word or a term.

We, consequently, plan to discuss  the interdependence of the translation of terms and the transmission of propositional content. Translation in this broad sense provides us with a framework for considering history and in particular the shifts in the history of philosophy. These acts of translation can occur when a new conceptual space is opened and the term under consideration is embedded in it.

The conference will pursue this aim by a number of concrete case studies. In particular we will be concerned with a complex web of connection that arises by attending to the fate of the Kantian or more broadly the German Idealist philosophical tradition throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century up to the present age


September 23
September 24
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