Chapter published in:Reflections on Translation Theory: Selected papers 1993 - 2014
[Benjamins Translation Library 132] 2017
► pp. 347–362
Proposal for a Hieronymic Oath
Four current models of translation ethics are described, based on the ideas of representation, service, communication, and norms. There are problems with all these models: they are in several respects incompatible, and have different ranges of application. An alternative approach is therefore offered based on Alasdair MacIntyre’s ideas about virtues and the deontic force of excellence in a social practice. This leads to a fifth possible model, an ethics of professional commitment: cf. Maria Tymoczko’s suggestion that translation is a commissive act. At the centre of such a model there might be an official oath, comparable e.g. to the Hippocratic Oath for the medical profession. I end with a proposal for a Hieronymic Oath for translators.
Keywords: ethics, values, virtues, MacIntyre, excellence, commitment, oath