Philosophy and translation

Rosemary Arrojo
Table of contents

In the overall history of Western philosophy, hardly any attention has been paid either to the practice of translation or to the philosophical questions it raises. In fact, until quite recently, the relationship between institutionalized philosophy and the study of translation was considered to be clearly asymmetrical: translators and translation specialists seemed to have been far more interested in philosophy than philosophers had explicitly pondered on the conundrums of translation (Pym 2007: 25). The dynamics of this relationship began to change in the last few decades of the twentieth century as contemporary thought became increasingly aware of the inextricable connections that bind together philosophy and translation. It has been argued, for example, that contemporary thought is not simply interested but actually “fascinated” by translation as it provides the “concept” in terms of which “the possibility, if not the actual practice, of philosophy is discussed” (Benjamin 1989: 9).

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