Discussion
Why should we seek common ground?

Brian Mossop
Government of Canada Translation Bureau and York University School of Translation

Table of contents

    The Chesterman/Arrojo paper takes the form of 30 theses agreed to by both authors, followed by individual ‘codas’. These codas are rather misleadingly introduced as ‘comment’ on the shared ground and ‘expansion’ of selected points. In fact, they seem to be mainly statements of unshared ground. I take it that Chesterman would not agree with Arrojo’s comment on theses 21/28, where she sets out her relativist, perspectival, interest-based view of knowledge. [ p. 159 ]It’s very hard to see how this view can be reconciled with the outlook of empirical science. Either one believes (as I do) that one is discovering how the world really is independently of our individual perspectives and interests (that is, discovering its hidden causal mechanisms) or one doesn’t believe that. If one doesn’t believe it, then the very enterprise of science becomes pointless.

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