David Charlston (Translator and Co-Editor of the Journal New Voices in Translation Studies)
Timothy Crane (Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge)
Danielle Sands (Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Culture, Royal Holloway)
Moderator: Angeles Carreres (University of Cambridge)
From the enquiry into the nature of meaning within analytical philosophy (Quine 1959; Davidson 1973) to the radical questioning of notions such as authorship and truth in the wake of post-structuralist discourses (Derrida 1982, 1998; de Man 1986; Eco 2004), philosophy has – at various points in history and in different traditions – engaged with translation in numerous ways. But beyond the explicit discussion of the problems and possibilities of translation, the impact of translation on the transmission of ideas is a fascinating field of enquiry in its own right. For Derrida, the whole edifice of Western philosophy rests upon the assumption of translatability, namely the belief that meaning can be detached from the forms of any particular language and transferred into a different linguistic code without loss. A project such as Cassin’s Dictionary of Untranslatables (2004) foregrounds the extent to which philosophical ideas both call for and resist translation.
The panel discussion will address questions concerning the impact translation can have on the development and transmission of philosophical ideas, the extent to which philosophy relies on translation for its very existence, and (conversely) the reciprocal influence philosophical theories have exerted over the theory and practice of translation.