Concept: the problem of translation

Author(s):  A.I. Shvyrkov, candidate of Sciences, no, Bryansk State Technical University, Bryansk, Russia,

D.M. Koshlakov, no, no, Bryansk State Technical University; RAS Institute of Philosophy, Bryansk, Russia,

Issue:  Volume 45, № 1

Rubric:  Human Being. Culture. Society

Annotation:  The article analyzes a certain mechanism of thinking that comes into effect in the case of borrowing foreign scientific (philosophical) terms. The essence of this mechanism is follows. Almost every foreign word is memorized not with one basic meaning but with several close ones. Due to this, this word is not just one of several synonyms. It absorbs all them. The result can often be that the meaning of a word in the literature for which it is borrowed turns out to be different from the meaning of the word in literature in the language from which it was borrowed. This mechanism, however, is far from always being a problem. On the contrary, its action often allows us to enrich the apparatus of science and philosophy. Though in this case it is probably necessary to make a “reverse translation” of the loaned term, i.e. a translation which allows conveying to foreign readers meanings which in the “native” for the term languages are either not clearly articulated not associated with a special term. The authors came to this issue as a result of the analysis of the term “concept” which recently entered Russian scientific and philosophical circulation. That’s why the article also examines the history of the use of the term from the Middle Ages to the present day, analyzes various meanings in which the corresponding term is used in philosophy and science. An attempt is made to show that in Russian literature the term can often acquire a slightly different meaning than it has in European literature (partly due to the action of the mechanism described).

Keywords:  concept, conceptualism, reverse translation, meaning, term.

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