MoL-2000-05: Indeterminacy and Translatability

MoL-2000-05: Yancey, Patrick (2000) Indeterminacy and Translatability. [Report]

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%Nr: MoL-2000-05 %Author: Patrick Yancey %Title: Indeterminacy and Translatability Abstract: The Indeterminacy of Translation is the thesis, originally formulated by Willard V.O. Quine (1953, 1960), that translation lacks empirical controls. This means that, after considering all evidence and criteria of translation, there still exists numerous and incompatible translation functions between any given pair of languages. We will see by the end of this section that the Indeterminacy of Radical Translation produces a kind of ripple effect which extends across the theoretical space of communication in general, thus having repercussions into interpretation within a single language and even within a single idiolect. Thus the philosophical stakes of the Indeterminacy of Translation are rather high. If one can refute it, then one has nullified the ripple effect1. This paper will be concerned with the following questions. Is Translation Indeterminate? If so, in what sense? And what does this tell us about the Translatability of languages? The paper will take the following form. First I will briefly introduce the notion of Indeterminacy much in the same formulation as it was given by Quine. I will then examine 2 recent arguments against Indeterminacy: the first from Jerrold Katz, the second from Dorit Bar-On. Their arguments will lead us to an examination of the current status of translation as it is practiced by actual translators. We will then review and critique the proposed criteria for the determinacy of translation. I will conclude by incorporating the findings of the above mentioned into a broader model of the Translatability of Languages.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2000-05
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2000
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38

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