The Determinacy of (Historical) Translation

The Determinacy of (Historical) Translation
Giuseppina D'Oro (University of Keele, UK)
26.10.2023, 16h (Finnish time)
Tellus Horizon and Zoom

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Revisionism has tended to be the dominant view in philosophy of history since the rise of narrativism. Yet, the most revisionist philosopher of all, was not a postmodern continental type but the epitome of the analytic philosopher: W.V.O. Quine. This paper revisits Quine’s thesis of the indeterminacy of translation as a precursor to narrativist revisionism and argues, using the intellectual resources to be found in the work of R.G. Collingwood, that while there are good reasons in some cases, to revise what one thought about the past, this does not entail that revisionism should apply to knowledge of the past in general, just as the fact that we cannot in some cases get things right epistemically, entails that there is no such thing as getting it right.

Last updated: 5.10.2023