Semantic Equivalence and the Language of Philosophical Analysis


For many years I have maintained that I learned to philosophize by translating Francisco Suárez’s Metaphysical Disputation V from Latin into English. This surely is a claim that must sound extraordinary to the members of this audience or even to most twentieth century philosophers. Who reads Suárez these days? And what could I learn from a sixteenth century scholastic writer that would help me in the twentieth century? I would certainly be surprised if one were to find any references to some of Suárez’s works in any of the works of twentieth-century major philosophers. One of the reasons for my claim is the great difficulty I had in figuring out what Suárez’s text means and how to render it understandable to English readers. Translating the text forced me to think in ways that were quite different from those I was used to think in Spanish, my native tongue, or English, my adoptive tongue. In fact, the translation I produced after having completed many drafts continued, and still continues to this day, to appear to me unsatisfactory, and that dissatisfaction was the key to understanding things I had understood very differently before. I hope to make clear why in what follows. The thesis that I defend is that semantic equivalence between texts of philosophy in different languages is difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to achieve and, therefore, that it is a mistake to restrict doing analytic philosophy to English, as Gustavo Rodríguez-Pereyra argues we should do in a recent article (2013).



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Davidson's Notions of Translation Equivalence.Francesca Ervas - 2008 - Journal of Language and Translation 9 (2):7-29.
The Semantic View, If Plausible, Is Syntactic.Hans Halvorson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (3):475-478.
What is Metaphysical Equivalence?Kristie Miller - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (1):45-74.
From a Phono-Logical Point of View.Reese M. Heitner - 2004 - Dissertation, City University of New York
Equivalence And The Cogno-cultural Dimension In Scientific, Professional And Official Translations.Jasmina Dordevic - 2010 - Facta Universitatis, Series: Linguistics and Literature 8 (1):35-46.
Translating Being and Time Into Spanish.Jorge Eduardo Rivera - 2005 - Studia Phaenomenologica 5:247-251.
Morita Equivalence.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2016 - Review of Symbolic Logic 9 (3):556-582.
The metaphysics of words.Roy Sorensen - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):193 - 214.
Theories of Meaning and Truth Conditions.Kathrin Glüer - 2012 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum International.
Theoretical languages in psychology.J. E. Martin - 1971 - Philosophy of Science 38 (September):344-352.


Added to PP

244 (#61,501)

6 months
55 (#37,026)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jorge J. E. Gracia
State University of New York, Buffalo

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references