Sometimes translating religious texts brings us up against the problem of scatological language. The author examines this problem in relation to a story of a former life of the Buddha and explores a variety of avenues for guidance on how to render gūtha ‘shit’ into English. This includes looking at Buddhist monastic law, which does not necessarily give us the guidance we might expect, and how the existing translation of this source of guidance illustrates the very problem in hand. (...) The textual history and context of the story precludes some otherwise useful strategies for determining our translation and the best guide to the translator's hand in this instance turns out to be humour. The author makes a case that, employed judiciously, humour could become a useful hermeneutic tool for drawing meaning from religious literature. Along the way the author also reflects on the influence of the social context of the translator, including changes in British obscenity law, and on the possibility that academia is unconsciously constrained by unexamined assumptions of ‘decency’. Buddhist attitudes to language are also touched upon. (shrink)
I have recently been collaborating with my colleague Stewart Thau in teaching a 200-level course on early modern philosophy. The students are given a "Guide to Reading" for each class's reading assignment, along with about six questions on the assignment, one of which is then selected as a mini-quiz in class at the start of the next lecture. Failures and no-shows in the quizzes have an effect on the final grades.
The paper comments on Dummett's Significance of Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis and discusses Quine's views on the translation of logical connectives. Some difficulties about the latter related to those raised by Morton (J. Phil. 70 (1973), 503–510) are considered. Quine seems here to be in a position considered by Dummett of not allowing a foreigner to be translated as conflicting with one's own firm theoretical commitment (in this case classical logic). But Dummett seems wrong in holding that entrenched theoretical statements must (...) be stimulus analytic. (shrink)
Charles Butterworth's English translation of Averroes' Middle Commentary on Aristotle's Poetics, in which he continues to proceed as he did in previous publications, suffers from three fatal flaws. The translation as a whole is inexact and unrepresentative of what Averroes meant, because Butterworth fails to take into account the decisive influence which the garbled Arabic translation of the Poetics and earlier Arabic commentaries had on Averroes' understanding of the text. The rendering of key technical terms, which is offered wholly without (...) argument or justification, is arbitrary and idiosyncratic. Secondary literature on Aristotelian poetics in Arabic, a subject rather intensely studied in the last two decades, is almost completely ignored, and as a result both the situation described in the former two counts comes about and Butterworth's work is misrepresented as a pioneer in the field. It would appear that all this is due to Butterworth's untenable approach to the text of Averroes: wishing to understand it "on its own terms," as he says, he completely disregards its historical and semantic context, which alone gives it specific meaning, and consequently also disregards the secondary literature that analyzes and explains this context. Previous reviewers have repeatedly brought these matters to Butterworth's attention, but he has chosen to ignore them and has thus rendered his work irrelevant to the scholarly study of Averroes. (shrink)
I would be scandalously remiss were I not to preface my remarks on translation with two expressions of gratitude to the Franciscan Institute. First of all, I am very pleased to have been invited to participate in this celebration of Ockham, not merely for professional reasons but also because I have thereby been afforded the opportunity to return to the Southerntier, as this part of New York State is known to those of us who trace our roots to the Buffalo (...) area. In my all too distant youth I worked for several years as a camp counsel lor down the road in Allegany State Park, and yesterday's drive through the Allegany River valley rekindled my love for this enchanting region and occasioned many fond memories as well. Second, I feel obligated to acknowledge publicly my own deep personal debt to those who have labored so diligently to produce the critical edition of Ockham's works. It is remarkable, indeed well-nigh astonishing, that the critical edition of Ockham's.. (shrink)
Bunhwang Wonhyo (芬皇 元曉, 617-686) was a philosopher in the Korean Shilla Dynasty. He was a successor to the Buddha's wise thought and merciful life on the basis of One Mind (一心) - Reconcilement (和會) -Interfusion(無碍). His One Mind philosophy opened a new way for researching the human abyss and worldessence. The breadth of his enlightenment also enabled many people to live in the vast sea of Buddha dharma, as his manner of thinking and living opened up completely new, (...) unique, and encompassing vistas well beyond the conventional limits of his age, people, religion and philosophy. Wohyo's One Mind philosophy was based on the One Mind-Two Approaches (一心二門) formulation described in Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith. He was not restricted by the commonly accepted view of Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith, wherein One Mind is understood in light of dualistic opposition of the Combined Consciousness of True and False (眞妄和合識)1). On the contrary, he applied a different view of One Mind to Combined Consciousness, unlike the Ālaya-vijñāna view of the Consciousness-Only school that tried to understand One Mind as True Consciousness of Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom (大圓鏡智). Therefore, his understanding of One Mind is very dynamic and elastic. The dynamics and elasticity are also caused by the dualistic structure of Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith (大乘起信論) , that divides One Mind into two characteristics such as white-clean and dirty-contaminated. Wonhyo, who investigated deeply into the suffering mind in order todetermine whether to classify the unenlightened person and Buddha as two or whether to unify them, also made One Mind open to the Ninth Consciousness (九識) without restricting the range of it to Eight Consciousnesses (八識). This ground of understanding is due to Wonhyo's dynamics and Miraculous Understanding. Wonhyo connects One Mind to Tathāgata-garbha (如來藏), while saying that 'it is called Tathāgata-garbha because the body of One Mind is defined as Original Enlightenment (本覺) and it causes phenomenon depending on ignorance.' In order to explain this, he 'coins' the expression of Miraculous Understanding and provides expands the existing understanding of One Mind by adding the meaning of Miraculous Understanding to the understanding of One Mind. And heexplains Miraculous Understanding on the basis of the property of Nirmāṇa-kāya that does not adopt inanimate objectivity, which shows that Wonhyo's One Mind exposes the changeable meaning of an absolute aspect and the unchangeable meaning of a phenomenal aspect at the same time. Wonhyo quoted the concept of Miraculous Understanding in order to explain changeability of an absolute aspect rather than its unchangeability, and unchangeability of a phenomenal aspect rather than its changeability. And finally, Wonhyo's Miraculous Understanding of One Mind shows that the real nature of Original Enlightenment is miraculous by itself. And the meaning of Miraculous Understanding belongs in the Ninth Consciousness, Amala-vijñāna, rather than being restricted to the eighth consciousness, Ālaya-vijñāna. In this way, Wonhyo harmonizes the Eight Consciousnesses theory of Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith and the Nine Consciousnesses theory of Vājrasamādhi–Sūtra (金剛三昧經論) through dynamics and Miraculous Understanding of One Mind. As a result, Wonhyo enlarged the extension of One Mind understanding by granting the meaning of dynamics and Miraculous Understanding to One Mind, which challenged the existing interpretation of his time. (shrink)
Although there is no comprehensive extant biographical source for Wonhyo, scholars have been able to construct a general outline of his life based on a several fragmentary accounts. The most complete among these is that found on the Goseonsa Seodang Hwasang tapbi (Stele of the Reverend Seodang [Wonhyo] from Goseon Temple 高仙寺誓幢和尚塔碑).1 These include Wonhyo bulgi (Wonhyo the Unbridled 元曉不羈..
The core principles of 7th century Korean Buddhist thinker and practitioner Wŏnhyo’s harmonization in non-obstruction thought and Wilberian Integral Theory may help us to understand ourselves and the world better and thus act and live well together accordingly in this contemporary world facing global crises. Whatare particularly noteworthy in Wŏnhyo’s thought and life is that as much as reality is unobstructed (無礙) in its profound calm so can our mode of being and relationships be awakened to its natural harmony free (...) of conflicts (和諍會通). This ideal can be optimally pursued by coming back to the source of One Mind (一心) while extensively benefiting sentient beings. Wŏnhyo consistently pursued and realized this soteriological project through his practice, works, and expediently dedicated life. The most recent version of Wilber’ Integral Theory consists of Integral Approach, Integral Methodological Pluralism, and Integral Post-Metaphysics. Their core principles consist of the AQAL (all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, and all types) and holons with their twenty tenets (holonic laws). Extensively utilizing scientific achievements Wilber attempted to map the whole developmental territory of occasions ranging from matter to Spirit or Emptiness and to formulate the Theory of Everything and then apply it to various fields including business, spirituality, and ecology. Within this framework, however, MarkEdwards tried to add an integral epistemology with its interpretive part and to complement Wilber’s more evolutionary ranking ascent with involutionary egalitarian descent. By also critiquing representational—and thus somewhat reifying—tendency of the AQAL framework and proposing to read it as an interpretive lens hesaves Integral Theory from internal conflicts and rendered it more consistent. Being based on experience and vast scholarship both Wŏnhyo’s and Wilberian visions have an integral nature. Whereas Wŏnhyo’s Enlightenment-anchored high vision-logic enabled him to actualize harmonization unobstructedly, backed by scientific achievements as well as his practice Wilber pioneered the AQAL Integral Theory, and then by adding an interpretive dimension Wilber has made it more balanced and consistent system. Now facing the human-caused threats of various global crises as well as the usual complexities of our ordinary life, we need to draw on mankind’s cultural resources including these two spectacular achievements. We may then further develop these soteriological visions in such a way as to satisfy hopefully all justifiable needs of men as well as the world in a futuristic perspective. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Wigglesworth claims that syntactic criteria of theoretical equivalence are not appropriate for settling questions of equivalence between logical theories, since such criteria judge classical and intuitionistic logic to be equivalent; he concludes that logicians should use semantic criteria instead. However, this is an artefact of the particular syntactic criterion chosen, which is an implausible criterion of theoretical equivalence. Correspondingly, there is nothing to suggest that a more plausible syntactic criterion should not be used to settle questions (...) of equivalence between different logical theories; such a criterion is exhibited and shown to judge classical and intuitionistic logic to be inequivalent. (shrink)
In this essay, I critically discuss Dale Jacquette's new English translation of Frege's work Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik as well as his Introduction and Critical Commentary (Frege, G. 2007. The Foundations of Arithmetic. A Logical-Mathematical Investigation into the Concept of Number . Translated with an Introduction and Critical Commentary by Dale Jacquette. New York: Longman. xxxii + 112 pp.). I begin with a short assessment of Frege's book. In sections 2 and 3, I examine several claims that Jacquette makes in (...) his Introduction and Critical Commentary and put matters in the right perspective. In sections 4-7, I analyse errors and shortcomings in Jacquette's (and Austin's) translation(s) and show how they can be avoided. In this context, I consider several issues of interest for Frege's logic and philosophy of arithmetic. I conclude with general remarks. (shrink)
The author offers a fresh solution to the problem of rendering two key Aristotelian uses of the articular infinitive τὸ εἶναι with an embedded modifier, the one τί ἦν, and the other the dative noun and/or adjective, two usages which are clearly meant to be parallel.
In Zwicker (1987) the hypergame paradox is introduced and studied. In this paper we continue this investigation, comparing the hypergame argument with the diagonal one, in order to find a proof schema. In particular, in Theorems 9 and 10 we discuss the complexity of the set of founded elements in a recursively enumerable relation on the set N of natural numbers, in the framework of reduction between relations. We also find an application in the theory of diagonalizable algebras and construct (...) an undecidable formula. (shrink)
One of Derrida’s most significant insights concerns the irreducibility yet interdependence of unconditioned ideal and conditioned actuality. First, relying especially on the concept of hospitality, I argue that this insight allows for the development of a powerful account of ethical and political action. Second, I show the usefulness of this account for feminist critical practice, especially with regard to the ideal of inclusion and the concept of “woman.” Third, and finally, I explore how this insight could guide feminist action in (...) relation to two specific situations: feminism’s relations to transgender issues and to reproductive freedom. (shrink)
To start with, I would like to briefly say that as a result of my work in translating one of Wonhyo's major extant texts, I have come away with a greatly deepened appreciation of two aspects of his work: (1) the remarkable level of impartiality of the treatment that he gave to the wide range of Buddhist doctrine, and (2) the incredible degree of thoroughness with which he pursued his inquiries. But since these are points already well known (...) to all of our colleagues here today, I will not spend any further time elaborating on them. Instead, I would like to focus more specifically on the special contributions that Wonhyo made toward apprehending the intertwined discourses of the incoming Indian Buddhological currents that attempted to offer systematic accounts of the nature and function of human consciousness. (shrink)
Focusing on West's recent work Democracy Matters, this essay argues that West's work has been guided by three major acts of translation. First, he has sought to translate the memory of suffering and the history of struggle into the foundations for democratic maturity. Second, combining Socratic questioning, prophetic practice and dark hope, West translates suspicion, action and hope into an ethos of collective education, which he calls democratic paideia. Finally, West's work has sought to translate the aesthetic, and in particular (...) vocal and musical, creativity of African Americans into a source of democratic vitality. (shrink)