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Mediating the Immeasurable. Remarks on the relation between philosophy and translation

Carlo Chiurco


Both post-structuralist and hermeneutical thinking have recognized translation as the very essence of philosophy. However, they also reached the conclusion that translation – i.e., the λόγος as it was shaped during centuries of philosophical tradition – is untenable. In their view, philosophy held possible to establish an equivalence between different meanings (an equivalence which translation necessarily implies) either without taking properly into account the problematic existence of the incommensurable, or deliberately avoiding it. Another objection has it that the λόγος never fully detached itself from the prephilosophical world of myth. The essay will show that it is sacrifice, and not the λόγος, that presupposes the equivalence between meanings without problematizing the incommensurable. Moreover, λόγος is actually opposed to myth in its unrepentant denunciation of the innocence of all sacrificial victims.


Philosophy; Mediation; Myth; Death; Sacrifice; Translation

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