ERIC Number: EJ1130979
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
Better Late than Never: Understanding Chinese Philosophy and "Translating It" into the Western Academy
Ames, Roger T.
Ethics and Education, v12 n1 p6-17 2017
"To translate" means quite literally "to carry across, to bring across," that is, "to remove from one place to another." The questions I want to address in this essay are: To what extent have we been successful in, first, understanding the Chinese philosophical narrative and, then, in "carrying it across" into the western academy? To what extent have we been able to grow and "appreciate" (in the sense of value-added) our own philosophical parameters by engaging with this antique tradition? The self-conscious strategy of translation, then, must be to go beyond word-for-word translation and attempt to enable students of Chinese philosophy to read the seminal texts by providing them with a means of developing their own sophisticated understanding of a set of critical Chinese philosophical terms. The premise is that there is no real alternative but to cultivate a nuanced familiarity with the key Chinese vocabulary itself. It is in this effort to take Chinese philosophy on its own terms, then, that we must begin from the interpretive context by taking into account the tradition's own indigenous presuppositions and its own evolving self-understanding. We must be aware of the ambient, persistent assumptions that have given the Chinese philosophical narrative its unique identity over time.
Descriptors: Philosophy, Western Civilization, Asian Culture, Translation, Familiarity, Chinese, Metacognition
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A