September 09, 2006

Western philosophy lost sight of its roots

Translating Heidegger (Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and the Human Sciences) by Miles Groth Editorial Reviews: Ereignis website, February 2004"... [includes] probably the best bibliography of Heidegger's translation into English to date."
Book Description: "Miles Groth's text fills a major lacuna in the scholarship by offering an incisive account of Heidegger's own philosophy of 'paratactic' translation and illustrating how Heidegger himself employed it in his translations from the Greek. The book will provoke a lively and much-needed debate on the translation of key terms in Heidegger's works." -- Thomas Sheehan, Stanford University
Despite Martin Heidegger's influence on twentieth-century philosophy, understanding his way of thinking is difficult if one relies solely on English translations of his works. Since Gilbert Ryle misjudged his work in a 1929 review of "Sein und Zeit", Heidegger's philosophy has remained an enigma to many scholars who cannot read the original German texts. Miles Groth addresses this important issue in his illuminating work.
The main cause of misunderstanding Heidegger, says Groth, is that translators have not achieved clarity about Heidegger's fundamental words, an understanding of which is crucial to gaining access to his thought, including Heidegger's seminal interest in the philosophical implications of translation. A basic theme of his translation theory is that key words from the ancient Greek tradition were mistranslated, first into Latin and then into modern European languages, so that early and classic Greek thinking has been obscured for two millennia and Western philosophy has lost sight of its authentic roots.
Groth examines the history of the first English translations of Heidegger's works and reveals the elements of Heidegger's philosophy of translation, showing it at work in Heidegger's radical translation of Parmenides, Fragment VI. The volume concludes with a complete research bibliography of English translations of Heidegger. This unique study makes an original contribution to Heidegger scholarship as well as the philosophy of language.
About the Author: Miles Groth is chair of the psychology department, associate professor of psychology, and director of the honors program at Wagner College, in New York City. He is also an existential psychoanalyst and the author of PREPARATORY THINKING IN HEIDEGGER'S TEACHING and THE VOICE THAT THINKS: HEIDEGGER STUDIES.

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