Philosophy’s Treason: Studies in Philosophy and Translation


Philosophy’s Treason: Studies in Philosophy and Translation

David Morgan Spitzer 2020

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Philosophy's Treason: Studies in Philosophy and Translation
Philosophy’s Treason: Studies in Philosophy and Translation

Philosophy’s Treason: Studies in Philosophy and Translation gathers contributions from an international group of scholars at different stages of their careers, bringing together diverse perspectives on translation and philosophy. The volume’s six chapters primarily look towards translation from philosophic perspectives, often taking up issues central to Translation Studies and pursuing them along philosophic lines. By way of historical, logical, and personal reflection, several chapters address broad topics of translation, such as the entanglements of culture, ideology, politics, and history in the translation of philosophic works, the position of Translation Studies within current academic humanities, untranslatability within philosophic texts, and the ways philosophic reflection can enrich thinking on translation. Two more narrowly focused chapters work closely on specific philosophers and their texts to identify important implications for translation in philosophy. In a final “critical postscript” the volume takes a reflexive turn as its own chapters provide starting points for thinking about philosophy and translation in terms of periperformativity.

From philosophers critically engaged with translation this volume offers distinct perspectives on a growing field of research on the interdisciplinarity and relationality of Translation Studies and Philosophy. Ranging from historical reflections on the overlap of translation and philosophy to philosophic investigation of questions central to translation to close-readings of translation within important philosophic texts, Philosophy’s Treason serves as a useful guide and model to educators in Translation Studies wishing to illustrate a variety of approaches to topics related to philosophy and translation.


“Philosophy’s Treason” not only eloquently shows how translation works within Western philosophical discourse, but it does so while opening a much-needed dialogue with translation studies as an academic discipline. The poststructural thus connects with both the empirical and the experiential, drawing on the reason of those who have actually translated philosophy.

Prof. Anthony Pym
The University of Melbourne

About the Author

D. M. Spitzer holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and an MA in Philosophy from Binghamton University (USA), an MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts (USA), and a BA in Liberal Arts from Goddard College (USA). He is also an alumnus of Harvard University’s Institute for World Literature (2016). Specializing in early Greek thinking and translation theory, Spitzer has presented work at professional conferences in the US and in Europe and has organized sessions on translation at conferences of the Northeast Modern Language Association and the American Literary Translators Association. Dr. Spitzer’s writing has appeared in Translation Review, Mosaic: an interdisciplinary critical journal, and Numéro Cinq. At present, Spitzer is preparing a book-length study of early Greek philosophy from the interdisciplinary perspectives of literary trauma theory, diaspora studies, and translation theory, as well as several article-length studies in the fields of philosophy and translation. Also a poet, Spitzer is the author of A Heaven Wrought of Iron: Poems from the Odyssey (Etruscan 2016) and abyss of departures, an image-text collaboration with Sarashiva Spitzer (forthcoming, Hawai’i Review e-chapbook series), both of which contain threads of translation. His poems and translations have appeared in journals such as North American Review, Interim, Cyphers, and Numéro Cinq.
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