Philosophy Series Lecture:

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Theodore George, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. Editor, Epoché, a journal for the history of philosophy presents, "Lost and Found in Translation". Hans-Georg Gadamer maintains that while all understanding involves language, we understand texts from our so-called mother tongue with a privileged intimacy that is diminished in our experience of translated texts. Yet, as I shall suggest, Gadamer's position may harbor a confusion. For, building on a claim made by Jacques Derrida in a related context, our first language is never simply given before we attempt to understand, but, on the contrary, remains always still to be invented through our efforts to speak and write. With Derrida's claim in view, I seek to rehabilitate Gadamer's approach, arguing that translation need not represent a decrease in the meaning of an original, but, instead, provides the prospect to increase the possibilities of meaning available in one's first language.

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