Volume 14, 2018
History of Philosophy
Specific Difficulties in Interpreting the Teachings of the Great Philosophers and a Method of Overcoming Them
The interpretation of the texts of the great philosophers is complicated by the fact that they communicated their ideas in a peculiar language that is far from modern scientific terminology. Plato often used metaphors. They could cause false associations, if we would understand them literally. Hegel often used the philosophical categories in unconventional meaning. The method of the Contextual Translation allows to overcome these language difficulties. Its purpose is to define what terms of the modern language we would use in a context, in which the philosopher used such terms. After that it is necessary to analyze the meaning of the text, using modern scientific language instead of terms used by the philosopher. This method helps us to visualize the historical situation in which philosopher lived and, conversely, to look to what extent the words of the philosopher apply to our reality. It allows you to show the injustice of accusations of Plato in commitment to the totalitarianism and hostility to the personality. This method allows us to show that Hegel’s doctrine of the concept is a general theory of programmed processes that take place in the world.