Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics

2018

Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics

Lothar Černý
Pages 101-117

The Semiotic and Hermeneutic Aspects of Translation

Translation Studies needs a foundation beyond linguistics. Semiotics and hermeneutics provide insights into the mental processes of translation. This article analyses the possibilities of a bridge between hermeneutics and semiotics in the writings of Peirce and Schleiermacher. For both offer meta-cognitive insights into how the mind deals with difference. Schleiermacher’s lastly claims that language is the reason why a final certainty of knowledge is not possible. Peirce’s view of the sign function at first betrays a hermeneutic deficit, which he appears to overcome by pointing to the “dynamical object” of the sign, providing space for further interpretants. His ontological categories, especially the predicates of thirdness, point to a hermeneutic level of semiosis. However, a basic difference between Peirce’s semiotic theory and Schleiermacher’s hermeneutics remains. Peirce attempts to construct an objective model of signification, while hermeneutics focuses on the interpreting activity towards a given text-sign.