Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Doing history of ancient and medieval philosophy in Romania (1)

In Romania, we have a very unhealthy tradition in doing things in the history of philosophy: we publish general surveys before translating the fundamental texts of the European thought and before writing specialized studies. Unfortunately, the young researchers do not break with this tradition. Although we witness a few efforts of translating fundamental texts - e.g., Aristotle's De anima, Protrepticus (1st Romanian trans.), Rhetoric (1st Romanian trans.), De caelo (1st Romania trans.), Politics (two new translations); Plotinus' Enneades (1st Romanian translation of all six enneades - two separate translation projects); Damascius' On First Principles; several of Porphyrios's writings (especially Isagoge); ... - we are still waiting for in-depth studies. In my opinion, the two efforts should be carried in parallel.
One example of ancient text that should receive a new translation: Aristotle's Metaphysics. Please, spear me with Vladutescu's version or Cornea's "interpretation". I want to see a real scholar that will dedicate 10 years of his life working on this text, translating and writing about the aristotelian text in international peer-reviewed journals, participating in international colloquia on ancient thought and especially on Aristotle, and have a team of scholars to discuss all his steps.
I am tired of people that translate Aristotle or Plotinus this year and Augustine or Albert the Great next year. You cannot accomodate enough with the language of Plotinus in one year, in four years or in ten. Even if you are a genius. These things take time, a lot of time.

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