A tale of two disciplines? Philosophy in/on translation

Philip Wilson, Alice Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We describe the genesis of this special issue on ‘philosophy in/on translation’: a symposium led to the formation of a successful research group. The interface between philosophy and translation studies has become a fruitful research field, as evidenced by the growing number of conferences and publications. Research into translation and philosophy addresses three topics, as identified by Anthony Pym: what philosophers have said about translation; how translation theorists turn to philosophy to support their ideas; and the translation of philosophical texts. We argue for a fourth link: that, following Derrida, the implications of (un)translatability shape the very notion of philosophy. Five future research directions are mapped in detail: the move beyond the western canon, as the academy engages with the process of decolonisation; epistemic justice, as researchers interrogate and reject Anglophone models; substantive theories of translation that will complement analytical enquiry; the use of translation as a philosophical tool; and the new interface between translator studies and philosophy. We describe in detail the contents of the ten chapters of this special issue and show how the authors both investigate phenomena and provide ways of moving research forward. An exciting time lies ahead for those who work in this interdisciplinary field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • canon
  • epistemic justice
  • philosophy
  • translation
  • translation theory
  • translator studies

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