Anglotardation in an Object Oriented World

While slowly working through my very rough draft of Why TMSR and mulling over what loglines to include, the following jumped into my head (thankfully, I found it):

mircea_popescu: there's nothing BEYOND the world. the things claimed to be so are always and without exception ~inferior~ not superior in the tree of things. one's fantasies of self-realisation, be they wet dreams about little miss rottencrotch two chairs down in chem class or "the rapture", are just so much teenage wank.

god is ~just another trope~. like "the voyage", like "the teenage witch", like "vampires" or "magic horses" or "the island of buyan", god is just another trope. tropes are common places of fiction. fiction is a product of imagination. imagination is mildly-restrained psychogenic noise, which is a class of noise, like wetware thought or like fg output. which are phenomena, which is one half of the world (the other half being objects).

The bolded bits, especially, are what stuck in my mind, and it makes sense to me: We exist in the world as objects (with other objects that don't necessarily belong to the "we" set), and the interaction between them is the phenomena. This simple classification put much into focus, and honestly I wish I heard that in kindergarten instead of the mandatory day of "lets sit in chairs and pretend we're flying to Disneyland" (literally, they did this)

This logline of thought eventually led me back to my copy of "Kritik der reinen Vernunft" von Kant. I've been very slowly chewing through that thing, and each sentence probably takes me good 30 minutes to really grok because I cross-reference each translated word, trying to make sure I'm actually getting the correct meaning. The point being: It takes time, but at the end of it I can actually understand (I think) what the original author means.

Now, up to this point I had prevented myself from even taking a glimpse at an English copy because I've read in the logs how often the English translations are shit. Just for kicks, I finally looked at the one tiny portion of the gutenberg English translation that I had also translated from the original. Let's compare!

First, the original:

I. Von dem Unterschiede der reinen und empirischen Erkenntnis

Daß alle unsere Erkenntnis mit der Erfahrung anfange, daran ist gar kein Zweifel;

denn wodurch sollte das Erkenntnisvermögen sonst zur Ausübung erweckt werden, geschähe es nicht durch Gegenstände,

die unsere Sinne rühren und teils von selbst Vorstellungen bewirken,

teils unsere Verstandestätigkeit in Bewegung bringen, diese zu vergleichen,

sie zu verknüpfen oder zu trennen,

und so den rohen Stoff sinnlicher Eindrücke zu einer Erkenntnis der Gegenstände zu verarbeiten,

die Erfahrung heißt?

Now, my attempt at translating to my mother tongue:

I. Regarding the distinction between pure and empirical knowledge

That all of human knowledge begins with experience, towards this there can be absolutely no doubt;

because whereby should cognition be exercised,

does it not occur through objects,

which stir the senses and partly cause notions to naturally occur,

partly setting our mind in motion,

to compare and collate them,

to join them or to separate,

to process the raw material of carnal impressions into a knowledge of the objects,

is this not what experience means?

Okay, I'm sure it is clumsy. But I think I grok the author's original meaning, at least. We experience existence through our interaction with the objects around us. Classifying, smashing them together, poking and prodding. This in itself is experience.

Now the gutenberg English translation:

I. Of the difference between Pure and Empirical Knowledge

That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt. For how is it possible that the faculty of cognition should be awakened into exercise otherwise than by means of objects which affect our senses, and partly of themselves produce representations, partly rouse our powers of understanding into activity, to compare to connect, or to separate these, and so to convert the raw material of our sensuous impressions into a knowledge of objects, which is called experience?

Definitely moar wordy than mine. Pretty similar, I guess, but constructions like "faculty of cognition should be awakened into exercise otherwise than" really make me scratch my head. I think that if this was all I had, I'd have a hard time understanding wtf the original author was saying.

Or perhaps I'm just not understanding the original! And that's why ESL is bad for your mental health. What a phenomenon!

2 Responses to “Anglotardation in an Object Oriented World”

  1. The Meiklejohn English version isn't even that terrible (it also comes from a time cardinal Newman walked those grounds). The fellow enjoyed a solid education in Classics and treats the matter with all the seriousness of a first clerk worthy of his master (one Paul Bultitude)'s confidence.

  2. [...] an emerging "Why the Republic" blogging trend. Now the bulk of English language Trilema consists of material to this end, but it is pointedly not [...]

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