The theme of language in relation to science can be developed in different ways. An interesting and potentially useful thematization is through the idea of translation.
The notion of translation occurs sporadically in philosophy of science, but much of this literature merely glosses over the issue of translation. Even where translation is explicitly invoked, it is mostly understood in terms of what is usually called the naïve view of translation. Such an approach does not do justice to the philosophical complexity inherent in the idea of translation. It is by paying heed to the complexities inherent in the ‘idea’ of translation, which one realizes the intrinsic link between science and translation. Similar to the suspicion which science has towards language, language itself harbors a suspicion towards translation. This has contributed to the view that translation is essentially a secondary activity, derivative and dependent on the idea of an original text. As much as the scientific discourse likes to believe that it can distill ideas outside the purview of language, so does the naïve view of translation believe that translations only change the language of the text but continue to keep its ‘essence’ intact. These beliefs reinforce the naïve view of translation, which, according to Andrew Benjamin (1989: 60), has ‘two dimensions’:
First it involves the idea of recovery; of the recovery of a meaning, or truth, and the subsequent re-expression of what has been recovered. Second this understanding of translation also involves the idea of free exchange; of an unmediated and unrestrained economy in which signifiers are the object of exchange.
CONCEPT OF SCIENCE
The basic ground of a scientific study is the continuous relationship between a cause and its effect. In other words, wherever there is a cause there is an effect. In the modern context the term ‘Science’ is moved away from its original definition and is presently used for areas of study which do not show the relationship between cause and effect in traditional sense. Sciences such as political science, psychology etc. fall under this category.
In the modern world the areas of knowledge are divided mainly in three categories: 1. Natural sciences, 2. Social sciences and 3. Humanities. The Natural sciences study natural phenomenon which are not man-made. Social sciences concentrate on the study of human behaviour. The areas under Humanities try to explore aesthetic and creative aspects of human mind. In fact these three categories are not mutually unrelated but one finds a narrowness of approach in these areas of study. For instance, Psychology on one hand is related to the Neuro-science and on the other to Social sciences since the human being is created as the result of a natural process and the society controls his social behavior. This to certain extent affects his psychological behavior. Similarly, in the case of sculpture and architecture the tools of measurement are derived from physical sciences. While Humanities deal with its aesthetic aspects. So far as the process of translation is concerned, it can also be treated …Read more