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ta pros ti

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ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:33 pm

Hi.

In LSJ, for pros + acc. 3.1.
there is a sample to pros ti or ta pros ti and it has a translation the relative term or terms,
but I don't understand the English.
Does it mean the relation ?
What do term and terms mean here ?
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:45 pm

This is philosophy, Aristotle, tera incognita for some of us. Here is a huge block quote from:

On Minimal Relations:
I. The Ontology of Relations in Aristotle and Spinoza
Moses A. Boudourides
Department of Mathematics, University of Patras, Greece
mboudour@upatras.gr
May 2009, pages 6-7


Relations in Aristotle.

Now, I am going to juxtapose to the above ontological definition of relation one of the first philosophical treatments, in a broad sense, of the concept of relationality, according to the work of Aristotle and particularly Chapter 7 of his Categories.5 Literally speaking, in his philosophy, Aristotle has never mentioned the word ‘relation’ in any definitive way. Instead he was talking about the category of “τα πρός τι,” a very ambivalent term, which was responsible of many quandaries in post-Aristotelian philosophies. This term is usually rendered in English as “relative things,” although its circumlocutory rendition would be something like “those referring toward something” – there is no word “thing” in the Greek expression. In any case, Aristotle defines τα πρός τι as follows in Greek: “Πρός τι δὲ τὰ τοιαῦτα λέγεται, ὃσα αὐτὰ ἅπερ ἐστὶν ἑτέρων εἶναι λέγεται ἤ ὁπωσοῦν ἂλλως πρός ἓτερον” (Cat., 6a36-7). I would formulate a translation of this definition (slightly modifying the existing English translation) in the following way: “We call ‘those referring toward something’ (or the ‘relative things’) those which belong as such to something else or somehow they are referring toward something else.” In the next sentences, Aristotle explains that by “those which belong as such to something else” (using the genitive case in order to signify belongingness) he means some sort of comparison. And he adds that “those which are referring toward something else” (using the preposition πρός) are meant according to the faculties of habit (ἓξις), disposition (διάθεσις), perception (αἲσθησις), knowledge (ἐπιστήμη) and attitude (θέσις).6 Furthermore, throughout the whole Chapter 7 of his Categories, Aristotle was making the following four main conceptual claims on relatives, which are listed here alongside the corresponding formulations of the above-mentioned relational ontology:
(A1) Relatives may have contraries or admit a variation of degree, but not all of them do (Cat., 6b15-27). Ontologically: every relation is either binary-existential or oppositional or valued.7
. (A2)  All relatives are correlatives, in the sense that every relative is reciprocated by another one – up to a linguistic terminological modification or coinage of new words (Cat., 6b28-7b14). Ontologically: every relation is (by definition) reversible.
. (A3)  Relatives may not exist simultaneously in time (Cat., 7b15-8a12). Ontologically: every relation is conjugating multiples that may exist in time either synchronously or asynchronously.
. (A4)  No “primary substance” (individual) is relative and most of “secondary substances” (species)8 may not; only certain secondary substances are relatives (Cat., 8a13-8b24). Ontologically: there exist multiples, which are always either reflexive or isolated with respect to every relation.


I don't understand it.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:21 pm

Hi, Bartholomew.
(It might be rude to call you suddenly like this, since you seem to be an old person, and a professor or something.
But Nate told me it is odd to call people with Mr., like "Mr. Bartholomew", in this forum,
and that this forum is no place of any hierarchy.
So I take away Mr..)

Thank you for pointing out from where this phrase ta pros ti is derived.
I, too, was reminded of Metaphysics of Aristotle at first look of this phrase, and have felt that this phrase would surely be from that book.

Yes, the quoted stuff is difficult for me, too. (Difficult terminologies !)
But I know one thing.
In Metaphysics, Aristotle keeps explaining the way how to describe a thing correctly, throughout the whole book. (It is a book on Logics, against the impression from its title.)
That is to say, in uttering a proposition, you should add "in what respect" to that proposition.
For example, you say "She is ugly."
But in what respect she is ugly might be unclear.
So you should add "in respect of face" or "in respect of heart" or "when she wear that clothes" or "when you look at her from this side".

Then, do you have an idea about how to translate ta pros ti ?
Or do you know in what sense term and terms are used in its translation by LSJ "the relative term or terms" ?
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:45 pm

Junya,

Don't worry about being rude. In my culture people rarely use words like Mr. unless it is a client you are addressing. You know more about Aristotle than I do so I will leave the translation question for others.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:16 pm

Oh please don't withdraw.
When I post questions on philosophical texts, few people answer.
I don't demand an accurate answer.
Any hint is welcome.
If people here don't know about philosophy, I suppose they can show me several possible readings with their knowledge of Greek (and English) which is higher than mine.
You know, a creative reading doesn't rely on what are taught in school or on any reading which are agreed out there.
So don't withdraw and give me any idea you have.


-----------

I looked up pros + acc. in LSJ when I was reading this passage from Philoponos.

aporousi de tines (some people are at a loss), ei panta ta onta e^ ansthe^ta estin e^ noe^ta (if every thing or phenomenon is either perceived by sense or perceived by intelligence), to de aisthe^ton kai noe^ton to^n pros ti (and if ....), oukoun kai panta ta onta estai to^n pros ti (then every thing or phenomenon, too, would be .....), kai to theion (even God too), hoper estin atopon (to think that is paradoxical, absurd).
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:03 pm

Junya,

I took about 15 credits of philosophy in college and did more or less average work. Didn't really understand most of the material which was all in my native language. Read a few pages hear and there from Being and Nothingness by Sartre which didn't make any contact with me. The only philosopher I was able to digest a few years later on was Jonathan Edwards, not a greek guy.

Comprehending the meaning of any constituent is dependent on comprehending the co-text (surrounding text) and the context (the complete cognitive universe of the author, historical, cultural, religious, etc.). You don't want to try and establish meaning in the abstract ...

***********
OH! I see you have provided a text, good! Now someone who can read that text can help you.
Last edited by C. S. Bartholomew on Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:13 pm

Joannes Philoponus Phil., In Aristotelis libros de anima commentaria (4015: 008)
“Ioannis Philoponi in Aristotelis de anima libros commentaria”, Ed. Hayduck, M.
Berlin: Reimer, 1897; Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca 15.
Volume 15, page 567, line 13

ἀποροῦσι δέ τινες, εἰ πάντα τὰ ὄντα ἢ αἰσθητά ἐστιν ἢ νοητά, τὸ δὲ αἰσθητὸν καὶ νοητὸν τῶν πρός τι, οὐκοῦν καὶ πάντα τὰ ὄντα ἔσται τῶν πρός τι, καὶ τὸ θεῖον, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἄτοπον.

This guy impresses me as a difficult author, someone will undoubtly come along and say, oh no, this easy and explain it for all of us. :)
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:33 am

Hi.

How many people do you feel there are in this forum who are engaged in philosophical texts ?
Is there other forum for the questions on Greek philosophical texts ?

------------

Philoponos and other philosophical books of late antiquity write with far simpler Greek, compared to the more ancient Aristotle.
Aristotle writes like literature authors, the wording is so to say colloquial, very difficult for non-native (for non-native, a grammatically accurate way of writing is easier), and demands a lot of meticulous consultation of dictionary.

------------

In what site do you see this text of Philoponos ?
I was reading it at archive.org.
Since the book is shown as photos there, I can't copy and paste the text.
That is a problem both when I read it and take notes of what I've looked up in the dictionaries, and when I want to post a question here.
Could you give me an advice about this problem ?
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:47 am

In what site do you see this text of Philoponos ?


Junya,

I didn't find it on the web anywhere. I have a licensed copy of TLG.
Just cut and pasted a little text from your post and did a search for it.

It may be simple greek, in the sense that the words and syntax are not obscure but
the meaning isn't at all obvious to someone who doesn't know what
is being discussed. Very simple language can be used to convey very
subtle ideas. The language of your citation does remind me of
Being and Nothingness by Sartre, not the ideas but just the words.

here is some context for anyone who wants to take a crack at this:

Ἐντεῦθεν κοινὸν συμπέρασμα ἐπάγει τῶν γνωστικῶν ἐνεργειῶν. ἔστι
δὲ τὸ συμπέρασμα ὅτι πάντα τὰ ὄντα ἢ αἰσθητά ἐστιν ἢ νοητά· καλεῖ δέ,
ὡς εἴπομεν, τὰ νοητὰ ἐπιστητά. καὶ ταῦτα διαιρεῖ εἰς τὸ δυνάμει καὶ
15.567.10
ἐνεργείᾳ καὶ δείκνυσι ταῦτα πάντα ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ ὄντα, καὶ τὸ μὲν δυνάμει
ἐπίστασθαι τὰ δυνάμει, καὶ τὸ ἐνεργείᾳ τὰ ἐνεργείᾳ. ἀποροῦσι δέ τινες, εἰ
πάντα τὰ ὄντα ἢ αἰσθητά ἐστιν ἢ νοητά, τὸ δὲ αἰσθητὸν καὶ νοητὸν τῶν
15.567.13
πρός τι, οὐκοῦν καὶ πάντα τὰ ὄντα ἔσται τῶν πρός τι, καὶ τὸ θεῖον, ὅπερ
ἐστὶν ἄτοπον. λέγομεν δὲ ὅτι πάντα τὰ ὄντα, ᾗ μὲν αἰσθητά ἐστι καὶ
15.567.15
νοητά, τῶν πρός τί εἰσι, καθὸ δὲ ὕπαρξιν ἔχουσι, καθ' αὑτά εἰσιν. αὐτὸ
γὰρ καὶ τὸ μέλαν, καθὸ μὲν ὕπαρξιν ἔχει καθ' ἑαυτό, οὐκ ἔστι τῶν πρός
τι, καθὸ δὲ αἰσθητόν ἐστι, τῶν πρός τι ὑπάρχει. <ὅτι ἡ ψυχὴ τὰ ὄντα
πώς ἐστι πάντα.> καλῶς πρόσκειται τὸ πῶς, ἐπειδὴ τὰ εἴδη ἔνυλά ἐστι,
καὶ οἶδεν αὐτὰ ἡ ψυχὴ ἀύλως, οὐκ ἐνύλως· οὐ γὰρ ὁ λίθος ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ
15.567.20
ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ τὸ εἶδος αὐτοῦ ἄνευ τῆς ὕλης· ὁμοίως καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων.
διὰ τοῦτο οὖν εἶπε τὸ πῶς. <πῶς δὲ τοῦτο, δεῖ ζητεῖν>· ὅτι κατὰ τὸ
δυνάμει καὶ ἐνεργείᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ αἴσθησις τὰ αἰσθητὰ καὶ ἡ ἐπιστήμη τὰ
ἐπιστητά. <ἀνάγκη δὲ ἢ αὐτὰ ἢ τὰ εἴδη εἶναι· αὐτὰ μὲν δὴ οὔ.>
ἐπειδὴ εἶπεν ἐν τοῖς ἄνω ὅτι δεῖ ζητῆσαι πῶς ἡ αἴσθησις τῶν αἰσθητῶν
15.567.25
ἀντιλαμβάνεται, νῦν φησιν ὅτι ἀνάγκη ἐστὶν ἢ αὐτὰ τὰ σύνθετα εἴδη ἐν
τῇ ψυχῇ εἶναι, τουτέστι μετὰ τῆς ὕλης καὶ τὸ εἶδος, ἢ αὐτὸ καθ' ἑαυτὸ
τὸ εἶδος. ἀλλὰ μήν, φησίν, αὐτὰ τὰ σύνθετα οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ·
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:19 am

This is the co-text preceding your citation:

Ἐντεῦθεν κοινὸν συμπέρασμα ἐπάγει τῶν γνωστικῶν ἐνεργειῶν. ἔστι
δὲ τὸ συμπέρασμα ὅτι πάντα τὰ ὄντα ἢ αἰσθητά ἐστιν ἢ νοητά· καλεῖ δέ,
ὡς εἴπομεν, τὰ νοητὰ ἐπιστητά. καὶ ταῦτα διαιρεῖ εἰς τὸ δυνάμει καὶ
15.567.10
ἐνεργείᾳ καὶ δείκνυσι ταῦτα πάντα ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ ὄντα, καὶ τὸ μὲν δυνάμει
ἐπίστασθαι τὰ δυνάμει, καὶ τὸ ἐνεργείᾳ τὰ ἐνεργείᾳ.


I found one little clue in LSJ under ἐνέργεια

in the philos. of Arist., opp. δύναμις, actuality, Metaph.1048a26, al.; opp. ὕλη, ib.1043a20; ἡ ὡς ἐ. οὐσία, substance in the sense of actuality, ib.1042b10; opp. ἐντελέχεια, as actuality to full reality, ib.1050a22, 1047a30; ἐνεργείᾳ actually, opp. δυνάμει, ib.1045b19, al., etc.


But the text from LSJ doesn't help me at all. Words like substance, actuality, full reality. Don't have a clue what this is all about which is why we need a philosophy person to take over from here.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby spiphany » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:54 am

Hi Junya

I've worked a very little bit with Aristotle -- mostly his discussion of aitia (see here) and bits of the Poetics -- not enough to help you with the meaning of this particular phrase, but here are some thoughts on useful ways to approach Aristotle in general.

One of the difficulties is that Aristotle is not only creating the theoretical framework for Western philosophy, he also has to create the vocabulary to talk about it. This means that you end up with phrases like "ta pros ti" where Aristotle is trying very hard to express a very specific relation using ordinary words -- like describing motion without technical terms like "acceleration."

The meaning of such phrases really is very context-dependent, which is why we all find it difficult to help you without both the context where it's presented and a certain amount of background in the theoretical framework. On its own "ta pros ti" is very vague -- the preposition alone can express a number of different things.

What I find helpful when reading philosophy is reading the texts first in a language I am fluent in to get a general idea of what the author (here Aristotle) is saying, his arguments, etc. Once I have a sense of his theory (maybe not all the details, but an overall sense of how it works as a system, how it compares to other philosophies I'm familiar with, etc), then I go and tackle the original text and look at the terminology more closely. Often the original language will help fill in gaps because the words have nuances, grammatical implications which the translation doesn't have. But I don't start with the original text: it's too much all at once.

I also suggest that you may want to track down secondary literature on Aristotle and use that when trying to understand his texts. Aristotle has been studied for some 2000 years; everything he has written has been discussed and debated by multiple scholars (who probably don't entirely agree about what exactly he means). A good philosophical commentary of, say, the Categoriae will refer to the Greek terminology and offer an interpretation.

You also may find the following books helpful:
F.E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms. A Historical Lexicon. New York University Press, 1967
J.O. Urmson, The Greek Philosophical Vocabulary. London: Duckworth, 1990
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:29 pm

Hi Bartholomew.

Thank you for pasting the whole text around.
Can I ask you what is TLG ?

-------

Hi Spiphany.

I will read your blog and see if there is a key to understand ta pros ti.
I'm a slow person, so it may take a couple of days, through.



The meaning of such phrases really is very context-dependent, which is why we all find it difficult to help you without both the context where it's presented and a certain amount of background in the theoretical framework. On its own "ta pros ti" is very vague -- the preposition alone can express a number of different things.


A lingering question to me is, "Is it ok to present the whole context and make the answerers here to take up a bother of reading all of them ?"

On its own "ta pros ti" is very vague -- the preposition alone can express a number of different things.
That's what I wanted to seek out by this post.
I wanted to know if advanced Greek learners say it is a clear expression or a vague one.
(But if vague, you can name several possible translations.
And I wanted you all to do it.)



I also suggest that you may want to track down secondary literature on Aristotle and use that when trying to understand his texts............A good philosophical commentary of, say, the Categoriae will refer to the Greek terminology and offer an interpretation.

You also may find the following books helpful:
F.E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms. A Historical Lexicon. New York University Press, 1967
J.O. Urmson, The Greek Philosophical Vocabulary. London: Duckworth, 1990


Thank you, I want to buy them.
But I'm presently poor, so I don't like to buy books.
If I can see what is needed on the internet (in this forum, or in personal homepages by scholars and students, or at sites like Google books), it would be very helpful.
I have a couple of such books at hand, but they seem to be written by ones who don't know Greek firsthand, so I can't trust them at all.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby spiphany » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:17 pm

I doubt my notes on the aitia will help you to understand Aristotle's use of ta pros ti. I mentioned my posts because it (partially) shows how I work when trying to interpret philosophical texts. It may be useful to you. It may not.

I said ta pros ti is vague, not that it's ambiguous. There's a difference.
vague = underdefined
ambiguous = has multiple meanings.
If it merely was a word with more than one meaning (like "heart," which can refer to an organ of the body or a character trait), it would be easy enough to give you a couple of definitions and let you pick the one that fits best.
But the Greek could really mean just about anything without knowing the context: two pronouns put in some relationship with one another using a preposition. "the [things] towards/relating to something" would be a literal translation, but I imagine you can figure that out for yourself if you have a decent understanding of Greek grammar. It doesn't clarify what Aristotle is saying at all.
Do you see why we're all having such difficulty giving you any kind of answer?

Read about Aristotle in your native language. Become acquainted with his theories. A good philosophy textbook will explain what is meant by "actuality" or "relative term" (which is just as unclear to me as the Greek without spending a long time working with the theory) -- what's important here is getting the general concepts, not whatever words that are used for them. Then go back to Aristotle and grapple with the Greek.
Honestly. I'm not trying to discourage you from tackling the Greek if you want, but you're trying to do things just about the hardest way possible. Even without a lot of resources there are ways to approach this that are easier.

Do you have access to a university library? Even if you're not a student, it should be possible to arrange to read texts that might be helpful to you. It's rarely necessary to buy everything.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:57 pm

Thank you for great advices, Spiphany. :D

you wrote :
"relative term" (which is just as unclear to me as the Greek without spending a long time working with the theory)


Oh, even the native don't understand it !
I thought the reason I didn't understand the word "relative term" was because I didn't have enough knowledge of English.
I thought native English speakers would understand it.
-----
But, if you look up the word "term" in a large English dictionary, there would be found definitions of terminologies used in special fields.
And then if you can pick up a definition among them, you can look up that special terminology in a general dictionary or an encyclopedia and get the idea of the word.



you wrote :
But the Greek could really mean just about anything without knowing the context: two pronouns put in some relationship with one another using a preposition. "the [things] towards/relating to something" would be a literal translation, but I imagine you can figure that out for yourself if you have a decent understanding of Greek grammar. It doesn't clarify what Aristotle is saying at all.


When I got stuck with ta pros ti, looking up pros in LSJ I got "towards", "relating to", but I was inconfident with my searching of the dictionary.
I thought if I see the dictionary more thoroughly I might find more fitting definitions.
So I asked the more learned people here, before I do the thorougher search.
-------
When I consult LSJ, the looking-through-process often gets endless, searching for more meanings that are unknown to me.




you wrote :
Read about Aristotle in your native language. Become acquainted with his theories............Then go back to Aristotle and grapple with the Greek.

Honestly. I'm not trying to discourage you from tackling the Greek if you want, but you're trying to do things just about the hardest way possible. Even without a lot of resources there are ways to approach this that are easier.


Usually, I choose to tackle with a Greek text without reading the extant translations beforehand.
I feel like trying a translation work by myself alone, as a way of studying Greek.
(That the translations are not available to me without buying, is one reason, though. I don't have an access to a university. I live in a rural area.)
But if people here think that's a most foolish way (or a hardest way ?), I can correct my way.
You know, I study all alone, without a teacher, so my way of working may be transgressing the right course.




By the way, do you know of a philosophy forum like this Greek forum ?
If there is such, I can ask there.
Q&A sites like Yahoo Answer are too general, people seldom answer to my question like this.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:35 pm

Junya wrote:Usually, I choose to tackle with a Greek text without reading the extant translations beforehand.
I feel like trying a translation work by myself alone, as a way of studying Greek.
(That the translations are not available to me without buying, is one reason, though. I don't have an access to a university. I live in a rural area.)
But if people here think that's a most foolish way (or a hardest way ?), I can correct my way.
You know, I study all alone, without a teacher, so my way of working may be transgressing the right course.


It depends on the difficulty of the text and how familiar the author. With a familiar author and an easy text then reading without a version is a good idea. But translations also function as commentary and with a difficult author I get all the help I can lay hands on. There are many english versions online for the Greek "canon" but some of the less well known works are not so easy to get help with. I had never even heard of the author in this tread until you posted.

I always eventually consult a translation when working outside of biblical greek. With Attic tragedy I consult numerous translations. I don't always wait until I have reached the "wall" to do it. But it is good to struggle a while with the original before grabbing a version.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:53 pm

Bartholomew,

About ta pros ti,
I searched the internet by the keyword ta pros ti, and found Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy has an article on Aristotle's Category, and there ta pros ti is explained as one of the categories.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-categories/
When I get stuck with a difficult word or phrase, searching the internet would be one option, but I have avoided it so far, because I'm bad at the internet search.
Maybe I'd better ask in this forum, on such occasion, how to or by what keywords I should search the internet first, before asking for a more direct help to my problem.


There are many english versions online for the Greek "canon" but some of the less well known works are not so easy to get help with. I had never even heard of the author in this tread until you posted.


John Philoponus is not well known in the biblical study field ?
But he was a Christian and rather famous as a commentator of Aristotle's books.




............With a familiar author and an easy text then reading without a version is a good idea. ............I always eventually consult a translation when working outside of biblical greek. With Attic tragedy I consult numerous translations. I don't always wait until I have reached the "wall" to do it. But it is good to struggle a while with the original before grabbing a version.


Thank you for encouraging me.
The texts of late antiquity philosophy like John Philoponus (and, as I think, other fields too) are written with very simplified Greek,
so even I don't have to consult dictionaries very much.
Only, occasionally difficult words and expressions pop up and puzzle me.

Before I get engaged in Philoponus, I was translating a chapter of Aristotle's text (the text you got from TLG is a commentary on that chapter by Philoponus) spending half a year, though it is a very short chapter,
checking up every word in LSJ in a very meticulous way (every word was difficult for me), taking a large amount of notes of what I saw in the dictionary.
I saw the extant translations at hand only when I got puzzled by extremely difficult places, but even they were unclear, showing that the translators too are unclear about the places.

I read many translations long ago, but they were all bad translations, translating only literally, so the sentences are totally incoherent and meaningless without an interpretor of the translation.
Almost all the translations of ancient philosophy I read were like that.
So I got an aspiration to create a new type of translation, which is not literal translation, not with meaninglessly difficult wordings, but with a very plain language and very explaining in itself.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:30 pm

Junya wrote:I read many translations long ago, but they were all bad translations, translating only literally, so the sentences are totally incoherent and meaningless without an interpretor of the translation.
Almost all the translations of ancient philosophy I read were like that.
So I got an aspiration to create a new type of translation, which is not literal translation, not with meaninglessly difficult wordings, but with a very plain language and very explaining in itself.


Junya,

Translation theory is project I have dabbled in for 30 years. I was really into it in the early 90s. Not so much now. The people over on the BT forum (Wayne Leman, Peter Kirk ... ) are internet friends of mine. We don't agree on everything (understatement). Translating ancient texts is more art than science. I used to be a big fan of the Richmond Lattimore style which is formal equivalence. I still like to have a formal translation handy when I am working on Tragedy or Thucydides.

Philosophy is difficult because of the abstractions involved, like I said before reading philosophy in my native tongue is not rewarding for me because I don't appreciate the significance of the issues that are being discussed. Please don't take that wrong. If you find reading philosophy rewarding then go for it. I read thousands and thousands of pages of theology in grad school. Got my fill of it, thank you.

Late antiquity is period I know little about. My reading jumps from first century to the reformation all in one leap, perhaps a little Augustine and Pelagius, a touch of Origen. Nothing in the middle ages. Who is Thomas Aquinas?

anyway, this has wandered off topic.

CSB
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:37 am

Bartholomew, :)

you wrote :
I used to be a big fan of the Richmond Lattimore style which is formal equivalence. I still like to have a formal translation handy when I am working on Tragedy or Thucydides.


What's the "formal equivalence" ?
A formal equivalence to Greek wording ?
Is it a kind of literal translation ?
When I was a student, literal translations looked very cool to me.
But, though as a help to reading the original text literal translations are useful,
literal translations by themselves alone are meaningless, never helping to a deep understanding by readers who don't have access to the original text.



you wrote :
Translation theory is project I have dabbled in for 30 years. I was really into it in the early 90s. Not so much now.


I like to translate.
And I have a taste of translation, like a taste in music, an ability to judge this translation is good and that bad, this translator seems to be understanding the text and that doesn't seem so at all, this translation is a readable language and that unreadable, etc..

So far, scholars don't seem to have poured much elaboration into translating work.
But compared to that, in classical music, there are numerous performers (they are equivalent to translators) and numerous CDs (equivalent to translations) are published.
I want to make translating activity bacome like in the world of classical music.
-----
Literal translation is an abandonment of translator's own interpretation.
But I wish there come a movement in which translators express their own interpretations with understandable ways of expression,
and in result there should appear lots of translated versions as in the world of classical music.
One translator would be good at this place and bad at tat place, another good at that place and bad at this place, and transltors complete one another.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:05 pm

Junya,

What's the "formal equivalence" ?
A formal equivalence to Greek wording ?
Is it a kind of literal translation ?


Yes, but the whole issue is fraught with endless controversy, at least in bible translation. The subject has been beaten to death over the last 50 years since E. A. Nida and James Tauber wrote their early books on translation theory. More recently the Better Bibles blog was launched as an apologetic site for Nida&Tauberism and the products it produced. Don't want to duplicate all that HOT AIR here.

Street level English up until sometime after 1950 was saturated with biblical idioms such that the syntax of English adopted certain features of Greek and Hebrew syntax. This significantly complicates the discussion of "formal equivalence" vs free translation. In the current world where biblical literacy is almost nonexistent some translations are being developed for a neopagan target audience. However, some Greek and Hebrew syntax is still embedded in street level English. But my contact with street language recently is almost entirely with second language speakers and boys from the hood, and the lingo is a pidgin language. Texting has made matters even worse.

Enough already.
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Hi, people who answered me. :)

I now understand what ta pros ti is.
So I report about it.
ta pros ti is one of the categories defined in Aristotle's book 'Categories'.
It means "relative beings" or "beings such as exist only relatively", like the bigger and the smaller, the more beautiful and the less beautiful, good and bad (the better and the worse), good and evil, the right and the left, the upper and the lower, etc..
Aristotle also mentions the sense (aisthesis) and the sense-objects (ta aistheta), and the intelligence (noesis) and the intellectual objects (ta noeta) as relative beings.

I read an English translation of 'Categories' online,
http://www.classicallibrary.org/aristotle/categories/
Part 7, titled "Relation".
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Re: ta pros ti

Postby Junya » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:10 pm

Hi. Now I can translate that problematic passage for me in John Philoponus' book.

aporousi de tines (Some people find themselves at a loss.),
ei panta ta onta e^ ansthe^ta estin e^ noe^ta (If every thing is either perceived by sense or perceived by intelligence),
to de aisthe^ton kai noe^ton to^n pros ti (and if things perceived by sense or by intelligence are such things as exist only relatively),
oukoun kai panta ta onta estai to^n pros ti, kai to theion, (then won't it be so that everything exist only relatively, even God, too ?),
hoper estin atopon (To think that is paradoxical).
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