Lost in Translation?

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According to neo-Russellianism, in a sentence such as John believes that Mont Blanc is 4000 m high, any other proper name co-referring with Mont Blanc can be substituted for it without any change in the proposition expressed. Prima facie, our practice of translation shows that this cannot be correct. We will then show that neo-Russellians have a way out of this problem, which consists in holding that actual translations are not a matter of semantics, but also make an attempt at preserving some pragmatic features of the sentences to be translated. We then turn to translations that only preserve the semantic characteristics of the sentences and we argue that, although these translations are unable to show that neo-Russellianism is incorrect, they still show that it relies on some theses that seem to have no justification, apart from saving neo-Russellianism itself.
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Archival date: 2017-11-13
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