A Cognitivist Risk-Management Approach to Steiner’s Hermeneutic Motion


  • Mehrnaz Pirouznik




Hermeneutic Motion, Risk-management, Affective-becoming-conative, Affective-becoming-conative-becoming-cognitive, 4EA Cognitive science


This paper combines Cognitive Translation Studies (CTS) under the specific rubric of Risk-Management (RM), which is closely connected with 4EA cognition, and the magisterial Translational Hermeneutics (TH) of George Steiner’s four-stage hermeneutic motion (HM), asking what the risks are that a translator will be cognitively processing (recognising, testing, avoiding, etc.) in regard to each of the motions: trust, aggression, assimilation (appropriation) and restitution. In this spirit, a new reading of Steiner’s hermeneutic motion will be offered whereby the model is treated as an idealised model of a single act of translation in order to explore the implicit RM in it. According to Robinson (2015: 45), in the post-Kantian world “Everything we take to be reality is culturally constructed: we have no access to ‘objective’ reality”. This is equally true of risk-management, where the entire process, although culture-driven, emerges in and through and out of personal experiencing and feeling, namely fearing and daring. This paper also explores the RM implied in Steiner’s HM as the affective-becoming-conative formation of person-centred norms (a felt pressure to conform) out of perceived repetitions.


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