Revision and standardization of Hebrew philosophical terminology in the fourteenth century: The example of Averroes's Long Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics Δ

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Book Δ of Aristotle's Metaphysics and Averroes's three commentaries on it provide explanations of over thirty important metaphysical terms that are commonly used by many of the sciences. The Hebrew translation of Metaphysics Δ with Averroes's Long Commentary, and its subsequent revision, provide a good lens with which to view the development of basic Hebrew scientific terminology and the way scientific terms were translated from Greek into Arabic and then into Hebrew. An examination of the differences between the original Hebrew translation and the later revision of this text shows that the revision was undertaken not only to clarify and correct, sometimes unsuccessfully, the original translation, but also, and more importantly, to promote the development of a standardized Hebrew scientific language. This standardization extends from the basic and formulaic terms that serve to outline the structure of the Long Commentary to central Aristotelian scientific terms, such as being, essence, substance, whole, and universal. This study thus addresses the question of how medieval translators proceeded in their terminological choices as well as how revisers proceeded and why. It is a case study of the medieval Arabic into Hebrew translation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-138
Number of pages44
JournalAleph
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Religious studies
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Revision and standardization of Hebrew philosophical terminology in the fourteenth century: The example of Averroes's Long Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics Δ'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this