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|German to English translations [PRO]|
Art/Literary - Philosophy
|German term or phrase: differentia specifica|
|Sprache und Sprechen gehören der Sphäre des Symbolischen an. Auf die *differentia spezifica* dieses Symbolismus kommt es an. Sprache ist das, was sie ist, im Unterschied zum Bild.|
From a book on 20th century theories of language, readership is academic. This seems to be a term from philosophy, actually, but I can't find the English equivalent. Characteristic difference? Specific characteristic? References would be very helpful. Thanks.
Given that this is aimed at an academic readership, I think it would be appropriate to use the Latin term. Note that "differentia" is singular (the plural being differentiae). The term is used primarily in logic, though there is some overlap between logic and linguistics. The differentia of something is that property which distinguishes it from others.
"By making men into men, Prometheus’ subversive act becomes the symbol for men’s becoming political beings; and fire, in turn, becomes the symbol less of culture, reason, science or art, than of the primal fabric of men’s political essence... Fire becomes, to borrow Blumenberg’s phrase (1990, p. 308), men’s **‘differentia specifica’**."
Note added at 52 mins (2007-08-25 18:56:15 GMT)
"In the twentieth century, the view that the **differentia specifica** of poetry can be located in formal characteristics, such as metre, formulas, or poetic language, was firmly put forward by structuralist critics, especially the Prague School. For example, Roman Jakobson in a famous article defined the poetic function of language as directedness toward the "message", that is, the verbal sign itself (1960: esp. 353-6), and went on to discuss linguistic criteria for poetry."
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Local time: 16:45
|Great, hadn't even thought of this as I'd never come across it in English-language writing before, but you seem to be right. Thanks very much.|
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|differentia spezifica |
is how I'd go about this.
A quick google search of specific differences and symbolism in google shows a variety of examples:
JSTOR: Mephistopheles and the Androgyne: Studies in Religious Myth ...Professor Eliade holds that many myths, symbols, divine figures, ... niscent of one another despite the latitude of their culture-specific differences. ...
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Native speaker of: English
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