Outlines on Pyrrhonism by Sextus Empiricus: paradigm of terms and translation intentions

Keywords: skepticism, philosophical translation, lexical-semantic field, unification of terms, internal form


The article considers the principles underpinning the Ukrainian translation of Sextus Empiricus’ Outlines of Pyrrhonism and the translation strategy employed to render the fundamental concepts of his philosophy. The author believes that the translation should fully reproduce Outlines of Pyrrhonism’s rich word-forming terminological potential while preserving the internal form and etymological affinity of concepts. The basic principle is the unification of terms and key concepts. At the same time, an acceptable translation should adequately convey the original meaning of the text and not its letter. The accurate translation of the contents is more important than an effort to use the same Ukrainian word throughout the translation as an equivalent of a particular word in the original. Besides, our translation seeks to abide by a principle that one has to avoid, whenever possible, Grecisms, Latinisms, and loan translations from the Russian language. In accord with this translation strategy, the paper describes the lexical and semantic fields of the basic concepts of skepticism, their paradigmatic and syntagmatic connections, and the range of these terms’ derivation, and substantiates the choice of Ukrainian equivalents. The explanations are illustrated by fragments of the contextual translation of several cognate word forms. The translation should take into account the extensive synonymy present in the Greek text and certain lability of the terminological system used by Sextus himself. The translator’s intentions aim at conveying the rich lexical imagery and metaphors of the Outlines of Pyrrhonism.

Author Biography

Lesia Zvonska, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Doctor of Sciences in Phililogy, Professor of General Linguistics, Classical Philology and Neo-Hellenistics Department


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How to Cite
Zvonska, L. (2020). Outlines on Pyrrhonism by Sextus Empiricus: paradigm of terms and translation intentions. Sententiae, 39(2), 92-103. https://doi.org/10.31649/sent39.02.092


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