The Relationship Between Translatability and Competence
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The concept of “translatability” may be analyzed within the framework of the discussion on the rationality of the standards that guide the processes of interpretation of the social sciences. In particular, the aspect of the comprehension of the meaning of a symbolic expression must be considered in that it presents different conditions depending on whether a “relativistic” or a “universalistic” position is assumed. Within the totality of the contributions made in the ample debate over this point that has been taking place since the Sixties, I shall highlight the position of Habermas in contrast to the “strong” contextualism of MacIntyre to underline the formal and universal structure of the concept of “compe-tence” understood in a pragmatic sense, which is connected to the use of language. The close connection between “translatability,” as the possibility of the interpretation of a symbolic expression, and “competence,” as the set of universal conditions that structure such a possibility, will be made clear.
KeywordsSymbolic Expression Communicative Competence Linguistic Competence Universal Structure Validity Claim
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