Hegel en Grec

Di Georges Faraklas

In: Hegel and/in/on Translation XLIX , No. 1-2 ( 2020 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


The article discusses some issues concerning the translation of Hegelian terms into modern Greek. Unlike ancient Greek, modern Greek is not an influential philosophical language, but because it still uses almost all of the ancient Greek terms with more or less the same meaning, this discussion may be interesting also beyond the boundaries of modern Greek studies. After proposing certain guidelines taken from my personal experience of translating philosophical texts, especially Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind, I will focus on the translation into Greek of two important Hegelian terms. I claim that an und für sich corresponds to auto kath’auto and that Geist corresponds both to nous and pneuma. Based on the history of the two aforementioned Hegelian expressions and also on their treatment by Hegel himself, I hold that an sich characterizes a determination as such, be it an immediate given or a hypostasized idea, and that the same goes for the Greek expression auto to x, from which an sich is derived, whereas für sich denotes a determination referred back to itself through the mediation of its other (most of the time in opposition to something else), which is also the case with the Greek expression kath’auto, from which für sich is derived. Furthermore, while Hegel does use Geist in the more religious sense of pneuma (spiritus, spirit), most of the time he thinks of it as nous (mens, mind), notably when he himself translates the title of his book Phaenomenologie des Geistes as Phaenomenologia mentis.