(Self-)transformation as translation: the birth of the individual from German Bildung and Japanese kata

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Pedagogical processes are always connected to translation. This is very obvious in those practices of teaching where knowledge is transmitted through mediation. However, processes of self-formation or self-education, and especially the development of individuality, don’t seem to be connected directly to processes of translation. The following paper suggests that processes of individuation, too, can be understood as translations. In contrasting two culturally very different positions — the German idea of Bildung and the Japanese practice of exercising kata — it should become clear that both cannot be understood without referring to a concept of translation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-262
Number of pages15
JournalTetsugaku: International Journal of the philosophical Association of Japan
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018


  • bildung
  • kata
  • pedagogic research
  • pedagogy

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