In Mr. Denham’s lecture, he discussed the importance of “conceptual existence” and that it may be more important to convey the tone and general meaning of written work than the literal translation. This may be true in various types of poetry, but when I started thinking about the translated work that I have read in the past, I varied on my opinion. For example, the Quran is a text written in Arabic and translated into English, however, many of the translations are word for word. I believe this makes the most sense because even if the translation captures the general tone of the passage, it could dismiss some important factors that would have existed in literal translation. Because Arabic is known for compacting a lot of meaning into every word, and the text is taken in a religious context, I think that “conceptual existence” heavily relies on the language it is being translated from and the type of text it is, or the importance that word dismissal could have on vast groups of people.
After reading Kuhn’s biography, I was able to identify how his life played into his scientific inspirations. He was a student at Harvard during World War II, and although he was a trained pacifist he transitioned into an interventionalist like most students at Harvard during the war. He believed that you should not sit idly by and watch things happen, rather you should put yourself fully into the situation and take a more assertive approach in which you deem better for those around you. These views were then reflected into his work as he believed in paradigm shifts and revolutionary ideas. His stance that science is not cumulative also follows suit, as he claims that a new paradigm completely takes over the old one based on new knowledge, and not a natural accumulative growth in a specific area of study. These bold approaches regarding the full substitution of paradigms without the field being cumulative may have been the result of the influence of assertiveness he found in his life outside of science.