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Dániel Boros
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I am translating Antony Flew's Theology and Falsification (http://www.politik-salon.de/files/theory_of_falsification.pdf) from English to Hungarian, however I have a sentence that I cannot translate, because I am simply unable to understand the meaning of the sentence.

 

For if an utterance is indeed an assertion, it will necessarily be equivalent to a denial
of the negation of that assertion. And anything which would count against the assertion, or which
would induce the speaker to withdraw it and to admit that it had been mistaken, must be part of (or
the whole of) the meaning of the negation of that assertion: And to know the meaning of the
negation of an assertion, is as near as makes no matter, to know the meaning of that assertion.
And
if there is nothing which a putative assertion denies then there is nothing which it asserts either: and
so it is not really an assertion.

 

Can anyone please explain in detail what does the highlighted sentence mean?

 

thanks in advance

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I am translating Antony Flew's Theology and Falsification (http://www.politik-salon.de/files/theory_of_falsification.pdf) from English to Hungarian, however I have a sentence that I cannot translate, because I am simply unable to understand the meaning of the sentence.

 

 

Can anyone please explain in detail what does the highlighted sentence mean?

 

thanks in advance

First sentence:  For any proposition P   P  = - - P

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To know the meaning of the negation of an assertion is to know the meaning of that assertion.

The phrase "is as near as makes no matter" concedes that an assertion and the negation of an assertion are not identical, but that one is easily formed from the other and assumes 'the meaning of' an assertion and its negation are also easily known.

The logical law of the excluded middle tells us an assertion and the negation of the assertion are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive, so to know the meaning of an assertion is to also know the meaning of the negation of that assertion because everything which is not the meaning of an assertion is included within the negation.

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My try:

 

"As near as makes no matter" means "so nearly that the differences don't matter" or "so nearly that the differences are negligible."  If you understand a statement's negation, you understand the statement itself quite well enough.

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I would suggest this instead. It is much closer to the meaning of the original sentence, for three reasons:

1. the original sentence implies that the minor difference DOESN'T matter in this context, not that it 'barely matters'.

2. It also points out that there is a minor difference ("egyenerteku" doesn't mean that, since it literally translates to and means that the two "have the same value"). 

3. "an assertion" is not the same as "the assertion". You're translating it as "the assertion", but the English sentence is about "an assertion". 

 

Egy allitas tagadasanak ismerete es az allitas ismerete kozott a kulonbseg (oly)annyira jelentektelen, hogy nem szukseges (or "erdemes", for a more natural feel) figyelembe venni.

Edited by Nicky
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Thank you everyone for your comments

 

Just for kicks here's my translation:

"Az állítás tagadásának ismerete olyannyira egyenértékű az állítás ismeretével, hogy szinte mindegy melyiknek a jelentésével vagyunk tisztában."

 And this is what google translated it back to:

 

The statement is equivalent to the denial of knowledge so knowledge of the claim that almost all of which of the report we are aware of

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I would suggest this instead. It is much closer to the meaning of the original sentence, for three reasons:

1. the original sentence implies that the minor difference DOESN'T matter in this context, not that it 'barely matters'.

2. It also points out that there is a minor difference ("egyenerteku" doesn't mean that, since it literally translates to and means that the two "have the same value"). 

3. "an assertion" is not the same as "the assertion". You're translating it as "the assertion", but the English sentence is about "an assertion". 

 

Egy allitas tagadasanak ismerete es az allitas ismerete kozott a kulonbseg (oly)annyira jelentektelen, hogy nem szukseges (or "erdemes", for a more natural feel) figyelembe venni.

 

Yeah this one is better. Number three depends on context though.

 

 And this is what google translated it back to:

 

The statement is equivalent to the denial of knowledge so knowledge of the claim that almost all of which of the report we are aware of

 

Hungairan is a lot different than most (and by most I mean all) European languages since we came from a far.

 

You know I've always heard that Hungarians are really Martians.

 

Actually we are from Venus

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And this is what google translated it back to:

 

The statement is equivalent to the denial of knowledge so knowledge of the claim that almost all of which of the report we are aware of

Yeah, Hungarian is an agglutinative language (a lot like Japanese, and a little bit like German). Google Translate doesn't work for translating these languages (especially Hungarian and Japanese) into English.

It is amazing for other types of languages though (it does a very good job translating Russian into English for instance, in my experience - I never tried, but I bet it works well for Chinese too).

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Yeah, Hungarian is an agglutinative language (a lot like Japanese, and a little bit like German). Google Translate doesn't work for translating these languages (especially Hungarian and Japanese) into English.

It is amazing for other types of languages though (it does a very good job translating Russian into English for instance, in my experience - I never tried, but I bet it works well for Chinese too).

Quite true. When I was in Mexico, it proved to be an amazing tool.

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