New Member
Italy, italian
Hi everybody!

I'm tanslating an American book concerning philosophy of art. I find it very difficult and sometimes I can't understand meanings of the sentences at all! I'd like to know how can I say "spongy" (is it here used in a metaphorical way?) and "hardnecked" in Italian. It would be enough for me to read a "normal" English explanation of these words! :confused:

Below is the context I found them in.

Thank you in advance for your help.

"Decryers of the Internal World, conflationists of mentalism with dualism, the Wittgensteinians fled to the externalities of institutional life rather than admit the compromising internalities of mental life, when they recognize that radical identification was spongy. (...) Here, I think, it will suffice only to indicate that theories of what makes the difference between artworks and mere things have at times prevailed which may appear as philosophically unacceptable as mentalism did to the Wittgensteinians - theories to which the Institutional Theory itself, whatever the motivation of its main adherents, is an obvious hardnecked antidote."

(The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, by Arthur Coleman Danto)
  • mimitabby

    Senior Member
    US English
    Silvia, just so you know, I've looked at these, I can only guess, spongy would be soft. Hardnecked? Difficult to change? hard?

    This is a tough passage. Sorry.


    Senior Member
    Hi Silvia,
    I agree with mimitabby - these are difficult to translate.
    However I would say that:

    Spongy means soft, changeable, maybe even unclear because it has no firm shape, no firm position.

    Hardnecked means firm, resolute, stubborn, will not budge or alter position. I don't think anyone would use this in a complimentary way. It implies more unthinking stubborness than thoughtful resolution.

    These are my thoughts and others may disagree. The use of these words in the phrase is not totally clearcut and unambiguous.

    Hope this helps.


    New Member
    Italy, italian
    Thank you very much!

    I was in trouble but now I think I grasped the sense of these impossible words at last! :)

    Thank you again!


    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    Silvia, the Italian word for "spongy" is "spugnoso" (="behaving like a sponge"). "Hardnecked" is far more difficult... it gives me a sense of "rigido", but I'm not sure if it fits the meaning of the sentence... :(


    New Member
    Italy, italian
    Grazie anche a te AlxGrim!

    Sto impazzendo con questo libro, ma tutti avete contribuito a chiarirmi un po' le idee! :)