um sich verlieben zu können, so müßte sie sich bewerbend, er aber sich weigernd zeigen (Immanuel Kant)

draw

New Member
French
The following passage, in which the problematic propositions (to me) are in italics, is by Kant:

Die Natur will, daß das Weib gesucht werde; daher mußte sie selbst nicht so delikat in der Wahl (nach Geschmack) sein, als der Mann, den die Natur auch gröber gebauet hat, und der dem Weibe schon gefällt, wenn er nur Kraft und Tüchtigkeit zu ihrer Verteidigung in seiner Gestalt zeigt; denn wäre sie in An- sehung der Schönheit seiner Gestalt ekel und fein in der Wahl, um sich verlieben zu können, so müßte sie sich bewerbend, er aber sich weigernd zeigen; welches den Wert ihres Geschlechts selbst in den Augen des Mannes gänzlich herabsetzen würde.

The academic translation, the only one I know of, is the following:

Nature wants that the woman be sought after, therefore she herself does not need to be so particular in her choice (in matters of taste) as the man, whom nature has also built more coarsely, and who already pleases the woman if only his physique shows that he has the strength and ability to protect her. For if she were disgusted with regard to the beauty of his physique and refined in her choice, then she would have to do the wooing in order to be able to fall in love, while he would have to appear to refuse; which would entirely degrade the value of her sex, even in the eyes of the man.

Here would be mine:

For if she were disgusted with the beauty of his physique and refined in her choice, in order to be able to fall in love, she would have to put in a request, but he would have to refuse.

This leaves « zeigen », which tends to support the scholarly translation, the problem being first that « zeigen » governs not only « weigernd », but also « bewerbend »; and second « would have to appear to do the wooing » does not make much sense at first sight.

Thank you in advance for telling me what you think.
 
  • draw

    New Member
    French
    Given the philosopher's views on the balance of power between women and men, is the use of this verb really that comical?

    "Courting". I hear you.

    On the other hand, I would tend to think that "um sich verlieben zu können" refers to the first clause rather than the second; which would give: "For if she were disgusted with regard to the beauty of his physique and refined in her choice in order to be able to fall in love, then she would have to do the wooing, while he would have to appear to refuse."
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    Given the philosopher's views on the balance of power between women and men, is the use of this verb really that comical?

    "Zeigen?" No, not comical, but perhaps not very modern. There are plenty of phrases with "zeigen", "sich interessiert zeigen" (to show interest) is probably one of the more frequent ones.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    On the other hand, I would tend to think that "um sich verlieben zu können" refers to the first clause rather than the second; ...
    :thumbsup:
    Yes, I found another version that's punctuated differently and as such it makes more semantic sense:
    ...denn wäre sie in Ansehung der Schönheit seiner Gestalt ekel und fein in der Wahl um sich verlieben zu können,...
    "...fein in der Wahl um sich verlieben zu können...." as a connected phrase means something like "careful in her selectiion in order to be able to fall in love (despite the man's less than perfect appearance) and that makes actually sense within the context.

    I have another problem though: ...denn wäre sie (...) ekel ... :confused:o_O
    Your academic translator interpreted this as "denn wäre sie <von seinem Anblick> geekelt..." (= disgusted)
    That makes no sense in combination with "und fein in der Wahl"
    So, I did some searching and the etymology section in DWDS seems to suggest that there exist connectiions between the adjectives ekel -> eikel -> heikel.
    That leads me to think, what if the real idea behind that sentence is:
    ...denn wäre sie in Ansehung der Schönheit seiner Gestalt heikel und fein in der Wahl um sich verlieben zu können,...
    "Heikel und fein in der Wahl" is semantically coherent and roughly means: "choosy and particular in her choice"
    Now that would make a lot of sense in modern thinking and I'm confident also in 18th century thinking. Now even Kant's conclusion about wooing vs playing hard to get makes actual sense.

    PS: I'm not a specialist on Kant or 18th century thinking/writing, thus you shouldn't see my statement as a fact! See what other people say and how other academic literature interprets Immanuel's statement before you make up your own theory.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    So, I did some searching and the etymology section in DWDS seems to suggest that there exist connectiions between the adjectives ekel -> eikel -> heikel.
    In Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm
    habe ich Folgendes gefunden
    ekel adj.
    2) fastidiosus, ekel empfindend.
    a)
    sinnlich: er ist sehr ekel, iszt nicht alles, ist in wahl seiner speise eigensinnig und lecker, was sonst auch wählerisch, kürisch, bekörisch heiszt; wer da eckel ist, der musz manches guten bissens entrathen.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    :thumbsup::thank you: Excellent! Great find!
    I see this as undisputable proof that my assumption above is correct and Kant actually expressed the idea:
    ...denn wäre sie in Ansehung der Schönheit seiner Gestalt heikel und fein in der Wahl um sich verlieben zu können,...

    My faith in Kant has been restored. Thanks JCK! ;)
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    So "um sich verlieben zu können" does refer to the first clause rather than the second.

    As for ekel -> eikel -> heikel; your reading is tempting, were it not for the fact that the entire text is saturated with a particularly acerbic irony.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    "Heikel und fein in der Wahl" is semantically coherent and roughly means: "choosy and particular in her choice"
    You are aware that this meaning of heikel is unknown outside the Upper German speaking region? This might have been different in Kant's days but I wouldn't take it for granted.
     
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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    You are aware that this meaning of heikel is unknown outside the Upper German speaking region? [...]
    Yes, I noticed that DWDS showed "heikel" as an oberdeutsche creation. The etymologist speculates:
    [...] Die Herkunft ist nicht geklärt. Bedeutungsnah stehen sich das wohl dem nd. md. Bereich entstammende Adjektiv ekel, auch eikel, und obd. heikel (s. d.) gegenüber, wobei der h-Anlaut, ähnlich wie bei heischen (s. d.), prothetisch hinzugetreten sein könnte, sofern man für heikel nicht eine andere Herleitung vorzieht. [...]
    "Wobei der h-Anlaut prothetisch hinzugetreten sein könnte" means to me that in the Upper German language region they added h in order to clearly differentiate the meanings of geekelt sein and heikel/wählerisch sein of the original niederdeutsche/mitteldeutsche adjective ekel.
    In turn that implies that this Nether German/Middle German word 'ekel' must have had the combined meanings of 'geekelt sein and wählerisch sein' at some point in time.

    JCK's citation:
    sinnlich: er ist sehr ekel, iszt nicht alles, ist in wahl seiner speise eigensinnig und lecker, was sonst auch wählerisch, kürisch, bekörisch heiszt; wer da eckel ist, der musz manches guten bissens entrathen.
    is sufficient proof for me (even though I admit that I didn't research the details and time frames given in that statement by the Grimms).
    Reading 'ekel' in the OP as 'wählerisch sein' makes just so much more semantic sense than 'geekelt sein'. The latter makes the whole paragraph semantically nonsensical and I don't see much wit or acerbic irony in that.
    As I said I'm not a specialist on Kant, but from the bits and pieces I've read over the years he's never given me the impression that he's the kind of person that is publishing verifyable nonsense (when viewed through an 18th century looking glass!).
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Yes, I noticed that DWDS showed "heikel" as an oberdeutsche creation. The etymologist speculates:
    I did not speak about etymology but about meaning. I just wanted to be sure you are aware, the explanation ekel should mean heikel is not understandable to a northerner because heikel means something different there. The meaning heikel = choosy is known only in the Upper German area.
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    The meaning heikel = choosy is known only in the Upper German area.
    And Kant's "message" was meant to be universal.

    As for the irony, it is either perceived or not. Perhaps I see it where there is none, but I do see it, for example, in the particularly recurrent use of modal verbs throughout the text, not to mention the fact that the subject lends itself to it.

    One last point - in italics in the following passage - on which I would be grateful for your insight:

    Die Begierde des letzteren, ihre Reize auf alle feine Männer spielen zu lassen, ist Koketterie, die Affektation, in alle Weiber verliebt zu scheinen, Galanterie; beides kann ein bloßes zur Mode gewordenes Geziere, ohne alle ernstliche Folge sein: sowie das Cicisbeat eine affektierte Freiheit des Weibes in der Ehe, oder das gleichfalls ehedem in Italien gewesene Kurtisanenwesen [...], von dem man erzählt, daß es mehr geläuterte Kultur des gesitteten öffentlichen Umgangs enthalten habe, als die der gemischten Gesellschaften in Privathäusern.

    It was translated as:

    The desire of the latter to allow her charms to play on all refined men is coquetry, the affectation of appearing to be in love with all women is gallantry; both can be a mere affectation that has become the fashion, without any serious consequence: as withcicisbeism, an affected freedom of the married woman, or, in the same way, the courtesan systemthat formerly existed in Italy [...] It is said of this courtesan system that its well-mannered public associations contained more refined culture than did mixed companies in private houses.

    I've looked hard, but none of the translations I've found of "Umgang" is more or less close to "association".
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    ... von dem man erzählt, daß es mehr geläuterte Kultur des gesitteten öffentlichen Umgangs enthalten habe, als die der gemischten Gesellschaften in Privathäusern.
    Yes, 'associations' is plain wrong. It skews the meaning of the sentence.
    "Umgang" in "gesitteter öffentlicher Umgang" decribes the way people interact, the way they treat and respect each other.
    Hmm, I don't really know a perfect English equivalent for that word - but it's not association.

    Also, "gemischte Gesellschaften" is more of a "mixed gathering" as a social event than "mixed companies". I wouldn't even know how to interpret this in the English version.

    So "um sich verlieben zu können" does refer to the first clause rather than the second.
    Yes, I think so - but I can't guarantee it.
    In modern German this order would be awkward. We would normally say
    Sie müsste X tun, um sich zu verlieben. or "Um sich zu verlieben, müsste sie..." but NOT "Um sich zu verlieben, so müsste sie..."
    In 18th century writing however, it is possible that the um zu-clause refers to what follows. I have seen such structures in archaic German before.

    The real problem with the second reading is semantics: She has to woo an ugly man and he has to pretend to reject her so that she is able to fall in love with him?? What kind of obscure logic is behind that?
    Kant already stated his thesis that "...daher mußte sie selbst nicht so delikat in der Wahl (nach Geschmack) sein..."

    For me there's no sound logic or connection behind this.
    If "um sich verlieben zu können" refers to the preceding clause, it works for me. It just makes more sense.
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    The idea expressed by "gesitteter öffentlicher Umgang" is that of civility.

    Wouldn't the one expressed by "gemischte Gesellschaften" be that of promiscuity, which in turn seems to connote "Privathäusern"?

    The best I can come up with is : "and which is said to have involved a more refined civility than that of the mixed societies of private houses."

    As for "um sich verlieben zu können", the sentence can only make sense if this infinitive proposition is linked to the first clause.

    The man is not ugly: "denn wäre sie in Ansehung der Schönheit seiner Gestalt ekel und fein in der Wahl..." The irony here is thinner than a sheet of cigarette paper.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I did not speak about etymology but about meaning. I just wanted to be sure you are aware, the explanation ekel should mean heikel is not understandable to a northerner because heikel means something different there. The meaning heikel = choosy is known only in the Upper German area.
    :thumbsup: Ja, ich hab mich wohl umständlich ausgedrückt. Die Entwicklung der oberdeutschen Bedeutung von heikel im Sinne von wählerisch ist eigentlich egal.
    Es war für mich aber der Anstoß für die Annahme, dass ekel im Niederdeutschen vielleicht mal mehr Bedeutungen hatte als nur das heutige ekelig, ekelhaft, (an-)geekelt sein. Und ich glaube JCK's Beleg hat ja auch bewiesen, dass dieser Gedanke nicht ganz abwegig war.

    Wenn ich ein Sprachhistoriker wäre und Zeit und Interesse dafür hätte, würde ich jetzt in Kants Werken und anderen Werken aus der gleichen Epoche und Region nach vergleichbaren Beispielen mit dem Adjektiv ekel suchen und eine akademische Abhandlung davon erstellen....aber das ist mir dann doch etwas zu viel Aufwand so kurz vor Weihnachten. ;)
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Wouldn't the one expressed by "gemischte Gesellschaften" be that of promiscuity, which in turn seems to connote "Privathäusern"?
    No, not really. "Gemischte Gesellschaft" in that context means a social event or gathering for both sexes (or simply the fact of a man mingling/socializing with a woman) -- which was uncommon enough in those days in higher society! In those days it was more common that all men retreat to the library, smoke cigars, drink Cognac and discuss politics, society, etc and women would normally retreat and discuss fashion, music, children, arts, and other girly stuff.
    The best I can come up with is : "and which is said to have involved a more refined civility than that of the mixed societies of private houses."
    Not so bad! 'Civility' is a bit of a dictionary word here, but semantically this version is much closer to the original than the translation in the OP.
    I would go for "mixed societies in private houses" though!

    The man is not ugly: "denn wäre sie in Ansehung der Schönheit seiner Gestalt ekel und fein in der Wahl..." The irony here is thinner than a sheet of cigarette paper.
    Yes, if and only if you read the adjective 'ekel' as angeekelt/abgestoßen, then this would express a level of sarcasm or irony.
    In modern German this would probably be expressed as:
    denn wäre sie angesichts der "Schönheit" seiner Gestalt angeekelt/abgestoßen...

    Schönheit in qotes and the unexpected and contrasting angeekelt clearly express that irony.
    But I'm still a proponent of reading 'ekel' as 'heikel/wählerisch und fein/delikat in der Wahl' because it's more coherent.
    The reading of angeekelt would need to be followed by 'angeekelt aber (trotzdem) fein/delikat in der Wahl' to make a bit more sense.
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    "in private houses", indeed.

    Perhaps the relationship between women and men in upper Germany was totally different...

    Speaking of irony:

    Dem Milton wurde von seiner Frau zugeredet, er solle doch die ihm nach Cromwells Tode angetragene Stelle eines lateinischen Sekretärs annehmen, ob es zwar seinen Grundsätzen zuwider war, jetzt eine Regierung für rechtlich zu erklären, die er vorher als widerrechtlich vorgestellt hatte. „Ach,“ antwortete er ihr, „meine Liebe, Sie und andere Ihres Geschlechts wollen in Kutschen fahren, ich aber — muß ein ehrlicher Mann sein.“ — Die Frau des Sokrates, vielleicht auch die Hiobs wurden durch ihre wackeren Männer ebenso in die Enge getrieben, aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich in ihrem Charakter, ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend?] das Verdienst des ihrigen in dem Verhältnis, worein sie gesetzt waren, zu schmälern.

    The pronominal saturation in the last proposition makes me dizzy.

    "but masculine virtue upheld itself in these men’s characters, without, however, diminishing the merit of feminine virtue in theirs, given the relation in which they were placed"?
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    [...] Die Frau des Sokrates, vielleicht auch die Hiobs wurden durch ihre wackeren Männer ebenso in die Enge getrieben, aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich in ihrem Charakter, ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend :tick:] das Verdienst des ihrigen in dem Verhältnis, worein sie gesetzt waren, zu schmälern.

    The pronominal saturation in the last proposition makes me dizzy.
    Yes, that antiquated style of writing (as seen from a 21st century point of view) can be puzzling.
    "Das Verdienst des ihrigen", for instance, can actually be read in 4 different ways, all of which change the actual meaning of the statement considerably.

    But nevertheless, Louden's translation:
    "but masculine virtue upheld itself in these men’s characters, without, however, diminishing the merit of feminine virtue in theirs, given the relation in which they were placed"?
    seems reasonably and sufficiently accurate. You can see that he has a tendency to translate rather literally at times, which is a telltale sign that he didn't really get what Kant was trying to say.

    But that's ok, Kant is not really saying anything profound in that chapter "von der Charakteristik des Geschlechts". I managed to skim through most of it and I'd say it shows why he never got married - and never got laid, for that matter... ;)

    His attitude on that subject matter is actually rather backward for the advent of the 19th century, I think. He's supporting/reciting all the cliches of a patriarchal order of the role of men and women, which is reminiscent of medieval thinking rather than avant-garde openness that one would expect from an enlightened philosopher who has helped shape the age of reason.
    If I were Sigmund Freud and if I met Immanuel now, I'd give him a voucher for a free session of psychoanalysis... :rolleyes: :D
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    I would say that the translator has done his best. Is it any coincidence that he is the only one so far in Academia to have attempted to translate this text?

    Voltaire has not aged a bit and is still perfectly readable for a Frenchman of 2022.

    The age of reason? Like Voltaire and other so-called 'enlightened' people of his time, he was very interested in all things occult.

    As for the substance, it is up to each married man to see in his soul and conscience if the considerations he develops in this text are founded or not. When, like Kant, one can see so clearly through a woman's shenanigans, it is perfectly obvious that one ha6s no chance of getting laid - ssuming that he wants to. Women are not crazy!
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    Hi Draw--

    Welcome to the forum! Are you able to give the name of the specific text of Kant's where these passages occur? Who knows, there may be another translation around, or other scholarship, which could be helpful in answering these questions. Thanks!
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    Hello M. Guy,

    Thanks. The chapter is entitled "Der Charakter des Geschlechts".
     

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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Is it any coincidence that he is the only one so far in Academia to have attempted to translate this text?
    I tried to search for translations yesterday and it seems that only Robert B. Louden's version is accessible via Google Books.

    I think you can put quite some trust in his version. He's a native AE speaker and a professor of philosophy and as such he probably can identify very well which part of Kant's writing is crucial to his theories and which part is mere "academic rambling".
    A natively bilingual German/English translator might do a better job in terms of linguistic accuracy, but he may very well miss the actual point Kant was trying to make (and I've seen that phenomenon before in various translations.)

    You might be interested in <this site> from Manchester Uni. It's an alphabetized index of Kant translations in various languages - most are not available in digital form, but it's a good starting point for research, nevertheless.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    Is it any coincidence that he is the only one so far in Academia to have attempted to translate this text?
    Gibt es denn keine französische Übersetzung des Textes? Ich konnte keine ausfindig machen.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    The site I linked to above shows the titles of several French translations.

    After googling "Anthropologie du point de vue pragmatique", I see now that some of them are even accessible via Google Books - partially accessible, at least.
    ("Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view" is the collected works first published by Kant in 1798 and it also contains "Der Charakter des Geschlechts")

    ------------------------------
    A little christmas present:
    Die Natur will, daß das Weib gesucht werde; daher mußte sie selbst nicht so delikat in der Wahl (nach Geschmack) sein, als der Mann, den die Natur auch gröber gebauet hat, und der dem Weibe schon gefällt, wenn er nur Kraft und Tüchtigkeit zu ihrer Verteidigung in seiner Gestalt zeigt; denn wäre sie in An- sehung der Schönheit seiner Gestalt ekel und fein in der Wahl, um sich verlieben zu können, so müßte sie sich bewerbend, er aber sich weigernd zeigen; ...
    J. Tissot, 1863 thinks:
    La nature veut que la femme soit recherchée ; elle n'a donc pas dû être aussi difficile dans le choix ( quant au goût ) que l'homme , d'autant plus que la nature l'a fait plus grossier , et qu'il plaît déjà à la femme quand sa forme ne présente que de la force et de l'aptitude à la défendre ; car si elle était difficile et délicate dans le choix par rapport à la beauté de la forme, pour qu'elle pût s'éprendre elle devrait rechercher, et l'homme au contraire devrait refuser ; ...
    Good to see that at least somebody supports me in my theory that ekel means heikel...thank you, Joseph! :rolleyes:

    (If you search for "Anthropologie: suivie des divers fragments du même auteur, relatifs aux ..." in Google Books, you'll find a version that is even freely downloadable as a searchable pdf file!)
     
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    draw

    New Member
    French
    I think you can put quite some trust in his version. He's a native AE speaker and a professor of philosophy and as such he probably can identify very well which part of Kant's writing is crucial to his theories and which part is mere "academic rambling".
    A natively bilingual German/English translator might do a better job in terms of linguistic accuracy, but he may very well miss the actual point Kant was trying to make (and I've seen that phenomenon before in various translations.)

    You might be interested in <this site> from Manchester Uni. It's an alphabetized index of Kant translations in various languages - most are not available in digital form, but it's a good starting point for research, nevertheless.
    Thanks. it turns out that four attempts were made at translating it into French, including one by Foucault himself. (https://prepasaintsernin.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/anthropologie-dun-point-de-vue-pragmatique.pdf, which treats certain passages in a flippant and even fanciful manner, is not listed though).

    Manty, you have said that
    "Das Verdienst des ihrigen", for instance, can actually be read in 4 different ways, all of which change the actual meaning of the statement considerably
    Would you care to formulate them? In any case, "ihrem", which refers to "Männer" is unexpected to me
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    Good to see that at least somebody supports me in my theory that ekel means heikel...thank you, Joseph! :rolleyes:
    Danke für Deine Suche, super!

    Joseph ist vollkommen mit Dir einverstanden. :thumbsup:
    car si elle était difficile et délicate dans le choix par rapport à la beauté de la forme, pour qu'elle pût s'éprendre elle devrait rechercher, et l'homme au contraire devrait refuser
    👌

    Edit:
    Auch hier verfügbar: Anthropologie (trad. Tissot) - 1863 - Wikisource
     
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    draw

    New Member
    French
    Foucault's of the aforementioned passage:

    La femme de Socrate, et peut-être celle de Job, étaient de la même façon réduites à l'extrémité par le courage de leur mari, mais une vertu virile s'affirmait dans leur caractère, sans retirer pourtant à leur vertu de femme le mérite d'un tel caractère dans la situation où elles étaient placées.
    Socrates' wife, and perhaps Job's, were similarly reduced to extremity by the courage of their husbands, but a virile virtue asserted itself in their character, yet without taking away from their virtue as women the merit of such a character in the situation in which they were placed.

    Points that are more or less highly questionable stylistically and/or lexically or even grammatically are italicised.
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    car si elle était difficile et délicate dans le choix par rapport à la beauté de la forme, pour qu'elle pût s'éprendre elle devrait rechercher, et l'homme au contraire devrait refuser
    makes hardly any sense and is poor French, whether syntactically, lexically or grammatically.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    La partie qui fait l'objet de la discussion depuis #6 "car si elle était difficile et délicate dans le choix" est au-dessus de tout soupçon. :rolleyes:
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    La partie qui fait l'objet de la discussion depuis #6 "car si elle était difficile et délicate dans le choix" est au-dessus de tout soupçon. :rolleyes:
    Indeed - although one could find a more precise expression than "difficult", which is synonymous with "délicate dans ses choix".
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Manfy, you have said that
    "Das Verdienst des ihrigen", for instance, can actually be read in 4 different ways, all of which change the actual meaning of the statement considerably
    Would you care to formulate them? In any case, "ihrem", which refers to "Männer" is unexpected to me
    ... ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst des ihrigen (in dem Verhältnis, worein sie gesetzt waren...)

    1: ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst dieser Tugend
    For this reading, modern grammar actually needs 'der ihrigen' or derselben or ihren Verdienst, but in the 18th century this may very well have been different. That's the reading the English translation expresses.

    2: ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst des ihrigen [Charakters]

    3: ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst der Frau

    4: ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst des Ehemannes der Frau
    This reading is most unlikely because it makes not much semantic sense, but the reading is possible and grammatical.

    Just another thought:
    I'm confident that "in dem Verhältnis, worein sie gesetzt waren" should be read as "in dem Verhältnis, in dem sie sich befanden" and not "in dem Verhältnis, in das sie gesetzt worden waren".

    "Worein sie gesetzt waren" is just that typical oldfashioned, literary way to say "the relation(ship) they were in".
     
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    draw

    New Member
    French
    If I were an editor, you'd get the job.

    "Ihrem" is a masculine or neuter dative, so - I doubt the endings of the declensions have changed since then - it can only refer to "Männer".

    Some French translators had the same reading as you and that is why they put "vielleicht auch die Hiobs" in brackets.

    I saved the best for last.

    Ein Mann aber, der sein Geschlechtsvermögen vielleicht schon vor der Ehe lüderlich durchgebracht hat, wird der Gecin seinem eigenen Hause sein; denn er kann diese häusliche Herrschaft nur haben, sofern er keine billigen Ansprüche schuldig bleibt.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    :D
    Ein Mann aber, der sein Geschlechtsvermögen vielleicht schon vor der Ehe lüderlich durchgebracht hat, wird der Gecin seinem eigenen Hause sein; denn er kann diese häusliche Herrschaft nur haben, sofern er keine billigen Ansprüche schuldig bleibt.
    Based on context and the time it was written, I'd guess:

    der sein Geschlechtsvermögen ... durchgebracht hat = who has contracted Syphilis or a similar STD, (which makes him useless for primary marital duties)

    Gecin -> OCR error; my book shows Geck (= Narr)

    er kann diese häusliche Herrschaft nur haben = er kann nur Herr im Haus sein

    keine billigen Ansprüche schuldig bleibt. = he can satisfy the secondary reason of women to marry (which - just like today - is: clothes, shoes, handbags, jewellery, money, +++++++ )

    I forgot to mention: "billig" in this phrase means gerecht, angemessen and not billig in the sense of cheap.
     
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    bearded

    Senior Member
    "Ihrem" is a masculine or neuter dative, so - I doubt the endings of the declensions have changed since then - it can only refer to "Männer".
    Hi
    I presume that you refer to the ''in ihrem Charakter'' part.
    Sorry, but from a grammatical point of view the -em dative ending just depends on the preposition ''in'', and refers to 'Charakter': so it does not tell us whether ''in ihrem Charakter'' means in the men's or in the women's character (in another context, ''in ihrem Charakter'' could even mean ''in her character'', i.e. feminine singular - in accordance with possessive pronoun declension).

    Considering the German sentence construction, I actually find that
    a virile virtue asserted itself in their (the women's/wives') character
    is a pretty good translation.
     
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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Hi
    I presume that you refer to the ''in ihrem Charakter'' part.
    Sorry, but from a grammatical point of view the -em dative ending just depends on the preposition ''in'', and refers to 'Charakter': so it does not tell us whether ''in ihrem Charakter'' means in the men's or in the women's character (in another context, ''in ihrem Charakter'' could even mean ''in her character'', i.e. feminine singular - in accordance with possessive pronoun declension).
    Interesting! :thumbsup:
    You mean the beginning, "aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich in ihrem Charakter"?

    I haven't even thought of that, but yes, ihrem may refer to the men, the women, or der männliche Tugend. (whatever that would mean in the end!)

    Aber wie kann sich eine männliche Tugend im Charakter seiner Ehefrau behaupten?? o_O

    Maybe Kant was drunk when he wrote this ?! He was known to overindulge in drinking red wine... :D
    (After all, all this was written in a chapter titled "Zerstreute Anmerkungen" ... which I might translate as "confused rambling"...)
     
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    bearded

    Senior Member
    You mean the beginning, "aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich in ihrem Charakter?"
    Yes. I think that usually men already possess ''männliche Tugenden'', so it would not be necessary to specify that ''männliche Tugend behauptete sich ihrem Character''. It would make much more sense to say that about women, who can sometimes absorb manly virtues.. And in reading that part more carefully, I'm confirmed in my idea that 'ihrem' must refer to the wives.

    wie kann sich eine männliche Tugend im Charakter seiner Ehefrau behaupten??
    Durch den Umgang mit dem Ehemann, nehme ich an. Aber auch sonst... Bist Du denn niemals 'männlichen' Frauen begegnet? :D
     
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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Durch den Umgang mit dem Ehemann, nehme ich an. Aber auch sonst... Bist Du denn niemals 'männlichen' Frauen begegnet? :D
    Katoys? Ladyboys? i.e. the best of both worlds? Yes, sure, I met quite a bunch of them in Thailand...but that mix is not really up my alley... ;)

    But seriously, your comment made me think.
    First, here the full sentence, so I don't have to keep scrolling up and down:
    [...] Die Frau des Sokrates, vielleicht auch die Hiobs wurden durch ihre wackeren Männer ebenso in die Enge getrieben, aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich in ihrem Charakter, ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst des ihrigen in dem Verhältnis, worein sie gesetzt waren, zu schmälern.
    One reasonably viable new reading that just occured to me:
    ...aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich im Charakter der männlichen Tugend, ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst der weiblichen Tugend in dem Verhältnis, in dem männliche und weibliche Tugend zueinander stehen, zu schmälern.

    In simple terms: male virtues prevail without diminishing female virtues in their relative importance they have against male virtues (which of course means: man is superior, woman is below that but at least not completely useless)

    That actually is coherent with what Kant is saying in other paragraphs of that chapter - but in different words, of course.
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    I would like to add that - in my above interpretations/remarks - I was considering Kant's mentality: in his time, men's superiority over women was regarded as obvious... I of course do not share that point of view.

    männliche Tugend behauptete sich im Charakter der männlichen Tugend
    This sentence is a bit...cryptical, I should say.
    But your overall interpretation is also possible.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    männliche Tugend behauptete sich im Charakter der männlichen Tugend
    This sentence is a bit...cryptical, I should say.
    Grob übersetzt heißt das soviel wie: männliche Tugend behauptete sich dadurch, dass sie ist was sie ist (unausgesprochen: nämlich superior!)

    In der Periode haben doch viele Philosophen ganz einfache Ideen hochtrabend klingen lassen, indem sie die Sätze stilistisch so aufgetackelt haben, dass sie kaum verständlich waren und deshalb wie göttliche Weisheiten klangen. Warum sollte Kant da viel anders gewesen sein? Das war eben die Schreibweise der Philosophie damals.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    Die Frau des Sokrates, vielleicht auch die Hiobs wurden durch ihre wackeren Männer ebenso in die Enge getrieben, aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich in ihrem Charakter, ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend?] das Verdienst des ihrigen in dem Verhältnis, worein sie gesetzt waren, zu schmälern.
    in reading that part more carefully, I'm confirmed in my idea that 'ihrem' must refer to the wives.
    :thumbsup:
    This sentence is a bit...cryptical, I should say.
    :thumbsup:
    Auch für mich bezieht sich "in ihrem Charakter" ganz eindeutig auf den Charakter der Frau des Sokrates.

    In der französischen Übersetzung (S. 303) wird es auch so gedeutet:
    La femme de Socrate (peut-être aussi celle de Job) était aussi tenue à l'étroit par son courageux mari, mais une vertu mâle brillait dans son caractère, sans rien ôter à son mérite de femme dans la situation où elle se trouvait placée.


    Aber wie kann sich eine männliche Tugend im Charakter seiner Ehefrau behaupten??
    It would make much more sense to say that about women, who can sometimes absorb manly virtues.
    Was sind denn diese (angeblich) männlichen Tugenden? z.B. "wacker" zu sein?

    Es gibt und gab schon immer mutige/ intelligente/ ..... Frauen, sie brauch(t)en diese "männlichen Tugenden" nicht erst zu "absorbieren".
    Das Gegenteil zu behaupten wäre männliche Hybris.
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    Hi
    I presume that you refer to the ''in ihrem Charakter'' part.
    Sorry, but from a grammatical point of view the -em dative ending just depends on the preposition ''in'', and refers to 'Charakter': so it does not tell us whether ''in ihrem Charakter'' means in the men's or in the women's character (in another context, ''in ihrem Charakter'' could even mean ''in her character'', i.e. feminine singular - in accordance with possessive pronoun declension).
    Hello,

    Your explanation is crystal-clear.
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Was sind denn diese (angeblich) männlichen Tugenden? z.B. "wacker" zu sein?

    Es gibt und gab schon immer mutige/ intelligente/ ..... Frauen, sie brauch(t)en diese "männlichen Tugenden" nicht erst zu "absorbieren".
    Das Gegenteil zu behaupten wäre männliche Hybris.
    :thumbsup:

    I would like to add that - in my above interpretations/remarks - I was considering Kant's mentality: in his time, men's superiority over women was regarded as obvious... I of course do not share that point of view.
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    ...aber männliche Tugend behauptete sich im Charakter der männlichen Tugend, ohne doch der weiblichen [Tugend] das Verdienst der weiblichen Tugend in dem Verhältnis, in dem männliche und weibliche Tugend zueinander stehen, zu schmälern.
    "... in dem männliche und weibliche Tugend zueinander stehen..." is very reasonabel indeed.

    (shhh. The view, shared by most males, that men are superior to women must not be denied; in the interest of women: they would lose their major psychological asset).
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    Grob übersetzt heißt das soviel wie: männliche Tugend behauptete sich dadurch, dass sie ist was sie ist (unausgesprochen: nämlich superior!)

    In der Periode haben doch viele Philosophen ganz einfache Ideen hochtrabend klingen lassen, indem sie die Sätze stilistisch so aufgetackelt haben, dass sie kaum verständlich waren und deshalb wie göttliche Weisheiten klangen. Warum sollte Kant da viel anders gewesen sein? Das war eben die Schreibweise der Philosophie damals.
    At least the French ones of the 18th century did not have this defect. Still, you have to be pretty skilled to write a grammatically correct sentence that has at least four different meanings.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Was sind denn diese (angeblich) männlichen Tugenden? z.B. "wacker" zu sein?
    Gute Frage! Ich hab keine Ahnung. Ehrlich gesagt denke ich, dass der Begriff von Tugend/virtue ein aus dem ritterlichen Mittelalter stammender populistischer "Kaugummi-Begriff" ist, d.h. dehnbar in jegliche Form, die dem Leser gerade in den Sinn kommt. Also im Prinzip vergleichbar mit Trumps "fake news".
    Diese Begriffe sind zwar lexikalisch gut definiert und in ihrer Bedeutung prinzipiell begrenzt, aber man weiß, dass sich der Leser darunter vorstellen kann, was immer er will -- somit eine win-win situation für den Anwender des Ausdrucks.
    Auch die Leute vor 200, 300, 500 Jahren waren nicht ganz dumm; die wussten schon, was beim Publikum ankommt und was nicht. Akademiker wie Kant sind da keine Ausnahme!
     

    draw

    New Member
    French
    Gute Frage! Ich hab keine Ahnung. Ehrlich gesagt denke ich, dass der Begriff von Tugend/virtue ein aus dem ritterlichen Mittelalter stammender populistischer "Kaugummi-Begriff" ist, d.h. dehnbar in jegliche Form, die dem Leser gerade in den Sinn kommt. Also im Prinzip vergleichbar mit Trumps "fake news".
    Diese Begriffe sind zwar lexikalisch gut definiert und in ihrer Bedeutung prinzipiell begrenzt, aber man weiß, dass sich der Leser darunter vorstellen kann, was immer er will -- somit eine win-win situation für den Anwender des Ausdrucks.
    Auch die Leute vor 200, 300, 500 Jahren waren nicht ganz dumm; die wussten schon, was beim Publikum ankommt und was nicht. Akademiker wie Kant sind da keine Ausnahme!
    Etymologically "Tugend" expresses, like the Latin "virtus", an idea of power (which in principle must have pleased Foucault; who, I recall, dedicated a long introduction to this book by Kant); its moral meaning appeared in ecclesiastical Latin, a Newspeak before its time in that it twisted the meaning of Latin words to suit its ideology. Kant, no doubt, understood the term in its dull Christian sense.
     
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