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Professional paper


Dragutin Lalović ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Full text: croatian pdf 282 Kb

page 115-135

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The ability to publish one of the key texts of the ancestors of
modern thought is a reliable sign of the self-awareness and professionalism of a community. Therefore, the long awaited Croatian
translation of Hobbes’ Leviathan deserves our full and close attention.
Hobbes’ main theoretical work is an especially challenging one
to translate. It requires the translator to be skilled and well-versed in
modern and contemporary political and legal theory. An undertaking
of this magnitude makes sense only if through it – by the means of
the Croatian language – we can hope to understand Hobbes’ political
ideas more fully. This careful scrutiny of the translation follows
challenging pitfalls of translating Hobbes’ capital work. The author
examines the correctness of the terminology and the conceptual accuracy of the translation of terms, such as: “power”, “Sovereignty”,
“Commonwealth”, “Law” through the example of analyzing three
chosen chapters (XVI, XXI, XXVI). Although the undertaking of
such task deserves praise for both the translator and the publisher of
the work, the review, a critical analysis of the work, states that the
Croatian translation does not satisfy the high expectations. It is conceptually inaccurate at places, which, occasionally makes it harder or even impossible to understand Hobbes’ original. The review ends on a doubtful self-critical note: are we up to the task of tackling this
certainly most important book of modern political thought? The professional self-respect of Croatian political science depends, or should depend – at least to some extent – on tasks like this one.


power, government, contemporaneity, the state, republic, representative sovereign, liberty, right, law, Hobbes

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