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Sense of "duchowego"


mhurwicz 6 | 9    
16 Dec 2018  #1
I don't know much Polish and am using Google Translate to try to understand an article about economics, written by Tadeusz Brzeski in 1936 ("O METODZIE W EKONOMJI")

Google Translate gives "spiritual" as the meaning of "duchowego" In the paragraph below, and doesn't provide any other alternatives. I'm guessing there must be alternative meanings to this word. "Spiritual" has kind of a metaphysical ring to it that just doesn't feel right to me in this context. I'm thinking perhaps "mental" Is really what is meant? Or is there another meaning that fits better? Or maybe they used the word differently back then than people do now?

Założenie podobne w stosunku do zjawisk gospodarczych byłoby nie do pomyślenia, gdyż tutaj kierunek badania, zasadniczo odmienny przy zjawiskach życia duchowego, nie może abstrahować od związku z czasem i przestrzenią.

Natural sciences, formulating general laws, are based on the assumption of homogeneity of natural phenomena, each episode representing the whole; this is a necessary assumption, because no research can be complete in the sense that it covers all phenomena. A similar assumption in relation to economic phenomena would be unthinkable, because here the direction of the research, fundamentally different in the phenomena of mental life, can not be abstracted from the relation with time and space.
mafketis 17 | 6,520    
17 Dec 2018  #2
Or maybe they used the word differently back then than people do now?

Anna Wierzbicka (Polish-Australian semanticist) once wrote an article (this is all from memory, exact details are fuzzy) on cross linguistic differences related to how people refer to the non-physical part of a person. English and slavic langugages fundamentally differ - duchowy is related to dusza, usually translated as 'soul' but actually a holistic notion 'the non-physical part of a person" with no single lexicalization in English.
OP mhurwicz 6 | 9    
  17 Dec 2018  #3
in Russian:
dusa ('soul,' seen as a person's spiritual, moral, and emotional core and as an internal theatre where a person's moral and emotional life goes on);

"Understanding Cultures through Their Key Words" - Anna Wierzbicka, p.3


Same in Polish?
mafketis 17 | 6,520    
17 Dec 2018  #4
Not exactly the same, but Polish is closer to Russian than English in this case.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,203    
17 Dec 2018  #5
According to PWN's "Słownik Języka Polskiego":
1. «całokształt dyspozycji psychicznych, uczuciowych i intelektualnych człowieka składających się na jego osobowość»
2. «w religii i filozofii: niematerialny i nieśmiertelny pierwiastek w człowieku, ożywiający ciało i opuszczający je w chwili śmierci»
sjp.pwn.pl/szukaj/dusza.html
mafketis 17 | 6,520    
17 Dec 2018  #6
całokształt dyspozycji psychicznych, uczuciowych i intelektualnych człowieka składających się na jego osobowość

"the whole of the psychological, emotional and intellectual profile of a person making up their personality" (I'm avoiding disposition which doesn't fit in English I think)

Yeah, Wierzbicka's point is that English (unlike other European languages) doesn't have a word for that, that it splits the concept up into (roughly) 'mind' (intellectual) and 'soul' (spiritual) and maybe* 'heart' (emotional)

*don't remember if that was in AW but I would add it
Lyzko 19 | 5,755    
17 Dec 2018  #7
The words are related, "duch" (spirit) and "dusza" (soul).
mafketis 17 | 6,520    
17 Dec 2018  #8
the whole point is that dusza (and duchowy) have a much broader semantic range than 'soul' and 'spiritual' would suggest.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,203    
17 Dec 2018  #9
Indeed. I wonder if the term "spiritual development of a man" would have any sense in English once the term "rozwój duchowy człowieka" is an OK term in Polish
OP mhurwicz 6 | 9    
17 Dec 2018  #10
Googling "spiritual development" I get over 5 million hits. So yes it has a sense in English, though based on our discussion, I suspect not exactly the same sense as in Polish.
mafketis 17 | 6,520    
17 Dec 2018  #11
"rozwój duchowy człowieka" is an OK term in Polish

I might just go for a longer translation in English "human spiritual and psychological development" or "the spiritual and psychological development of a person"
OP mhurwicz 6 | 9    
17 Dec 2018  #12
Thank you everybody! What an interesting voyage this thread turned out to be! My conclusion is that a reasonable translation for the phrase originally in question might be:

"psychological, emotional and Intellectual life"
Lyzko 19 | 5,755    
17 Dec 2018  #13
As often the case, the English term is somewhat more limited than the Polish:-)


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