déploiements d'éruditions subtiles

English translation: displays of fine and futile knowledge

07:33 Dec 1, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Philosophy
French term or phrase: déploiements d'éruditions subtiles
How would you translate "déploiements d'éruditions subtiles et vaines" here? I don't see how "subtle" would work here.

Qu'il y ait dans ces tendances en histoire de la philosophie bien des paresses intellectuelles, des conforts de pensée, des déploiements d'éruditions subtiles et vaines, des fuites aussi dans la poussière des bibliothèques permettant de fuir l'urgence de bien des problèmes, le lecteur peut aisément le supposer.
Paul Frank (X)
Local time: 13:41
English translation:displays of fine and futile knowledge
Explanation:
Or you can use "erudition" I guess but it's not quite the same

Selected response from:

Anne de Freyman
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:41
Grading comment
Thanks for all the good suggestions!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3displays of fine and futile knowledge
Anne de Freyman
5deployment of subtle eruditions
Vittorio Ferretti
4flaunt of pedantic and superfluous learning
Euqinimod (X)
4use/deployment of tenuous and meaningless pedantry/theory
Carol Gullidge
4the use of erudite but empty subtleties
B D Finch
3The proliferation of selective and futile scholarship
Cervin


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


51 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
deployment of subtle eruditions


Explanation:
in abtact issues, English is a mispelled French ...

Vittorio Ferretti
Local time: 13:41
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: 100CL for 100% literal translation? and it's 'abstract'
1 hr

neutral  B D Finch: An interesting concept that one can translate by simply changing the spelling!
1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
The proliferation of selective and futile scholarship


Explanation:
Or 'dissemination of selective and useless scholarship. Maybe you could use 'learning' instead of scholarship....

Cervin
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:41
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
displays of fine and futile knowledge


Explanation:
Or you can use "erudition" I guess but it's not quite the same



Anne de Freyman
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:41
Works in field
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks for all the good suggestions!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jenny Duthie
20 mins

agree  Melissa McMahon: I like this, but I would keep "erudition" as knowledge tends to suggest a positive value (ie truth), whereas erudition is just 'learning' that may be useless, as suggested here
2 hrs
  -> ooohh... that's food for a huge philosophical debate on the value of knowledge :-)

agree  Cath St Clair (X): I like this Anne! Just a thought - how about "fine yet futile"? The use of "and" between the adjectives suggests to me that the 2 are not describing the same piece of writing (i.e. some fine, some futile). I think it is trying to link both together, no?
2 hrs
  -> agreed!

neutral  Carol Gullidge: I like futile, but can't see where "fine" comes from, nor its meaning! It also seems too positive for the context...
12 hrs
  -> fine = subtiles... Agreed earlier to use fine "yet" utile. Trying like French, to use pos. words in sarcastic way.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the use of erudite but empty subtleties


Explanation:
I suggest that you turn it around and that "vaines" is an essential part of the meaning. It is best to keep the use of the word "subtlety" but ensure that it is understood in the negative rather than in the positive sense.

B D Finch
France
Local time: 13:41
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Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 10
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
use/deployment of tenuous and meaningless pedantry/theory


Explanation:
I think that's the sense of it.

or falling back on tenuous ....

relying on ...

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Note added at 2 hrs (2007-12-01 10:05:36 GMT)
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or

resorting to flimsy and meaningless tenets

----

But, I meant to say earlier (but forgot!) that I also think you could use subtle - except that it might possibly be seen to be too positive in the context. Anyway, here are a few possible, but slightly derogatory, alternatives.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2007-12-01 11:42:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you have some leeway with creativity, you could even say, e.g.,

resorting to/citing the finer points of some meaningless hypothesis/erudition

----

(plenty of leeway with any the above combinations!)

(eruditions (pl) doesn't work)

Carol Gullidge
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:41
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
flaunt of pedantic and superfluous learning


Explanation:
I think "flaunt"better conveys the pejorative overtone of déploiement in this context.

Euqinimod (X)
Local time: 13:41
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4
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