Ciaran Cronin

Ciaran Cronin © Ciaran Cronin "As a translator I see myself as a mediator between two worlds of knowledge, which, despite increasing interconnectedness, are still separated by languages with different historical and cultural backgrounds."

Ciaran Cronin was born in Dublin in 1961. At university he studied Philosophy (specialising in contemporary continental philosophy, German moral philosophy and political philosophy) in Ireland, Belgium and Germany. After gaining a PhD at the Northwestern University in Illinois, USA (with a dissertation on the moral philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Jürgen Habermas) he taught philosophy at Grinnell College, Iowa (1991-94) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (1996-2003). Since 2004 he has worked as a freelance translator based in Berlin and since 2008 as 'chercheur associé' at the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin.

His specialisms have been the humanities and social studies and in particular philosophy, political theory, politics and sociology. His publications have included numerous articles and book chapters on modern and contemporary political philosophy, including Globalization as Process and Ideology (2010), On the Possibility of a Democratic Constitutional Founding: Habermas and Michelman in Dialogue (2006), Democracy and Collective Identity: In Defence of Constitutional Patriotism (2003) and Kant's Politics of Enlightenment (2003).


Three questions to Ciaran Cronin

Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted?

It wasn't my original intention to become a translator. I became a translator because I was able to make a contribution to a very specialised subject area and because it made it possible for me to continue to do research.
Which German book do you like the best and why?

If I could only name one German book as my favorite, then it would be Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. To me this is the most important book of modern philosophy, perhaps of all philosophy, whose meaning - also for a series of other disciplines - is still fresh today.
Is there a particular book you would like to translate?

A book I'd like to translate is Otfried Höffe's Königliche Völker (Suhrkamp 2001) which is about Kant's philosophy of law and the state.

  • Rainer Forst: Toleration in Conflict (Toleranz im Konflikt). Cambridge University Press, in preparation
  • Jürgen Habermas: An Awareness of What is Missing (Ein Bewusstsein von dem, was fehlt). Polity, 2010
  • Jürgen Habermas: Europe, the Faltering Project (Ach, Europa). Polity, 2009
  • Ulrich Beck: The World at Risk (Weltrisikogesellschaft). Polity, 2008
  • Ulrich Beck & Edgar Grande: Cosmopolitan Europe (Das kosmopolitische Europa). Polity, 2007