sorted in Forms/Formen

Thijs Vissia translation Dutch/English ø

Forms, categories, etc. 


I translate mostly from English to Dutch and vice versa, and occasionally from German. I have 10+ years of experience in editorial work and translation practice, with a specialization in sociopolitical and historical thought, as well as philosophical and art-related texts.

Besides translation I'm available for other editorial work, rewriting, copychecking or similar.

For rates and other inquiries, please contact me at mail [at]

I’ve been working on a collaborative website about ecological/climate crisis and the social relations of capitalism, geared towards a sense of alternatives, and aimed at a Dutch-language public:

The aim is to have a tool for translating and sharing a rich base of stimulating texts and fragments, and to build a critical dictionary on these topics. The current website is a starting point for publishing articles. A planned multi-author publishing site will take a little longer to produce.

Should you be interested in contributing or have any comments or suggestions, please e-mail me at the above address.

Deze pagina in het Nederlands

An incomplete list of translated work:

  • Current translation work for the University of Groningen and Amsterdam publisher Leesmagazijn
  • Various translations for the exhibitions/programs Compromiso Político, First Person Plural, Forensic Justice and Trainings for the Not-Yet at BAK, Basis voor Actuele Kunst, Utrecht
  • Marx's 'Fragment on machines' from the Grundrisse (from German to Dutch, as yet unpublished)
  • Kosmoprolet, Beyond the Agrarian Revolution (from German to English and Dutch)
  • Franklin Rosemont, Karl Marx and the Iroquois - translated to Dutch (on
  • Loren Goldner, Communism is the material human community (from English to Dutch)
  • Giorgio Agamben, interview in Die Zeit, August 17, 2015 - to English (as yet unpublished)
  • Translation and text editing for artist Matthijs de Bruijne
  • Translation, transcription and text editing for various projects by artists/filmmakers Lonnie van Brummelen en Siebren de Haan, such as the film Stones Have Laws (premiered at IDFA 2018) and Drifting Studio Practice, in Metropolis M: Experimental Aesthetics
  • Translation of the project proposal for the 2017 Venice Biennale by curator Lucy Cotter and visual artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh
  • Phd thesis summary translations from English to Dutch for Noa Roei (Shifting Sights: Civilian Militarism in Israeli Art and Visual Culture, Amsterdam 2012) and Jules Sturm (Bodies We Fail – Productive Embodiments of Imperfection, Amsterdam 2012)
  • Various texts for the exhibition “I can’t work like this” (CASCO Institute for Art and Theory, Utrecht, May/June 2012)
  • Sebastian Olma, From People to Multitude. Toward Topologies of Citizenship, translated to Dutch, in: R. Gowricharn, S. Trienekens & D.W. Postma, Alternatieve visies op burgerschap, Amsterdam: SWP, 2012.
  • Paul Amar, Why Egypt's progressives win, original from Translated to Dutch
  • Franco Berardi and Marco Jacquemet, The Italian “anomaly” in the sphere of Semiocapital, translated to Dutch. In: NAi Uitgevers/Open Cahiers nummer 20: De populistische verbeelding. Over de rol van mythen, verhalen en beeldvorming in de politiek)
  • Rudi Laermans, On populist politics and parliamentary paralysis. An interview with Ernesto Laclau. (Translated to Dutch. In: NAi Uitgevers/Open Cahiers nummer 20: as above)
  • Anthony Iles, review of Marina Vishmidt en Metahaven (ed.), Uncorporate Identity. (Translated English to Dutch. In: NAi Uitgevers/Open Cahiers nummer 20: as above)
  • Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis - Must the molecules fear as the engine dies? Notes on the Wall Street "Meltdown". Translated to Dutch. Published in Flexmens magazine, autumn 2008.
  • Giorgio Agamben, Movement (translated to Dutch for, available at archive)
  • Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, The obsession with identity, an extract from Franco Berardi's La nefasta utopia di potere operaio. Translated to Dutch, from the English translation published by Generation Online
  • Alain Badiou, interview. ‘We must find something new’. Translated to Dutch
  • Interview with Paulo Virno: ‘The global movement works like a broken battery’. Translated to Dutch from an interview made by Branden W. Joseph
  • Massimo de Angelis, Reflections about Tronti, class composition and multitude. Translated to Dutch

“…[Maar in feite,]Wanneer ze van haar beperkte burgerlijke vorm ontdaan is, wat is welvaart dan, zo niet de universaliteit van behoeften, capaciteiten, genietingen, productieve vermogens, etc. van individuen, die in universele ruil voortgebracht worden? Wat is ze, zo niet de volwaardige ontwikkeling van de menselijke beschikking over de krachten van de natuur - die van haar eigen natuur evenals die van de zogenaamde “natuur”? Wat is ze, zo niet de absolute ontplooiing van zijn creatieve geaardheden, zonder enige voorwaarde vooraf, anders dan de eerdere historische evolutie die de totaliteit van deze evolutie- d.w.z. de evolutie van menselijke vermogens als zodanig, niet afgemeten aan enig eerder vastgestelde maatstaf, tot doel op zich maakt? Wat is dit, zo niet een situatie waar de mens zich niet in enigerlei bepaalde vorm voortbrengt, maar zijn totaliteit produceert? Waar deze niet streeft om iets te blijven dat door het verleden bepaald is, maar betrokken is in [deel uitmaakt van/deel is aan] het absolute wordingsproces [absolute proces van het worden]?”

"Pre-kapitalistische economische formaties", Grondplan van de kritiek van de politieke economie



"On the contrary, it can be only the nature of the content itself which spontaneously develops itself in a scientific method of  knowing, since it is at the same time the reflection of the content itself which first posits and generates its determinate character."
Hegel, preface to the second edition of Science of Logic, p.27, transl. A.V. Miller (1969, Allen & Unwin, London.)

"It is much more important that in a language the categories should appear in the form of substantives and verbs and thus be stamped with the form of objectivity. In this respect German has many advan­tages over other modern languages; some of its words even possess the further peculiarity of  having not only different but opposite meanings so that one cannot fail to recognize a speculative spirit of the language in them: it can delight a thinker to come across such words and to find the union of opposites naively shown in the dictionary as one word with opposite meanings, although this result of speculative thinking is nonsensical to the understanding. Philosophy therefore stands in no need of a special terminology; true, some words have to be taken from foreign languages but these have already acquired through usage the right of citizenship in the philosophical realm-and an affected purism would be most inappropriate where it was the distinctive meaning which was of decisive importance." (Hegel, preface to the second edition of Science of Logic, p.31, English transl. A.V. Miller (1969).)


"In no science is the need to begin with the subject matter itself, without preliminary reflections, felt more strongly than in the science of logic." (Hegel, introduction to Science of Logic, p.?)


"The object before us, to begin with, material production." (Marx, Grundrisse)

"Production in general is an ab­straction, but a rational abstraction in so far as it really brings out and fixes the common element and thus saves us repetition. Still, this general category, this common element sifted out by comparison, is itself segmented many times over and splits into different determinations. Some determinations belong to all epochs, others only to a few. [Some] determinations will be shared by the most modern epoch and the most ancient. No production will be thinkable without them: however, even though the most developed languages have laws and characteristics in common with the least developed, nevertheless, just those things which determine their development, i.e. the elements which are not general and common, must be separated out from the determinations valid for production as such, so that in their unity—which arises already from the identity of the subject, humanity, and of the object, nature—their essential difference is not forgotten. The whole profundity of those modern economists who demonstrate the eternity and harmoniousness of the existing social relations lies in this forgetting." (Marx, Grundrisse, introduction, p.85)

"(...) differentia specifica (...) matières instrumentales (...) " (Marx, Grundrisse)

"The forms of thought are, in the first instance, displayed and stored in human language. Nowadays we cannot be too often reminded that it is thinking which distinguishes man from the beasts." (Hegel, preface to the second edition of Science of Logic, p.31, English transl. A.V. Miller (1969).)

"Whatever other form the beginning takes in the attempt to begin with something other than empty being, it will suffer from the defects already specified. Let those who are still dissatisfied with this beginning tackle the problem of avoiding these defects by beginning in some other way.” (Hegel, Science of Logic, p.75, With What Must the Science begin? (first chapter))

"But again, that which begins already is, but equally, too, is not as yet. The opposites, being and non-being are therefore directly united in it, or, otherwise expressed, it is their undifferentiated unity. " (ibid., p.74, With What Must the Science begin?)

“We cannot really extract any further determination or positive content for the beginning from the fact that it is the beginning of philosophy. For here at the start, where the subject matter itself is not yet to hand, philosophy is an empty word or some assumed, unjustified conception.” (p.72-73, With What Must the Science begin?)





"Viel wichtiger ist es, daß in einer Sprache die Denkbestimmungen zu Substantiven und Verben herausgestellt und so zur gegenständlichen Form gestempelt sind; die deutsche Sprache hat darin viele Vorzüge vor den anderen modernen Sprachen; sogar sind manche ihrer Wörter von der weiteren Eigenheit, verschiedene Bedeutungen nicht nur, sondern entgegengesetzte zu haben, so daß darin selbst ein spekulativer Geist der Sprache nicht zu verkennen ist; es kann dem Denken eine Freude gewähren, auf solche Wörter zu stoßen und die Vereinigung Entgegengesetzter, welches Resultat der Spekulation für den Verstand aber widersinnig ist, auf naive Weise schon lexikalisch als ein Wort von den entgegengesetzten Bedeutungen vorzufinden. Die Philosophie bedarf daher überhaupt keiner besonderen Terminologie; es sind wohl aus fremden Sprachen einige Wörter aufzunehmen, welche jedoch durch den Gebrauch bereits das Bürgerrecht in ihr erhalten haben, – ein affektierter Purismus würde da, wo es am entschiedensten auf die Sache ankommt, am wenigsten am Platze sein." (Hegel, Vorrede zum zweiten Ausgabe Wissenschaft der Logik, p.20-21, ed. Suhrkamp)




"Der vorliegende Gegenstand zunächst die materielle Produktion."(Marx, Grundrisse., p. 5)

"Die Produktion im Allgemeinen ist eine Abstraktion, aber eine verständige Abstraktion, sofern sie wirklich das Gemeinsame hervorhebt, fixiert, und uns daher die Wiederholung erspart. Indes dies Allgemeine, oder das durch Vergleichung herausgesonderte Gemeinsame, ist selbst ein vielfach Gegliedertes, in verschiedne Bestimmungen Auseinanderfahrendes. Einiges davon gehört allen Epochen; andres einigen gemeinsam. [Einige] Bestimmungen werden der modernsten Epoche mit der ältesten gemeinsam sein. Es wird sich keine Produktion ohne sie denken lassen; allein, wenn die entwickeltsten Sprachen Gesetze und Bestimmungen mit den unentwickeltsten gemein haben, so muß grade das, was ihre Entwicklung ausmacht, den Unterschied von diesem Allgemeinen und Gemeinsamen, die Bestimmungen, die für die Produktion überhaupt gelten, müssen grade gesondert werden, damit über der Einheit — die schon daraus hervorgeht, daß das Subjekt, die Menschheit,und das Objekt, die Natur, dieselben die wesentliche Verschiedenheit nicht vergessen wird. In diesem Vergessen liegt z. B. die ganze Weisheit der modernen Ökonomen, die die Ewigkeit und Harmonie der bestehenden sozialen Verhältnisse beweisen." (Marx, Grundrisse, Einleitung, p. 7)



"Die Denkformen sind zunächst in der Sprache des Menschen herausgesetzt und niedergelegt; es kann in unseren Tagen
nicht oft genug daran erinnert werden, daß das, wodurch  
sich der Mensch vom Tiere unterscheidet, das Denken ist." (Hegel, Vorrede zum zweiten Ausgabe Wissenschaft der Logik, p.19, ed. Suhrkamp)


Womit muß der Anfang der Wissenschaft gemacht werden?

this is the body[3] text

[3] this is where the footnotes go