Skip to content

【AEON】不要害怕被冒犯


【AEON】不要害怕被冒犯


崇尚自由言论与追求地位平等,仿佛水火不容。性别歧视、地域歧视、种族歧视等等有时被认为是一种绑架,人们过度敏感的神经剥夺了另一群人说话的权利。尽管如此,被冒犯仍然是追求平等、社会进步的体现。这个争议,也许可以从西方的决斗文化中得到一些启示。


不要害怕被冒犯


【AEON】不要害怕被冒犯


作者:Clifton Mark

译者:泮海伦

校对:刘小康

笔记&推荐:王雅婧

策划:泮海伦 杨雪


Quarrels over honour in duelling cultures can enlighten us today and demonstrate why some insults are intolerable

西方决斗文化中的荣誉之战告诉我们今天为什么要反抗冒犯


本文选自 AEON| 取经号原创翻译

关注取经号,回复关键词“外刊”

获取《经济学人》等原版外刊获得方法


In 1717, Voltaire was arrested, some might say, for giving offence. He had published a ‘satirical’ verse that opens by calling the Duc d’Orleans, the then Regent of France, ‘an inhuman tyrant, famous for poison, atheism, and incest’. This pungent personal attack became so popular it was sung on the streets of Paris. In response, the Duc had Voltaire arrested without accusation or trial. The author spent 11 months in the Bastille.

1717年伏尔泰因冒犯贵族锒铛入狱。他写诗讽刺法国当时的摄政王奥尔良公爵“是冷酷无情的暴君,毒杀、乱伦、崇尚无神论的行为人尽皆知”。这首诗在法国街头广为传唱,一针见血地抨击了权贵。奥尔良公爵知道后,未经指控或审讯就下令逮捕了伏尔泰。之后伏尔泰在巴士底狱被关押了11个月。

译注:2014年肯塔基大学Will M. Gervais关于无神论的研究中提到,人们普遍认为无神论者的道德标准更低,甚至很多无神论者自己也这么认为。


Such stories help to explain why Voltaire turns up so frequently in today’s debates over offensive speech, which are driven by the sense that members of historically marginalised groups have become increasingly willing to take offence to speech that they feel implies their exclusion or inferiority. Many believe that this trend has gone too far. In 2016, the Pew Research Centre in the US found that a majority of Americans believe that ‘too many people are easily offended these days over language’. Angus Reid, a Canadian polling company, found similar results – in their poll, 80 per cent of Canadians agreed with the statement: ‘These days, it seems like you can’t say anything without someone feeling offended.’ This sense is not without basis. Public discourse is filled with confrontations over offensive speech. Hardly a day goes by when some public figure is not called out for offensive behaviour, or when another argues that all this offence-taking is a threat to free speech.

这段历史揭示了在有关冒犯性言论的辩论中,伏尔泰这个人物频繁出现的原因。如今,那些历史造就的边缘化人群愈发容易被疑似排外或歧视的言论激怒,由此催生出许多有关冒犯的讨论。一种主流观点认为这些人反应过激了。美国皮尤研究中心调查发现,大多数美国人认为“现今太多人在对待他人言语时过于玻璃心”。加拿大雷德民意测验机构(Angus Reid)也得出了相同的结论,80%的加拿大人同意“现在只要你说话就一定会刺伤某些人脆弱的神经”的说法。这个论断是有迹可循的。公众演说充斥着对冒犯言论的抨击。每天都能看到某个公众人物因做出冒犯行为而被指摘。而另一方面,每天也都有人声讨这些对所谓冒犯的抨击严重危害了言论自由。

take offence feel upset or insulted


Voltaire has become a kind of mascot for the free-speech side of this debate, and his encounter with the Duc fits the role perfectly. On this view, although Voltaire is outspoken and abrasive, he is ultimately on the side of reason and liberty. Those who take offence are like the Duc: they tyrannically silence others to protect their own sensitivities. The moral of the story is that we must not succumb to the temptation of censoring others, even if their speech is uncomfortable or painful to hear. After all, they are ‘mere words’.

在这种情况下,伏尔泰成了推崇自由言论这一方的代言人,他和公爵之间的冲突十分切题,不定期就被搬出来。从这一方的角度上来说,伏尔泰虽然有些直率粗鲁,但是他终归是理性与自由的拥护者。而那些被冒犯的人就好比公爵:他们为了保护自己的敏感内心,专横地剥夺了别人说话的权力。这个故事的寓意是,即使别人的话过于刺耳,我们也绝不能审查他们。毕竟,他们仅仅只是说了些话而已。


This argument is premised on a particular conception of what offence is all about. What makes something offensive is that it presents an unwelcome viewpoint that creates discomfort, bruises egos, and hurts feelings. When people take offence, they are trying to silence those who offend them. Call this concept of offence offence-as-hurt.

以上讨论有一个前提,即究竟怎样的行为才构成冒犯。之所以说某个事物冒犯人,是因为它传达了引起不适、伤人自尊、伤人感受的观点。当一个人觉得被冒犯了,他会试图让冒犯者闭嘴。这种对冒犯的看法可称为“精神冒犯”。


The main theoretical counter to this view is to argue that offence is not about ‘hurt feelings’, but about real harm. A large body of cross-disciplinary research shows that pervasive messages of exclusion or inferiority directed at disadvantaged or vulnerable groups can cause emotional distress and psychological damage. Words wound, and the wounds are no less real for not being physical. This view has frequently been used to argue for legal prohibitions on hate speech. Call this view offence-as-harm.

与之意见相左的理论认为,冒犯不是“伤感情”而已,是造成了实实在在的伤害。大量跨学科研究表明,密集的排挤或歧视性言论会对弱势群体造成情绪抑郁与精神损伤。言语伤害虽然不是生理伤害,但后果切实存在。这种观点常被用来支持颁布仇恨言论禁令。这类对冒犯的看法可称为“生理冒犯”。


There is a third possibility that is not often discussed but which, I will argue, does a better job of accounting for many contemporary conflicts over offence. Neither Voltaire nor the Duc would have seen their conflict as a matter of ‘offence’, properly speaking. In 18th-century France, ‘to take offence’ had a very specific meaning: to challenge another man to a duel. In duelling cultures, the challenge was nothing more than a gentlemanly convention for taking offence. To offend meant to insult or to disrespect, not to hurt one’s feelings. And to take offence was to reply to an insult by demanding a show of respect. I call this third alternative offence-as-insult.

第三种看法并不常见,但是我认为它能更好地解释许多现在的冲突。严格来说,伏尔泰或公爵都不会把他们之间的冲突归为“冒犯”。被“冒犯”在18世纪的法国具有特殊含义:向冒犯者提出挑战,进行决斗。在决斗文化中,这种挑战不过是解决争执的君子协定。冒犯更侧重于羞辱或者轻慢,而不是伤害他人感受。而被冒犯者往往通过索求尊重来回应对方的羞辱。我把这种冒犯称为“名誉冒犯”。


The duel of honour was a violent practice deeply associated with elitism and is therefore repugnant to today’s moral sensibilities. That said, focusing too much on the differences between offence in the two historical contexts can blind us to important parallels. If the duel seems exotic, the underlying norm of equal respect that was at the heart of honour should be more familiar. The first part of this essay will explain how the duel was used to defend equal status for all gentlemen. The second will show how the same basic concept of offence-as-insult that underlies duelling can make more sense of today’s controversies over offensive speech than either offence-as-hurt or offence-as-harm.

为荣誉决斗是一种暴力行为,又与精英主义密切相关,因此为当今的道德观所不齿话虽如此,我们不宜过分关注冒犯在两种历史背景下的差异,而忽略了其中重要的相似之处。如果说决斗对我们来说过于遥远,那么为荣誉而战所隐含的平等尊重的核心理念我们就再熟悉不过了。本文的第一部分将介绍决斗如何用来为所有的绅士谋求平等的地位。第二部分介绍为何决斗文化中的“名誉冒犯”相比其他两种冒犯,更能在当今对冒犯性言论的争议中说明问题。

repugnant / rɪˈpʌɡnənt / adj. making you feel strong dislike or disgust 使十分嫌恶;使反感;不得人心


窗体底端

Voltaire took insults seriously. We know this because, nine years after his run-in with the Duc, he challenged the Chevalier de Rohan to a duel. For this, he was again arrested, again sent to the Bastille. Voltaire’s quarrel with Rohan, a minor noble, began with an exchange of sharp words. According to record, Voltaire had the better of it, and Rohan left in a huff. Several days later, Rohan had Voltaire summoned from a dinner party and beaten with sticks by a gang of his servants while he mocked the writer from his carriage. Voltaire was outraged, and began training with a fencing master. When he thought he stood a chance of surviving an encounter, he publicly challenged Rohan to a duel. Rohan and his family found this impertinent, and so had the writer arrested. Rather than remain indefinitely in prison, Voltaire left for a three-year exile in England. In brief, this is how the events unfolded: jibes-thrashing-challenge-arrest.

伏尔泰视羞辱为头等大事。与公爵的争执过去九年后,伏尔泰又要和德罗昂骑士决斗。这次他也没能逃脱牢狱之灾,又被关进了巴士底狱的大牢。伏尔泰与贵族青年罗昂的争斗始于唇舌之争,由历史记载来看伏尔泰占了上风,罗昂于是勃然大怒。几天后,正在参加某个晚宴的伏尔泰突然被召,一群仆人乱棍齐上把他一顿暴打,一旁的罗昂则端坐马车中大加嘲笑。伏尔泰怒火中烧,从此跟随大师苦练剑术。当他认为自己在较量中能有一丝胜算后,便向罗昂公开宣战。对于身为贵族的罗昂及其家人来说,伏尔泰的行为无疑是大不敬,便逮捕了他。伏尔泰没有被终身监禁,但也被流放英国三年。简而言之,这件事由嘲讽开端,发展为棍打,因挑战达到高潮,以伏尔泰被捕结束。

in a huff in a bad mood, especially because sb has annoyed or upset you 怒气冲冲;生气

impertinent / ɪmˈpɜːtɪnənt / adj. rude and not showing respect for sb who is older or more important 粗鲁无礼的;不敬的


The concept of honour is the key to understanding such quarrels. Honour was a kind of status, entitling those who possessed it to respectful treatment from others. It was a general social status that, unlike modern legal status, applied across contexts, extending into every aspect of social life. It entitled the gentleman to respectful treatment in the drawing room and on the street, as much as in the courts. As long as this idea of honour held sway, civility manuals explaining the proper behaviour, in any context, towards one’s inferiors and one’s equals were enormously popular.

要理解这些争斗,首先要明白荣誉的概念。荣誉代表了社会地位,享有荣誉的人受到他人的尊敬。这种社会地位与现代社会中的法律地位不同,它具有普适性,在各种情况下都发挥作用,涉及社会生活的方方面面。无论是在日常的起居出行中,还是在法庭上,荣誉始终赋予绅士以尊贵待遇。只要这种荣誉观念仍主导社会,指导人们如何对待下级和同级的礼仪手册就会大行其道。


Honour is often thought of in elitist terms. Indeed, in Voltaire’s time, only men at the upper level of the social pyramid were considered honourable, and they alone were entitled to duel. Honour separated gentlemen from commoners. However, within the elite group, honour implied equality. This is not to say that men of honour were equal in every dimension: massive disparities of wealth and power existed between them. But the whole point of personal honour was that it allowed all gentlemen, vastly unequal in many ways, to relate to one another as equals. The norm of equal mutual respect between men of honour governed every step of the quarrel.

荣誉常被认为是精英主义的词汇。确实,在伏尔泰那个年代,只有社会金字塔顶端的男性享有荣誉,也只有他们有决斗的资格。因为荣誉的存在,绅士与平民之间泾渭分明。然而在精英群体内部,荣誉却代表了平等。这并不是说绅士们处处平等,毕竟彼此间存在着巨大的财富与权力差距。但是个人荣誉的核心是,尽管绅士之间有各种差距,他们都有权利被平等对待。这种荣誉赋予的尊重与平等贯穿了双方争吵的每一环节。


The man who swallowed insults without retort was seen as a person who did not respect himself

面对羞辱却打碎牙齿往肚子里吞,就是自我亵渎


Every quarrel began with an insult. Even insults that might seem trivial from the outside were taken seriously, because they spoke to a gentleman’s entire standing in society. A failure to show respect to a gentleman in any way implied that he deserved to be disrespected in every way. Calling a man a liar, a coward or a dog were classic verbal insults, but unspoken implications, contemptuous facial expressions and dismissive gestures could also provoke a challenge. Sometimes, men treated as insults things that might seem much more serious to our eyes. Being thrashed by a gang of lackeys, for instance. These apparently quite different forms of insult were treated in the same way because they carried an identical message of disrespect: they claimed superiority over the insulted party, implying that he belonged among the honourless masses, undeserving of respect.

所有的争吵都始于羞辱。在外人看来微不足道的羞辱,绅士们却正色对待,因为这关乎他们在社会中的身分地位。容忍任何一方面的羞辱就意味着接受来自各方面的羞辱。骂人是骗子、懦夫或狗东西是典型的言语侮辱,而暗讽、鄙夷的神情、轻蔑的体态也能激起一场较量。有时候,一些在我们眼中性质更为严重的事也被他们归为羞辱,比如被一群仆人殴打。这些形形色色的羞辱有相同的处理方式,因为它们隐含的信息都是不尊重:羞辱者凌驾于被羞辱方之上,认为他们不配拥有荣誉,不值得尊重,等同凡夫俗子。


According to the conventions of honour, to accept an insult was to confirm it. The man who swallowed insults without retort was seen as a person who did not respect himself, and was therefore undeserving of the respect of others. By contrast, to take offence denied the insult, and made a claim to the respect owed any gentleman. It was a way of saying: ‘You cannot treat me that way! Give an account of yourself.’ When a gentleman took offence in this way, his demand for a response was backed by social pressure from the wider community of honour. Challenges from equals were obligatory: a gentleman had to respond appropriately to a challenge or face dishonour.

从荣誉传统出发,可以发现接受羞辱就等同于默认羞辱。如果面对羞辱却打碎牙齿往肚子里吞,就是自轻自贱,那么也不配得到他人的尊重。相反,如果将这种羞辱视为冒犯,就是一种反抗,是向对方索求自己应得的尊重。这无异于高声呐喊:“你不能这样对待我!必须给个说法。”当一个绅士这样对待羞辱时,他的索求会得到荣誉社会中各方支持,他的对手会迫于压力出面应对。接受来自同级的挑战带有强制性,作为绅士要么从容应对,要么面临羞辱。


This is not to say that every challenge led to combat. The key to ending the quarrel was for the insulter to reaffirm, in some way, the insulted party’s status as an honourable equal. Thus, most quarrels were settled either through an apology or some other explanation. Combat became necessary only when apologies were not offered or rejected. Since duelling could occur only between honourable equals – a gentleman would never duel a nongentleman – fighting a duel would ipso facto affirm the equal status of both combatants. To summarise: insults denied respect; challenges demanded it; duels delivered it.

挑战的形式不仅限于决斗。解决争端的关键是,羞辱方要以某种方式承认受辱方享有同等尊贵的地位。因此大多数纠纷以道歉或者出面解释结束。只有当一方拒不道歉或另一方不接受道歉时,才有战斗的必要。因为决斗只在平等享有荣誉的人间展开,绅士是绝对不会和平民决斗的,所以决斗本身就默许了双方的平等地位。总之,羞辱是对尊重的剥夺,挑战是对尊重的索求,决斗则制造尊重。

ipso facto /ˌɪpsəʊ ˈfæktəʊ / adv. ( from Latin) because of the fact that has been mentioned 根据该事实;根据事实本身


The quarrel of honour, then, was a way of affirming or restoring equal status where it had been violated by disrespect. Of course, the entire process assumed that the disputants were equals in the first place. Between unequals, everything changed. Insults were not permitted to travel across class lines. According to the rules of honour, rudeness from below should be treated like misbehaviour from a child: one could indulge it, ignore it or punish it. One should never take offence to it. Similarly, a challenge from below should be ignored. It wasn’t a genuine challenge because a challenge assumed social equality. Inferiors did not have the standing to take offence at the behaviour of their superiors, so their offence didn’t matter in this scheme. It couldn’t harm the reputation of a gentleman. Where there was no equality of status, there was no norm of mutual respect, and no offence, properly speaking, was possible.

因此,在平等地位被挑衅之后,荣誉决斗提供了承认或是恢复名誉的手段。当然,这整个过程的前提是争执双方一开始就是平等的。而在不平等的阶层之间,情况截然不同。羞辱不能跨越阶层。在荣誉准则下,下等人的粗鲁行为与孩童的行为不端无异,绅士可以放任,无视,或是惩罚,但绝不能视为冒犯。同样地,下等人发起的决斗要直接忽略。因为这不是真正的挑战,挑战应以平等的社会地位为前提。由于地位悬殊,下等人根本没有资格把上层人的行为视为冒犯,在这种体制下他们的感受无足轻重。一位绅士的声誉并不会因此受到影响。也就是说,社会地位不平等、相互尊重不存在的地方,严格来说是不存在冒犯的。


With this in mind, we can see how Voltaire tried and failed to put himself on equal footing with Rohan. Instead of responding to the writer’s initial mockery with an honourable challenge, Rohan punished him like an unruly child, highlighting his inferior status. He even had his minions apply the beating, not deigning to dirty his own hands. When Voltaire called out the noble, he was demanding that Rohan respond to him as a gentleman, implicitly claiming equal status with the noble. Rohan redoubled the insult by having Voltaire arrested rather than giving him satisfaction. At every turn, Rohan put Voltaire in his place, and there is no evidence that the noble’s reputation suffered in the least for doing so. Even Voltaire’s noble friends thought that he was acting above his station by attempting to quarrel with Rohan. Under the Old Regime status order, Voltaire was Rohan’s inferior. This is why duelling is so often seen as a medieval throwback, elitist to the core. On this view, held by many at the time, abolishing the duel would just be part and parcel of ending aristocratic class privilege.

明确这一点之后,我们就能明白伏尔泰试图将自己放在与罗昂同等的地位上,却失败了。面对伏尔泰最初的嘲弄,罗昂把他视作行为不端的孩子惩罚了一番,强调了他劣等的地位,而不是接受荣誉决斗。他甚至让自己的手下负责实施,不屑于脏了自己的手。当伏尔泰向贵族罗昂提出挑战,他期望对方以对待绅士的方式对待自己,默许双方的平等地位。而罗昂没有满足伏尔泰,反而逮捕了他,令羞辱加倍。双方每次交锋,罗昂都把伏尔泰打回原位,而他的贵族声誉毫不受损。甚至伏尔泰的那些贵族朋友们,都觉得伏尔泰试图与罗昂争斗是僭越。在当时的社会秩序下,伏尔泰的地位低于罗昂。因此决斗常常被视为中世纪的倒退,它的核心是精英统治。从这种观点出发,当时的许多人认为,废除决斗是结束贵族阶级特权的一小步。

deign / deɪn / v. deign to do sth ( disapproving) to do sth in a way that shows you think you are too important to do it 屈尊,俯就,降低身分(做某事)


The right to duel represented the right to be taken seriously when one took offence

当被冒犯时,拥有决斗的权利,代表拥有被严肃对待的权利。


History, however, took a different course. As the French aristocracy lost its prestige and the status order of French society became more equal, the duel spread and thrived. Bourgeois men began to occupy social contexts that were formerly exclusive to aristocrats, such as military officer corps, universities and literary salons. As they did so, they began defending their honour by blade and pistol. By the end of the 19th century, honour and the duel extended to men of all social classes. If Voltaire had challenged Rohan even 100 years later, the challenge would likely have succeeded: Rohan would have had to recognise him as his equal. This pattern is not exclusive to France. Across Europe, newly ‘equal’ men won a reputation for severe punctiliousness regarding the point of honour. And, as the American historian Robert Nye shows in Masculinity and Male Codes of Honour in Modern France (1998), those who kept duelling alive in France until the early 20th century were not reactionaries, nostalgic for the Old Regime. They included sworn enemies of class hierarchy: liberals, socialists, anarchists.

然而,历史的进程走向了另一个方向。随着法国贵族逐渐失去特权,社会地位趋于平等,决斗反而开始在法国大行其道。过去为贵族阶层所垄断的场所逐渐涌入了资产阶级,比如军官团、大学和文化沙龙。与此同时,他们开始用刀枪捍卫自己的荣誉。到19世纪末,荣誉与决斗已经深入到社会各个阶层中。如果伏尔泰晚一百年向罗昂提出挑战,他的成功几率将大大上升,因为到那时罗昂必须承认他的平等地位。这种情形不仅仅出现在法国,“平等”新风吹遍了整个欧洲。这些从中获得平等地位的人们在对待荣誉时出了名地谨小慎微。正如美国历史学家罗伯特·奈在《现代法国男子气概与男性荣誉准则》中写道:在法国,直到20世纪初仍在践行决斗的人,并非留恋旧政体的遗老遗少,而是那些社会阶级制度的仇敌——自由主义者、社会主义者、无政府主义者。

sworn enemies people, countries, etc. that have a strong hatred for each other 不共戴天的仇敌


Why would bourgeois progressives adopt this violent aristocratic ritual? Social equalisation meant that commoners should no longer have to bear being treated as honourless inferiors by their erstwhile social betters. The right to duel represented the right to be taken seriously when one took offence. In their eyes, the duel was an essential bulwark of their newly won status. One apologist praised the duel because it ‘equalised ranks … without pity’. The French journalist Aurélien Scholl went so far as to declare that education in the art of fencing and the ethos of duelling ‘has done more than [The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen (1789)] to advance the cause of equality’. The right to take offence was the mark of full and equal status, as well as the means of enforcing it.

谋求进步的资产阶级为何会沿袭这样一种暴力的贵族传统?社会平等化意味着平民不再需要忍受低人一等的对待。当被冒犯时,他们拥有决斗的权利,代表拥有了被严肃对待的权利。因此,对平民们来说,决斗是得来不易的新地位的堡垒。有支持者赞颂决斗“让阶级平等化……以一种残酷的方式”。法国记者奥雷利安·修尔甚至宣称“比起《人权宣言》,剑术以及决斗精神的教育为促进社会平等作出了更大的贡献”。被冒犯的权利和回应冒犯的手段一起,标志着充分实现地位平等。

erstwhile /ˈɜːstwaɪl / adj. former; that until recently was the type of person or thing described but is not any more 以前的;先前的;过去的;往昔的


Can understanding how offence worked in duelling cultures shed any light on how offence works today? To be sure, there are some stark differences. The duel of honour was a violent, elitist practice that is now abhorred. No matter how offended people become today, they usually express their offence in other ways: personal confrontation (simply telling someone that what they’ve said is offensive); making a complaint to a human resources department; denouncing the offender in public, as when someone is pilloried on social media.

了解了决斗文化中的冒犯机制之后,我们能否从中获得启示,更好地理解今天的冒犯机制?毋庸置疑,两者之间有着天壤之别。为荣誉决斗是充满精英主义色彩的暴力行为,被现代价值观摒弃。今天,无论被冒犯到什么程度,人们都会诉诸其他方式来表达愤怒:直接告知对方言语不当;向人力资源部门投诉;利用社交媒体等渠道公开谴责对方。

abhor / əbˈhɔː / v. to hate sth, for example a way of behaving or thinking, especially for moral reasons (尤指因道德原因而)憎恨,厌恶,憎恶


Triggers of offence are also different. Calling someone a liar or a coward is no longer a deadly serious insult. When people speak of offensive speech today, they usually mean things that are perceived to denigrate or exclude people based on identity characteristics such as race, gender and sexuality. This includes racial epithets and other explicitly demeaning forms of speech, as well as less direct expressions of exclusion. Off-colour jokes, song lyrics, memorial statues and university regulations on Halloween costumes have all been subjects of public controversies over offence. While sexism, racism and the like provoke offence more often than aspersions on personal honour, both contexts have this in common: that which offends can include anything that might be construed as imputing inferior status to its target.

两个时代冒犯产生的原因也不同。骗子或懦夫等指称不再是最严重的侮辱。现在人们提到冒犯性言论的时候,通常指的是对种族、性别、性向等个体特征差异的贬低或排斥,具体包括种族歧视色彩的修饰语,其他显化或者隐晦的歧视、排外表述。荤段子、歌词、纪念雕像以及大学关于万圣节装扮的规定都成了人们争论的对象。而相比损害个人名誉,性别歧视、种族歧视等内容尤其容易引发不满。这些歧视的共同点是,它们涵盖的冒犯性内容极广,包罗了任何疑似贬低某个群体地位的言行。


There are very profound differences between offence in our times and offence in Voltaire’s. Nonetheless, the underlying view that offence is about insult and respect does a better job of explaining many conflicts over offence than do the main alternatives.

从伏尔泰的时代到当代,冒犯这个概念发生了深刻的变迁。然而,冒犯背后关于羞辱和尊重的思想直到今天仍有借鉴意义,能更好地解释冒犯引发的冲突。


Today’s debates over offensive speech are waged between two main theoretical positions. The first, offence-as-hurt, holds that offence is simply a form of discomfort or pain that people experience when faced with speech they dislike or disagree with. Advocates of this view argue that mere psychic anguish – such as the public controversies over song lyrics, US campus politics or Hollywood casting decisions – are not enough to justify restricting anyone’s freedom of speech. Only real harm could do that.

今天关于冒犯性言论的讨论,主要游离在两种观点之间。第一种是“精神冒犯”,即被冒犯只是人们在听到不喜欢或不赞同的言论时,体验到的不适或痛苦感受。这种观点的支持者认为,单纯的心理痛苦不足以限制人的自由言论,比如公众对歌词、美国校园规定、好莱坞选角决定等的争议。只有实质性的伤害才能限制人说话。


The second position holds that denigrating speech causes real and serious harm to its targets, and therefore does justify restrictions on speech. It is perhaps unfair to call this position offence-as-harm because most of its proponents avoid the word ‘offence’, which smacks too much of subjective sensibility. In the classic text of critical race theory Words That Wound (1993) by Mari Matsuda et al, the introduction declares that the book is about ‘assaultive speech, about words that are used as weapons to ambush, terrorise, wound, humiliate, and degrade’. This model is most plausible in the context in which the argument was developed: justifying legislation against the most egregious forms of hate speech.

第二种观点认为歧视性言论对受众造成了切实的、严重的伤害,所以限制这些言论是有必要的。把这种观点称为“生理冒犯”也许有失公允,因为大多数支持者不愿意用“冒犯”这个词,认为它主观意味过浓。在批判种族理论的经典文本——玛丽松田等人于1993年发表的《伤害性语言》中,引言部分介绍了文章的论述对象是“攻击性言论,包括用作暗伤、恐吓、伤害、羞辱及贬低他人的语言武器”。“生理冒犯”最适宜用来论证立法禁止那些最恶劣的攻击性言论的必要性。

smack of sth to seem to contain or involve a particular unpleasant quality 有…味道;带有…意味


Before I take offence, the key question is not ‘How do I feel?’ but ‘Was the joke racist?’

在被冒犯这件事上,关键问题并非“我觉得被歧视了吗?”而是“这个笑话本身是种族歧视吗?”


Advocates of both concepts of offence can find examples that fit their argument. However, both leave out a wide range of cases in which insult, not hurt or harm, is the salient factor. These can be identified by simply reflecting on our everyday approach to evaluating confrontations over offensive speech. When someone takes offence to something, how do we decide if they are in the right?

以上两种冒犯理念的支持者都能举例自圆其说。但是两种观点都没能涵盖一种更广泛的情形,即性质为羞辱而不是伤害的冒犯。回顾日常生活中,我们如何对待冒犯性言论的争议,就能体会这一点。当一个人觉得被冒犯的时候,我们如何确定他是对的那一方?

salient /ˈseɪliənt / adj. most important or noticeable 最重要的;显著的;突出的


Offence-as-hurt and offence-as-harm both focus on the effects on the target. To determine whether an instance of speech is offensive, we must find out how the audience feels about it. Offence-as-insult focuses instead on the content of the speech. To give a hypothetical example, when I am deciding whether to take offence to a colleague’s joke playing on my Chinese heritage, the key question is not ‘How do I feel?’ but ‘Was the joke racist?’ That this is the salient normative question indicates that offence is about the violation of norms of respect, not hurt feelings. In these cases, offended people do not need to demonstrate that they have suffered harm to justify taking offence. As in honour societies, offence is justified by whether or not an act treats its target as less than equal.

“精神冒犯”与“生理冒犯”都聚焦于冒犯对人的影响。要给某段言论定性,首先要确定听众的感受。而“名誉冒犯”聚焦于言论本身。假如同事拿我身上的中国特质开了个玩笑,关键问题并非“我觉得被歧视了吗?”而是“这个笑话本身是种族歧视吗?”既然后者才是标准的、最突出的问题,那么冒犯就关乎破坏尊重,而不是伤害感受。在这些情形下,人们不需要用遭遇的伤害来证明受到了冒犯。正如曾经的荣誉社会,遭遇不平等对待才是评判受到冒犯的标准。


Offence-as-insult also makes more sense of our approach to apologies. No early modern gentleman ever avoided a duel by saying: ‘I’m sorry you feel that way.’ Nor is that a sufficient apology in most contemporary cases of offence. As in honour cultures, offence today demands an affirmation of respect for the offended person’s equal status, or evidence that the offending speech did not carry an insulting meaning. In the case above, if my colleague convinces me that the joke was not making fun of Chinese people, but rather of silly but commonly held stereotypes of Chinese people, then I might withdraw my offence.

“名誉冒犯”还启示了正确的道歉方式。早期的现代绅士不会凭借一句“伤害了你我很抱歉”,就避免一场决斗。今天的大多数情况下,这种道歉也不足以解决问题。与荣誉文化相同,今天的冒犯也需要肯定受辱一方的平等地位,或者证明所谓的冒犯性言论并不带有侮辱意味。在刚才的例子中,如果同事能说服我,那个笑话并没有取笑中国人,而是讥讽愚蠢但普遍存在的对中国人的刻板印象,说不定我就不觉得冒犯了。


In addition to making better sense of our everyday deliberations, offence-as-insult suggests a different overall picture of people who take offence, and how they fit into the current historical context. Most critics of offence-taking see those who take offence as the spoiled heirs of 1960s social movements. For them, the struggles of Civil Rights, second-wave feminism and the early gay-rights movement were justified struggles for equality. In these struggles, historically oppressed groups fought for and won recognition as full and equal members of society. Their status as full equals is embodied in equal rights, legal protections against discrimination and widespread norms against racism, sexism and other forms of hierarchy. On this view, once ‘official’ equality has been established, taking offence at merely expressive slights appears as an unjustified attempt to control the speech of others, a move beyond the justified aim of equality into identity-political special pleading and ‘victim politics’. Material and social inequalities might remain and ought to be fought, but the main battle for basic equality has been won.

除了给我们的日常生活带来启示,“名誉冒犯”还揭示了崭新的被冒犯者群像,以及他们是如何在当今历史背景下自处的。大多数不认同冒犯的批评家认为被冒犯者是些被20世纪60年代的社会运动宠坏的人。这些人认为,民权运动、女权主义的第二次浪潮、早期同志运动都是对平等地位的合理斗争。斗争的结果是,长久受压迫的群体通过不懈努力获得了社会认同,取得了平等地位。而平等的地位具体表现为平等的权利,保护他们免受歧视的法律条例,消除种族歧视、性别歧视以及其他形式等级差异的社会准则。按照这个思路,一旦“官方认可”的平等建立起来,为一些无足轻重的言语动怒,试图限制他人表达的权利,就有些不厚道了。因为这样有悖于争取平等的初衷,反而有满足身份政治的特殊诉求和发展“受害者政治”之嫌。物质及社会层面的许多不平等固然存在,亟待我们解决,但是已经达成主要的基本平权。

slight n. an act or a remark that criticizes sth or offends sb 侮慢;冷落;轻视

译注:身份政治(identity politics)是指在社会上,人群因性別、人种、民族、宗教、性取向等,集体的共同利益而展开的政治活动。在受害者政治(victim politics)中,受害者反而能获得一些特权,并且反对受害者的观点仿佛是政治不正确的,这使得所有人都倾向于称自己为受害者。


Advocates of offence-as-hurt offer several explanations for why people today remain so easy to offend, even in the face of official equality. In their book The Rise of Victimhood Culture (2018), the sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning argue that social conditions, such as atomisation of individuals and diversity, foster an acute sensitivity to slight. In The Coddling of the American Mind (2018), the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and the legal expert Greg Lukianoff argue that indulgent parenting practices and overprotective educational policy has produced pathologically fragile adults who are incapable of dealing with any expression that they do not agree with. For advocates of offence-as-harm, both cause and cure for conflicts over offence is in the fragile psyches of the offended: the best thing for everyone would be to grow thicker skins and learn to tolerate the inevitable rough-and-tumble of discourse in a free society.

尽管官方层面的平等取得胜利,现在的人们却更容易被激怒了,为此“精神冒犯”的推崇者给出了几种解释。社会学家布拉德利·坎贝尔和杰森·曼宁在《受害者文化的兴起》(2018)一书中写道,强调个体性和多样性的社会形态,使得人们对轻视越来越敏感。在《溺爱下的美国思维》(2018)中,社会心理学家乔纳森·海德和法律专家格雷格·卢加诺夫论证了家长的溺爱与教育体制的过度保护,制造出了一批极度脆弱的人群,他们无法应对任何自己不赞同的观点。而“生理冒犯”的支持者则认为,脆弱的心理是问题的成因也是解决的关键:在一个自由的社会中,语言的狂轰滥炸无法避免,因此最佳的做法是人们厚起脸皮,学会容忍。


It is quite common to think that official equality should be enough to greatly mitigate, if not resolve, conflicts over offence. But the history of duelling shows that this gets the basic relation between social equality and offence wrong. Basic-status equality is not the solution to offence, it’s a condition of it.

我们常常认为已取得的平等应该足够解决冒犯争端,至少能缓和争端。但是决斗的历史向我们证明,这种想法错误理解了社会平等与冒犯之间的基本关系。事实上,基本的地位平等不是冒犯的解决方式,而是冒犯存在的条件。


Bourgeois men succeeded in challenging aristocrats only when they had already received some formal recognition of status, either via legal equality or admission to some institution (eg, officer corps, universities) on an equal footing with aristocrats. Official recognition of equality is what enabled them to defend their equal status, by duel, in the broader social realm. When the hierarchical division between aristocracy and bourgeoisie was fully intact, bourgeois men would not have thought to take offence to slights from their betters, and their betters would not have listened if they did. Official equality establishes the norm in virtue of which men can demand respect. Equality made their skins thin. Thick skin is for unequals.

资产阶级只有当取得了一些正式的地位认可,或是法律上的平等,或是一些机构的准入(如军官团、大学等),在向贵族阶层提出挑战时才有机会成功。官方认可平等的前提下,他们才能在广阔社会中利用决斗守卫自己的地位。当贵族与资产阶级之间等级分明时,后者不会为前者的轻视而感到冒犯,而前者会对后者的诉求置之不理。官方层面的平等建立了一些准则,人们诉诸这些准则来确保受到尊重。平等确实让人脸皮变薄了,但是厚脸皮是为不平等的社会准备的。


The current proliferation of offence-taking by members of marginalised groups has caused a lot of anxiety and discomfort. There is a real fear on the part of nearly everyone that they might be called out, and this has led to a sense that worrying so much about offence represents a regression to a more censorious and stifled society. Offence-as-insult does not deny that this can make social relations more tense, but adds another perspective. The history of duelling suggests that the very fact that offence is taken so seriously is a sign of progress. For men of honour, to be taken seriously when one took offence was a sign of equality.

边缘群体中日益增长的易怒情绪引发了许多焦虑与不安。每个人在内心深处都担心自己有一天成了激怒他们的罪魁祸首。同时,这还引来了猜测,认为过分担忧冒犯意味着社会倒退,走向沉闷压抑。“名誉冒犯”不否认这的确会让社会关系更紧张,但也提出了另一个角度的观点。决斗文化的历史说明,严肃对待冒犯其实是社会进步的体现。在荣誉社会,冒犯之后的严肃对待是平等的标志。


Offence-as-insult suggests that those who take offence today should not be thought of as exceptionally fragile. They are sensitive, but only because they insist on the respect that, according to our norms of status equality, they are owed. Voltaire, in his role as persecuted gadfly, is most often namechecked in support of free speech against offence. Yet the Voltaire who challenged Rohan might be made to stand for the other side of the argument. He risked his life and suffered persecution for daring to challenge the contempt visited by the high-born upon the common. If offence is about insult, then those who take offence today might be like early bourgeois duellists who began to stand on their pride after being made to swallow it for so long.

“名誉冒犯”试图说明,现在那些常觉得被冒犯的人不该被贴上玻璃心的标签。他们之所以敏感,是因为他们坚持索求平等地位条件下应得的尊重。伏尔泰作为受迫害的牛虻,名字常被支持自由言论的一方提到。但是伏尔泰向罗昂提出挑战的行为其实应该作为被冒犯一方的论据。他冒着生命危险向贵族对平民施加的羞辱提出挑战,最终受到了迫害。如果冒犯与羞辱息息相关,那么今天的易怒人士就如同早期热衷决斗的资产阶级,他们长期打碎了牙往肚子里吞,现在轮到拿出自尊的时候了。

译注:苏格拉底将自己比作牛虻,将城邦比作充满惰性、睡眼惺忪的巨兽,他不断提出问题挑战人们的成见,就如同牛虻叮咬巨兽,用刺痛来唤醒巨兽。爱尔兰女作家伏尼契的著作《牛虻》中,主人公牛虻是一个意大利革命党人,他反对奥地利统治者、为争取国家独立统一而斗争,最后为之献出了生命。牛虻指的便是这一类人。




取经号推荐


📜文章

📜读书会——伏尔泰是怎样优雅地“打倒卑鄙”的?

根据2013年数据显示,上海人的预期寿命在全国位列第一。

http://www.sohu.com/a/153255839_419187

📜网络时代,言论究竟该有多自由?

根据2013年数据显示,上海人的预期寿命在全国位列第一。

https://www.guokr.com/article/437181/


🎬视频

🎬Does Free Speech Offend You?

https://www.bilibili.com/video/av3199685?from=search&seid=12278942467054678270


📚书籍

📚《荣誉法则》

《荣誉法则:道德革命是如何发生的》中哲学家奎迈·安东尼·阿皮亚以废除决斗、缠足、贩奴等陋俗的历史过程为案例,揭示了荣誉在人类文明与道德革命中所扮演的角色以及荣誉观自身的演变。本书从举世最后一个重要的决斗说起:打败拿破仑的英国首相惠灵顿公爵如何和一名特立独行的伯爵拼个你死我活。在急剧改变边缘的社会,决斗如何因荣誉而生,又因荣誉而衰亡。

👍豆瓣:7.8

https://book.douban.com/subject/6984674/


上个账号被 永封


提出问题的人 被解决了


后台回复关键词和谐】


防止取经号 再次消失


#访问取经号官网#

网站域名 qujinghao.com,即“取经号”的全拼

#外刊资源#

后台回复 外刊,获取《经济学人》等原版外刊获得方法

#关注取经号#

扫描 二维码,关注跑得快的取经号(id: J2West

【AEON】不要害怕被冒犯


<原文链接:https://aeon.co/essays/what-duelling-can-teach-us-about-taking-offence>



始发于微信公众号: 取经号

Be First to Comment

发表评论

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注