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战斗的哲学家:发现自己,练习死亡

战斗的哲学家:发现自己,练习死亡

我们翻译这篇文章的理由

很多人认为哲学家应该比常人更懂得宽容、心存更多的善意、更富有同理心,在讨论哲学问题的时候,不应该存在言语刻薄的斗争。然而,激烈的战斗未必是件坏事,在这个过程中双方能够更加深入地了解自己,也许会找到自己未曾发现的突破点。

——徐嘉茵

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战斗的哲学家:发现自己,练习死亡

作者:AgnesCallard

译者:邹世昌&邵海灵

校对:徐嘉茵

策划:王津雨 & 徐嘉茵

IsPhilosophyFightClub?

战斗吧!哲学家

Once an esteemed philosopher was mean to me. He began by dismissing the value of the question I was asking, then disparaged the distinctions I drew as ill-conceived, then scorned my evident lack of technical competence, then brushed aside a number of my central claims as non-sequiturs and ended—by this point, his anger was apparent—by saying he couldn’t see how there was anything of value in my talk. There was no missing the insinuation it had been a mistake for his department to invite me. Afterwards, at dinner, his colleagues fell over themselves apologizing for his behavior, praising both the talk and how well I had handled the abuse.

曾经有一位受人尊敬的哲学家对我很刻薄。他先是否定了我提出的问题的价值,然后把我提出的不同观点贬损为“考虑不周”,接着嘲笑我明显缺乏技术能力,并把我的一些核心观点批作瞎猜——此时他的怒气已经摆在脸上了——最后表示他在我的言论中看不到任何有价值的东西。他毫不掩饰地表现出他的部门邀请我是个错误。在之后的晚宴上,他的同事纷纷为他的行为道歉,并把我的言论以及我面对羞辱的得体应对大大称赞了一番。

insinuation [ɪnˌsɪnjuˈeʃən] n. an indirect (and usually malicious) implication 影射;含蓄的批评

I didn’t have the guts to tell them the truth, which was that while they had loved my talk, the Mean Philosopher was the one who had understood it. That goes for the manifest content of my talk — his complaints were, in fact, well-founded—and, much more importantly, its animating spirit: provocation. For some reason, he was the only one in the room who heard the invitation to fight me on this one. He didn’t just understand my talk, he understood me. The best part was that his insight didn’t rise to the level of consciousness—he was irritated by my pugnacious tone and reacted angrily. And I responded with equal sincerity.

我没有勇气告诉他们真相,虽然他们喜欢我的讲论,但只有那位刻薄的哲学家真正理解了我的话。他不仅听懂了我那些话的表层含义——事实上,他的抱怨是有充分根据的——更重要的是,他领会了我那席话的内在精髓:挑衅。由于某种原因,他是房间里唯一听出我的挑衅以为并奋起迎战的人。他不仅听懂了我的言论,而且理解了我的心。最妙的一点是,他都没有意识到自己有这样优秀的洞察力——他只是被我好斗的语气激怒了,并做出了愤怒的反应。而我也以同样的真诚回应了他。

pugnacious[pʌɡˈneʃəs] adj. ready and able to resort to force or violence 好战的,好斗的,好挑衅的

This was years ago, but the five minutes of heated back and forth that followed are burned into my memory. Time seemed to slow down; the rest of the room faded from view; the sentences flew between us, each one carrying the weight of the world on it. What could be better than a good old-fashioned philosophy battle?

这是几年前的事了,但那5分钟的激烈争吵却深深地印在了我的记忆里。时间似乎慢了下来,房间的其余东西都从视野中消失了,我们之间唇枪舌战,每句话都承载着整个世界的重量。还有什么比一场古典式的哲学之战更美妙的呢?

I understand that at most times and places one should endeavor to give constructive rather than destructive criticism; to play nicely with others; to be accommodating and generous and understanding; to help people overcome their faults and problems rather than use those weaknesses as an opening for attack. Instead of “no, but,” try “yes, and.” Smile. We’re all in this together. No fighting, no biting. Let’s build something. I accept that these are the rules of “regular life.” I smile plenty. But I want philosophy to be an escape ticket from kindergarten morality.

我明白,在大多数的时候和场合,一个人都应该努力给予建设性的批评,而不是破坏性的批评;应该与他人友好相处;应该通融、慷慨和善解人意;应该帮助人们克服他们的缺点和问题,而不是利用这些弱点作为攻击的突破口。不要说“不,但是”,试着说“是的,还有”。要微笑。我们其实并无不同。不许打架,不许咬人。让我们构建一些东西。我承认这些是“正常生活”的规则。我笑得很勤快。但我想让哲学成为一张升级通关卡,让我们超越幼儿园水平的道德观,踏上更高的台阶。

Most philosophers don’t think philosophy needs more fighting and more biting. They think we should be moving in the opposite, less “gladiatorial” direction: more charity, more supportiveness, more philanthropy, kindness and empathy. Sometimes when I argue with such people, they make the following point: being pugnacious produces bad philosophy. If you are out to trip up your interlocutor, you will misconstrue her arguments and produce flimsy counterarguments. Charitable interpretations are what lead to deep engagement. I think there is some truth to this: careful, generous critique is how we avoid the cheap victory of a superficial scar. If you’re talking a Trojan Horse of philanthropy, kindness and empathy for the sake of ultimate violence, destruction and meaningful victory, I can get on board with that.

大多数哲学家认为哲学不需要更多的斗争和撕咬。他们认为,我们应该朝着相反的方向前进,少一些“角力”:更多的宽容、更多的支持、更多的慈善、善意和同理心。有时候,当我和这样的人争论时,他们会提出以下观点:好斗会产生糟糕的哲学。如果你想绊倒对方,你就会误解她的观点,你的反驳也会站不住脚。宽容的理解才能让双方深入地参与讨论。我认为这是有一定道理的:谨慎、宽宏大量的批评使我们得以避免用表面的伤疤换取廉价的胜利。如果你送出一匹满载慈悲、善良和同情的特洛伊木马,目的是为了最终的暴力、破坏和有意义的胜利,那我是可以接受的。

Some philosophers do not dismiss fighting out of hand, but hold refutation and disputation to exist for the sake of ultimate and more meaningful accord and agreement. How do we decide whether we should be nice in order to be mean, or vice versa? We might compare the two approaches with respect to the goal of philosophical activity: securing answers to philosophical questions. I think fighting wins that fight, so to speak. But I am not going to make that case here. I am interested in offering you a different kind of argument, one that foregrounds the distinctiveness of the activity of philosophy, considered as a form of human interaction. In fact, in order to make my case at the proper level of generality, let me even set aside philosophy for a minute, and just consider what fighting is, and why we do it.

有些哲学家并不排斥失控的斗争,而是主张为了最终的、更有意义的一致和协议而存在反驳和争论。我们如何决定是否应该为了变得刻薄而变得友善,或者是相反?我们可以就哲学活动的目标比较这两种方法:为了得到哲学问题的答案。可以说,我认为只有战斗才能赢得战斗。但我不打算在这里讨论这个问题。我很想给你们提供一种不同的论证,一种强调哲学活动的特殊性的论证,它被认为是人类互动的一种形式。事实上,为了使我的观点具有适当的普遍性,让我先把哲学放在一边,考虑一下什么是战斗,以及我们为什么要战斗。

Is violence generally a good way to solve problems? I’ll admit that some signs point towards no. Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) described war as politics continued by another means, but that is a little like saying crawling is running continued by another means. Yes: a worse one. Take a simplified, schematic case: if you and I are both after the same quantum of value—ideally I’d like all of it, and so would you—we might come to blows. But this is a mistake: it would be better to negotiate. Fighting itself has a cost, which subtracts from the total. Think of it this way: assume the total is one hundred dollars, and the cost of fighting is ten dollars. Wouldn’t you take a 100 percent chance of fifty dollars over a 50 percent chance of ninety dollars? Admittedly, if one of us was antecedently likelier to win, she would not accept a fifty-fifty split. But in that case we should use that information, including the degree of likelihood, to keep negotiating until we come up on a split that both of us can rationally agree to. No reason to lose the ten dollars.

总的来说,暴力是不是解决问题的好办法?我承认有些证据指向的是否定回答。普鲁士将军卡尔·冯·克劳塞维茨(1780-1831)将战争描述为政治的另一种延续方式,但这有点像说爬行是跑步的另一种延续方式。没错,一种较为糟糕的方式。举一个简化的例子:如果你和我都追求同样的价值——我的理想目标是全部独吞,你也一样——我们就可能会打起来。但这是错误的:进行谈判才是更好的办法。战斗本身是有代价的,这个代价会从总数中扣除。这样想:假设总共有100美元,而战斗的成本是10美元。难道你会放着100%分到50美元的方案不要,而去争取那得到90美元的50%的机会吗?诚然,如果我们中间有一个人本来就更有可能获胜,他可能不会接受对半平分的方案。但在这种情况下,我们应该利用这些信息,包括可能性的大小,继续谈判,直到我们达成双方都能理智地接受分成的比率。何必白白损失十美元呢?

Fighting is a non-ideal way to allocate an independently valuable resource — something we resort to when negotiations break down. This is a good critique of fighting. But it doesn’t extend to the case where the resource lacks independent value and is sought after precisely because it provides an occasion for fighting. Sometimes I want what you want, because you want it, indeed because that means I can fight you for it. And the reason I want to fight you is to know which one of us is stronger. In this sort of case I would reject a fifty-fifty division not because I believe I know I can get a better one, but precisely because I don’t believe I know, and finding out whether I can is my true goal.

战斗是一种并不理想的解决方式——当双方要分配一项具有独立价值的资源而协商无果时,只能退而求其次,诉诸兵刃相见的对抗。这段评论固然总结得很好,但当资源不具有独立的价值,且双方展开争夺的唯一原因就是它为双方创造了一决胜负的时机,那在这种情况下,上述定义就不再适用了。有时就是因为你想要,所以我偏偏要来和你争,说白了,我就是要借此机会跟你干一仗。而我之所以要跟你打,就是为了决出你我之间孰强孰弱。倘若情形是这样,五五分成的方案我是不会考虑的,不是因为我相信自己能分到更大一杯羹,而是恰恰相反——因为我不知道自己能否超过你。而通过战斗来发现自己的实力,才是我真正的目的。

In such cases, the battle prize is knowledge of one’s own mettle. We want to come to terms with the potential we have in us, a potential that will be left forever unknown until it’s tested in the most extreme terms against the best opponent possible. That is a problem to which fighting is quite an efficient and rational solution. The only real way to know how hard I can fight is to fight as hard as I can. As Aristotle says, actuality is conceptually prior to potentiality.

在这样的情况下,你的战利品就是对自身实力的认识。要与自身达成和解,就要知道自己的潜能到底有多少。而除非你在最绝望的处境中与最强大的对手殊死一搏过,否则就永远不会知道准确的答案。通过战斗来寻求解答其实是有效而理性的做法。要想知道我打起来有多拼命,就要拼尽全力打一架,这是唯一可靠的方法。正如亚里士多德所言:现实在概念上先于潜能。

Whether fighting is rational or not depends on the status of the precise, certain knowledge of relative strength that only the actual fight can provide: Is it desired merely instrumentally, or for its own sake? Fighting, done right, is a form of inquiry. And that brings us back to philosophy.

一场战斗是否理性,取决于交战双方如何看待对彼此实力的精准认知:你是把实力的高下作为达到目的的手段,还是把一决高下作为唯一的目的?而双方的实力只有双方打过一架才能见分晓。战斗如果进行得法,就是求知的途径,由此我们能回过头来,思考什么是哲学。

Do you want to know the outcome of the battle between me and the Mean Philosopher? Sorry to disappoint you, but he won. I lost. Again. I usually lose. This is not me being humble; it is an objective fact that I am a loser. I have been debating since high school, where I was the first person to become team captain having lost more rounds than she won. And my team was one of the strongest in the area: the team captains before (and, I suspect, after) me won state and national competitions for which my losing record prevented me from even qualifying.

你想知道我和那个刻薄的哲学家战斗下来的结果吗?抱歉让你失望了,但是他赢了。我又输了,一如既往。不是我谦虚,这就是事实:我是一个屡战屡败的鲁蛇。从高中开始我就在辩论队里打比赛,并且在历任队长里,打输的次数比赢多,我有幸是第一个。而我们的辩论队还算那个片区里实力最强的队伍之一:前任(我猜也包括后任)队长都赢过州赛乃至全国大赛,而我因为输得太多,连参加这些大赛的资格都被取消了。

译者注:

台湾多使用鲁蛇或卤蛇,取自英文“loser”的谐音,批踢踢网站(PTT)乡民通常以此来讽刺当今贫富差距的现象,尤其是在工作上不顺遂、低收入、没有爱人者。相对地,有成就、或日子过得不错的人,例如:富二代、公务员、受异性欢迎者等则被乡民讽刺为温拿(“winner”)、而嘲讽者就反被消遣是loser,例如:失业、低薪(如月薪只有台币22,000元或更低)、交不到女友等,之后就逐渐出现“鲁蛇”的谐音用法取代loser。后来贬义色彩渐淡,也会有乡民以“小鲁”或“小蛇”(第一人称自谦‘小弟’的变化)自称,或使用“本鲁蛇”、“本鲁”、“本蛇”(本人)等。

摘自维基百科词条:“输家男”

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/輸家男

So how did I get elected captain? I was competing against debaters who were good at winning, which I was not. But I was great at losing. And greatness shines forth. (It was a landslide.) In the intervening quarter century, I’ve only become greater. Losing is where it’s at. You never know just how strong an idea is, just how much scrutiny it will withstand, until the moment when it gives way. Don’t get me wrong, it also hurts. Every time. The animating force behind the idea is your own mind—your cognitive essence. When you lose, you experience just how far your capacity to think takes you, which is to say, you experience it giving out. That’s when it washes over you: the feeling of not knowing what you are talking about, the empty nothingness of your own mind.

既然如此,我是怎么当选队长的?我的对手都是擅长打比赛的人,我不擅长赢,但我擅长输呀!这就是我发光发热的地方(热到烧成一团焦)。赛季尚未过半,我已愈来愈强,而打输比赛是关键所在。你永远不会知道一个观点有多强势,能够经受住多少质问和考验——直到你放弃它的那一刻。不要误会我,打输也会伤心的。每次都会。给观点注入生命的,是你自己的头脑——你在认知层面的本质。在你输掉的那一刻,才能体会到你的思维能力究竟能带你走多远。换句话说,你要经历自己弹尽粮绝、黔驴技穷的那一刻。这也是你被失败感彻底淹没的一刻:你已然不知自己是在说什么,那种思想完全空洞的虚无与寂灭。

When you die, you don’t experience that nothingness—I guess you sidle right up to the promised land, but then, before you know it, you’re dead. The tragedy of physical violence is that by the time you kill ’em, they’re gone. If you defeat your opponent in a duel of knives or pistols, the death you give her is one she can’t receive. Words are more powerful, because the loser feels her loss, all the way through, from beginning to end.

濒死之人是不会经历那种虚无的——我想那时你会直接踏入神所应许的天堂,但在此之前,在你尚未踏入的时候,你已经死了。血腥搏斗的悲剧在于:你杀死他们的那一刻,他们也永久失去意识了。如果你在一场决斗中用短刀或手枪干掉了对手,你给他的死亡是他感受不到的。相比之下,话语的能力就强大得多,因为失败的一方仍能感受到失败带来的痛苦,从开始直到结束。

Socrates undersold philosophy when he described it as a preparation for death. Philosophy done right is death. The other kind of death is a simulacrum, a mere half death. If you want to know what it’s like to be nothing, nonexistent, don’t sit around waiting for the inevitable. Instead, lose. The upside of winning is pleasure and glory, but the cost of always winning is never getting to know how much more was in you. The only way to find the limit is to cross it. But you can’t lose unless you fight your heart out. Which is why I say, more fighting, more biting.

苏格拉底说,哲学是为死亡做准备,可见他明白哲学的本质。哲学如果探讨得法,结局就是死亡。肉体的死亡只是幻影,充其量不过死了一半。如果你要体会那种虚无、空洞、万念俱灭的感觉,不要混吃等死,起来找人打一架,输掉一场争论吧。得胜会带来荣誉和满足,但时常得胜的代价是你永远不知道自己还有多少未曾发挥的潜能。发现自身极限的唯一方法就是越过它。但你必须拼死一搏才能打输。所以我说,让战斗和厮杀来得更猛烈些吧!

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点评

通篇读完后,我觉得作者讲了三层意思:一、不去战斗,真理如何越辩越明;二、为了“发现自己”,我们必须去战斗。少有比战斗更好的办法;三、哲学战斗就是“练习死亡”,让我们“为失败而拼死一搏”,抵达自我的极限。

第一层意思好懂,不赘述。第二层意思也不难领略,想必我们都有在极限中发现自我潜能的经历。这里最想谈一谈的是第三层。

蒙田随笔录中有一篇《探讨哲学就是练习死亡》。开篇是这样写的:

西塞罗说,探究哲理就是为死亡作思想准备,因为研究和沉思从某种意义上说可使我们的心灵脱离躯体,心灵忙忙碌碌,但与躯体毫无关系,这有点像是在学习死亡,与死亡很相似

你说这和“练习死亡”有什么关系?我说,当你“拼尽全力地失败”后,世界将为你打开一扇窗户。透过这扇窗户,“心灵将脱离躯体”,你将意识到人生的本质:

夫人之相与,俯仰一世,或取诸怀抱,晤言一室之内;或因寄所托,放浪形骸之外。虽取舍万殊,静躁不同,当其欣于所遇,暂得于己,快然自足,不知老之将至。及其所之既倦,情随事迁,感慨系之矣。向之所欣,俯仰之间,已为陈迹,犹不能不以之兴怀。况修短随化,终期于尽。古人云:「死生亦大矣。」岂不痛哉!
王羲之:《兰亭集序》
“你们是有限的,”时间会借苦闷之口对你们说,“无论你们做什么,在我看来都是徒劳无益的。”这在你们听来自然不像是音乐,但是,甚至连你们最好的、最热情的行动也是徒劳无益、意义有限的――这一感觉要胜过对行动结果的幻想,胜过随之而来的自我膨胀。
Joseph Brodsky,公众号:黄灿然小站我荐|布罗茨基:颂扬苦闷(刘文飞 译)

“哀吾生之须臾,羡长江之无穷~~~”

那么,该怎么办呢?我不知道。至少有以下几种态度可供参考:

苏格拉底,论证灵魂的不朽:

格劳孔啊,这个故事就这样被保存了下来,没有亡佚。如果我们相信它,它就能救助我们,我们就能安全地渡过勒塞之河,而不在这个世上玷污了我们的灵魂。不管怎么说,愿大家相信我如下的忠言:灵魂是不死的,它能忍受一切恶和善。让我们永远坚持走向上的路,追求正义和智慧。这样我们才可以得到我们自己的和神的爱,无论是今世活在这里还是在我们死后(像竞赛胜利者领取奖品那样)得到报酬的时候。我们也才可以诸事顺遂,无论今世在这里还是将来在我们刚才所描述的那一千年的旅程中。
柏拉图:《理想国》

狄兰·托马斯,咒骂光明的消逝:

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

不要温和地走进那个良夜,

老年应当在日暮时燃烧咆哮;

怒斥,怒斥光明的消逝。

狄兰•托马斯,公众号:黄灿然小站我荐|不要温和地走进那个良夜(巫宁坤译)

尼采,凡是不把他置于死地的东西,都使他变得更坚强有力:

我提请诸位注意:我生命力最低下之日,也就是我不再当悲观主义者之时。因为,自我再造的本能禁止我创立一种贫乏的和泄气的哲学……那么我们到底凭什么去识别卓绝之人呢?!一个卓绝的人会使我们产生赏心悦目之感。因为他是由一块既坚硬光润,又香气袭人的奇木雕琢成的。他只享受对他身心有益的东西;一旦超过这个尺度,他的欢愉、他的欲望也就戛然而止了。他发现了抗御损伤的良药,他善于化偶然之害为有益。凡是不把他置于死地的东西,都使他变得更坚强有力。他本能地汇集所见、所闻、所经验的一切,他就是总和。因为他就是遴选淘汰的原则,他滤掉了许多东西。无论是看书、处人,或是欣赏景物,他胸中自有定见。因为凡是经他选中、认可的东西,他便给予尊重。他对各种刺激反应迟缓,慢条斯理,这是长期的谨慎和有意的高傲造成的──他去体验迫切的刺激,他避而远之。他既不相信“噩运”,也不相信“过失”;他能对付自己,也能对付别人;他懂得忘却──他坚强到足以使一切都不可避免地变为使自身得到最大利益的东西。──那好吧!我是颓废者的对立物,因为我方才所讲的正是夫子自道。

尼采:我为什么这样智慧

布罗茨基,“最终结果就是精确和谦恭”:

因为,苦闷就是时间对你们的价值体系的入侵。它会将你们的存在置入它的视角,其最终结果就是精确和谦恭。应当指出,前者会导致后者。你们关于自己的尺寸知道得越多,你们就会更谦恭、更同情地面对你们的同类,面对那粒尘土,它或是仍在阳光中飘飞,或是已静静落上你们的桌面。唉,有多少生命都变成了这样的尘土啊!不是从你们的角度,而是从它们的角度看。

布罗茨基:《颂扬苦闷》

还有很多啦,欢迎补充。最后我要附图一张,尝试穿透一下次元壁:

战斗的哲学家:发现自己,练习死亡

2019年6月24日

伍豪

战斗的哲学家:发现自己,练习死亡

  • 本文原载于 The Point

  • 原文链接:https://thepointmag.com/2019/examined-life/is-philosophy-fight-club-agnes-callard

战斗的哲学家:发现自己,练习死亡

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