西江月5s48escu / 英语 / 我是谁

分享

   

我是谁

2020-06-04  西江月5s4...

Over a lifetime all of us change to an extraordinary degree.

在一生中,我们都会经历极大幅度的变化。

From a physical perspective, we start off as a little bundle about 50 centimeters high, with cherubic features and elastic soft skin.

在生理意义上,我们一开始是睡在襁褓里、约50厘米高的小可爱。

And then we may end up, some 90 years later, as a stooped, gray, liver-spotted, 180-centimeter high structure.

然后过了大概90年,变成了驼背、灰脸、肝脏上斑点密布、180厘米高的生体结构。

In the intervening period, every single cell in our body will have been replaced, often many times over.

在这段过程期间,我们身体的每一个细胞都早已被替换了无数次。

And we'll have gone through all kinds of experiences that perhaps leave almost no trace in memory.

而我们自己也有了各种各样的经历,其中大部分或许都不会留下任何记忆痕迹。

The twenty five-year-old won't remember most of what the five-year-old felt so strongly about.

25岁的自己不会记得5岁时最强烈的那些感受。

The sixty seven-year-old will only dimly recall what was on their mind as they approached 30.

67岁的自己只会依稀想起将近30时的思绪。

We carry the same name throughout our lives, and consider ourselves as a relatively stable unitary entity.

我们一生都使用着同一个名字并视自己为相对唯一和完整的存在单元。

But is it really right to think of ourselves as the same person?

把不同时间的自己视为“同一个人”这真的正确吗?

Once one puts it under a philosophical microscope the issue of personal identity emerges as far trickier than at first assumed.

如果透过哲学的显微镜,关于“人格同一性(个人身份)”的问题就浮了上来,并比之前显得更加复杂和微妙。

So, in what ways could we be said to be continuous throughout time?

所以在什么情况下我们才能在时间长河中被定义为“连续的”呢?

What does guarantee that we can plausibly think of ourselves as the same people over a lifetime?

是什么确保了一生中的自己的的确确是同一个人?

Just where is personal identity located?

“人格”究竟位于什么地方?

A standard assumption is that it's our body that guarantees our personal identity.

一般都会认为,当然是我们的身体确保了自己的身份。

This is the theory that a key part of what makes me 'me' is that I'm housed in an identical body.

这个理论的关键,则是“令我是我”的那样东西是安置于与我对应的那副躯体之中。

But philosophers like to push this assumption around a little.

但哲学家喜欢给这种“想当然”钻一下牛角尖。

Imagine if I lost all my hair.

假设我失去了所有的头发。

Would I still be me?

我还会是自己吗?

Yes, sure.

当然,还是啦。

What if I lost a finger?

失掉了一根手指呢?

Yes!

还是啊!

A leg?

腿呢?

Definitely.

还用说吗?肯定是啊。

Now, what if a malevolent demon appeared, and told us that we'd have to lose every part of our bodies, but could keep just one bit...

那么,如果出现了一个邪恶的魔鬼,跟你说全身所有部位都要被去掉只能留下一样。

Which bit would it be?

你会留哪里?

Few of us would pick our elbow, or belly button.

很少有人会选择留手肘或者肚脐吧。

Almost all of us would pick our brains.

而绝大多数人都会选择大脑。

And that tells us something interesting.

这说明了有趣的一点。

We assume, implicitly, that some bits of our bodies are more 'me'ish, closer to the core of personal identity than others.

我们毫无疑问地,会认同身体上某些部位更能代表“自我”,比其他部位更接近“人格”的核心。

And the most 'me'ish of all the bits are our brains.

在这么多部位中,最最能代表“自我”的则是自己的大脑。

Christianity runs a version of this thought experiment.

这个思维实验在基督教那里有一个类似的版本。

It asks us to think what will happen after our death.

基督教让我们去思考:“死后会怎样?”

And it imagines a separation of the body, ultimately not that significant, and the ongoing survival of a more modest, precious bit that it calls the soul.

并认为我们最终会和躯体分离,身体并不是最重要的部位,而会继续存在下去、更端庄更宝贵的那一部分会继续存在下去,这个更端庄更宝贵的那一部分则被称为“灵魂”。

There's another version of this thought experiment that two lovers can play.

这思维实验还有另一个双人版本。

In the early throes of love, two people who've gone to bed together might ask.

当两人热恋初期,共睡一床时或许会问对方。

What do you really like about me?

你最喜欢我的什么?

The wrong answer is to say.

错误的答案是说……

Your fabulous breasts.

“你美妙的乳房”

Or your amazing muscular arms.

或者“你强壮的双臂”

Breasts and chest don't ultimately feel 'me'ish enough to be a respectable answer.

乳房或胸部都无法代表自己,所以并不能作为一个尊重的答案。

It seems we want to be loved for something closer to our real self.

我们似乎都希望被爱的地方更接近于真正的“自我”。

Perhaps our soul, or our brain.

比方说:“灵魂”或者大脑。

Now let's push the thought experiment further.

现在我们继续深入这个思维实验。

What bit of the brain is actually most crucial to being 'me'?

大脑的哪一部分最能代表“我”呢?

Let's imagine that I have a bump to the head and lose my ability to play table tennis.

假设我被砸到头了,令我再也无法打乒乓球。

Am I still myself?

我还是我自己吗?

Most of us would say: yes, sure.

多数人会说,当然还是啦。

What if I once spoke Latin and lose the ability, or forgot how to cook asparagus with a light mayonnaise sauce.

如果失去了讲母语的能力呢?或者是忘了怎么做酱汁炒芦笋呢?

Would I still be me?

我还会是我吗?

Yes.

是。

In other words, technical capacities don't feel very close to the core of personal identity.

可见,任何技能都不大接近“人格”的核心。

What about other kinds of memories?

而至于其他记忆呢?

A big part of making me 'me' tends to be my store of memories.

“令我是我”的一个主要部分,一般被认为是自己的记忆库存。

I remember the carpet in my bedroom when I was growing up.

我记得从小长大的房间里的那块红地毯。

Or the girl I was in love with at University.

我大学时代爱上的那名女孩。

Or the weather over Sydney as we came in to land for my first Australian book tour.

或者,我第一次去澳洲进行寻书之游的那次悉尼的天气。

But what if these memories all vanished as well?

如果这些记忆都失去了呢?

Could I still be me?

我还会是我吗?

One view is: Possibly.

一种观点认为:可能依然是。

So long as something else remained.

只要其他的某样东西仍保留着。

And that thing we can call my character.

而那样东西我们叫做“性格特征”。

In other words, if my characteristic way of responding to situations, my sense of what is funny, wise, interesting or important remained the same.

换句话说,我独有的对周遭事情的反应方式,我对“好笑”、“智慧”、“有趣”、“重要”的感知,这些一切都维持不变的话。

I can still, in some fundamental way, claim to be the same person.

那么在某种程度的原则上,我就可以自称“仍是同一个人”。

My memory store of feelings and behaviors might be gone.

我对某些心情和行为的记忆或许会消失。

But I could be assured of continuing to feel and behave in compatible ways in the future.

但我以后的感受和举止仍能与以前一样毫无违和。

Those around me would need to keep reminding me of stuff that had happened.

我身边的人或许要经常提醒我以前发生过的事。

But they would still recognize me as me.

但依然会认为这个“我”就是我。

A fascinating idea comes into view.

这个观点极具魅力。

Personal identity seems to consist not in bodily survival.

“人格”似乎不再被躯体的生存所限制。

I could be put in somebody else's body, or live in a jar and still be me.

“我”可以存在于在其他人的体内,或者活在一个罐子里,但依然保持是“我”。

Nor in the survival of memory.

自己也不受记忆保存的限制。

I could forget everything and still be me.

我可以忘记了一切,但依然保持是“我”自己。

But in the survival of what we are here going to call 'character'.

“我”的存在仅仅依赖于所谓“性格特征”的维持。

This is an idea attributed to the English philosopher John Locke, who famously wrote.

这个观点源自于一名英国哲学家John Locke,他写过著名的一句话。

Personal identity is made up of, what he called, sameness of consciousness.

“人格”由意识的同一性组成。

If a demon offered us a choice between remembering everything but feeling and valuing very differently.

如果魔鬼给我们两个选择:记得所有事情,但感受和价值观都大变。

Or feeling and valuing the same sorts of things but remembering nothing.

忘记了一切,但感受和价值观都保持不变。

Most of us would, Locke suggests, choose the latter.

按照Locke所说,我们多数会选后者。

So, if we have to boil personal identity down to its essence, it seems to come down to values, inclinations, and temperament.

所以,如果我们要把“人格”煮成精汤,似乎精华在于“价值观”、“偏好”、“性情”。

Let's think of death with all this in mind.

在这些基础上,我们再回来谈谈“死亡”。

The standard view of death is that it's sad.

一般来说,我们觉得“死亡”是悲伤的。

Because it means the end of our identity.

因为这是我们“人格”的终结。

Now, it certainly does mean the end if we identify identity with the survival of our bodies, or with that of our memories.

当然了,若将“人格”定义为“躯体或者记忆的存在”的话。

But if we think that who we are is to a large degree about our values and characteristic loves and hates.

但当我们认为“自我”很大程度上就是自己的价值观和自己独有的爱与恨。

Then we are, in a sense, granted a kind of immortality.

那么我们就被授予了某种意义上的永生。

Simply through the fact that these will continue to live on in our species, as a whole, lodged here and there, outside of their present home.

因为这些特质将继续在我们人类这个整体中传承下去。即使离开了现在这个容器,也会从这里、从那里,点点滴滴地蔓延出去。

Perhaps what we have learned to call 'me' was only ever a temporary resting place for a set of ideas and proclivities that are far older, and are destined to live on far longer than our bodies...

或者我们所认知的“自己”,也只是这些特质停歇的一个临时港湾。这些被传承的思想和偏好,在我们之前已存在,也注定比我们的躯体存在得更长远……

We might attempt to be less sad about death by letting go of the idea that we are a particular constellation of physical features.

或许对于死亡,我们会不再那么悲伤,只要我们不再把自己看作一堆生理特征所连成的组合。

We are always, in a sense, far longer lasting, far more trans-generational as a bundle of inclinations, and ideas.

你若要更恒久、更超脱世代,可化身为思想和偏好的襁褓。

We will continue to crop up and live wherever those ideas, that are most characteristic of us will emerge, as they must, in the generations that are to come.

我们仍将再次回归世界,并长存。我们最独特的那些思想能再次浮现于世,后继的世代必将其承载下去。

Focusing in on questions of identity has the paradoxical, and rather cheering effect of making us both less attached to certain bits of us.

对“人格同一性”问题的关注,同时有着既矛盾却又更鼓舞人心的效果,能令我们不再执着于自己的鸡毛蒜皮。

And more confident that the really important things about who we have been will survive, in a way, long after our bodies have returned to dust and our memories have been obliterated.

并能相信:自己所珍视的一切将以某种形式一直长久存在下去,即使自己的躯体早已归为尘土,即使自己的记忆也早已湮灭。

    本站是提供个人知识管理的网络存储空间,所有内容均由用户发布,不代表本站观点。请注意甄别内容中的联系方式、诱导购买等信息,谨防诈骗。如发现有害或侵权内容,请点击一键举报。

    0条评论

    发表

    请遵守用户 评论公约

    类似文章 更多
    喜欢该文的人也喜欢 更多

    ×
    ×

    ¥.00

    微信或支付宝扫码支付:

    开通即同意《个图VIP服务协议》

    全部>>