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我是谁我在哪|8分钟哲学漫画短片《WHO AM I ?》(双语字幕)

2020-11-26  摩羯天尘

节日福多多 猫妙妙 6天前












Over a lifetime, all of us change to an extraordinary degree. From a physical perspective, we start off as a little bundle about 50 centimeters high.With cherubic features, and elastic soft skin.And then we may end up some ninety years later, as a stoopped, gray, liver-spotted 180 centimeter high structure.


In the intervening period, every single cell in our body will have been replaced often many times over, and would’ve gone through all kinds of experiences that perhaps leave almost no trace in memory.


The twenty five-year-old won’t remember most of what the five-year-old felt so strongly about, the sixty seven-year-old will only dimly recall what was on their mind as they approached 30.We carry the same name throughout our lives, and consider ourselves as a relatively stable unitary entity.



But is really right to think of ourselves as the same person?Once one puts it under a philosophical microscope, the issue of personal identity emerges as far trickier than it first assumed.




So in what ways could we be said to be continuous throughout time?What does guarantee that we can plausibly think of ourselves as the same people over a lifetime?


Just where is personal identity located?A standard assumption is that it’s out body that guarantees our personal identity.This is the theory that a key part of what makes me me, is that I’m housed in an identical body.


But philosophers like to push this assumption around a little.Imagine if I lost all my hair. Would I still be me?Yes, sure.What if I lost a finger? Eh ... Yes.A leg? Definitely.Now, what if a malevolent demon appeared and told us that we have to lose every part of our bodies, but could keep just on bit. Which bit would it be?Few of us will pick our elbows or bellybuttons.Almost all of us would pick our brains, and that tells us something interesting.

而哲学家们则喜欢挑战这个设想。想象一下 如果我掉光了头发,那我还是我吗?当然是啦。那没了一根手指呢?额 . ..是一条腿呢?当然是咯。




We assume implicitly that some bits of our bodies are more “meish”, closer to the core of personal identity than others, and most “meish”of all the bits are our brains.


Christianity runs a version of this thought experiment.It asks us to think what will happen after our death, and it imagines a separation of the body, ultimately not as significant, and the ongoing survival of a more modest precious bit that it calls the soul.


There’s another version of this thought experiment that two lovers can play.In the early throes of love, two people who’ve gone to bed together might ask : what do you really like about me ?



The wrong answer is to say you’re fabulous breasts, or your amazing muscular arms.Breast and chest don’t ultimately feel meish enough to be a respectable answer.It seems we want to be loved for something closer to our real self, perhaps our soul or our brain.


Let’s push the thought experiment further.What bit of the brain is actually most crucial to being me?Let’s imagine that I have a bump to the head and lose my ability to play table tennis.Am I still myself? Most of us would say: yes,sure.What if I once spoke Latin and lose the ability, or forgot how to cook asparagus with a light mayonnaise sauce?Would I still be me ?Yes.In other words, technical capacities don’t feel very close to the core of personal identity.





What about other kinds of memories?A big part of making me me, tends to be my store of memories.I remember that carpet in my bedroom when I was growing up, the girl I was in love with in university, or the weather over Sydney as we came into land for my first Australian book tour.But what if these memories all vanished as well?Could I still be me ?


One view is : possibly, so long as something else remained, and that thing we can call, my character.In other words, if my characteristic way of responding to situations, my sense of that is fun, wise, interesting or important remain the same, I can still, in some fundamental way, claimed to be the same person.



My memory store of feelings and behaviors might be gone, but I could be assured of continuing to feel and behave in compatible ways in the future.Those around me would need to keep reminding me of stuff that happened, but they would still recognize me as me.





A fascinating idea comes into view.Personal identity seems to consist not in bodily survival, I could be put in somebody else’s body or live in a jar and still be me .nor in the survival of memory, I could forget everything and still be me, bet in the survival of what we are here going to call: character.


This is an idea attributed to the English philosopher John Locke, who famously wrote personal identity is made up of what he called sameness of consciousness.



If a demon offered as a choice between remembering everything but feeling and valuing very differently, or feeling and valuing the same sorts of things but remembering nothing, most of us would, Lock suggests, chose the latter.So if we have to boil personal identity down to its essence, it seems to come down to values, inclinations and temperament.

如果一个魔鬼让你选择 A. 记得所有事,但对事物的感知和评价有巨大变化。B. 对事物感知和评价不变,但忘记所有事。洛克认为,大多数人都会选择B(价值观不变)。

所以,若将 “人格”这个概念进行提炼,那剩下就只是价值观、意向和性格

Let’s think of death with all these in mind.The standard view of death is that it’s sad because it means the end of our identity.Now it certainly does mean the end if we identify identity with the survival of our bodies or without our memories.



But if we think that who we are is to a large degree about our values and characteristic loves and hates, then we’re in a sense, granted a kind of mortality.


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.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.We might attempt to be less sad about death by letting go of the idea, that we are a particular constellation of physical features.You’re always in a sense far longer lasting, far more trans-generational as a bundle of inclinations and ideas.


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 have to come.


Focusing in on questions of identity has the paradoxical and rather cheering effect of making us both less attached to certain bits of us, and more confident that the really important things about who we have been will survive in a way long after or bodies of return to dust and our memories have been obliterated.





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