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西方哲学的6句箴言 – 译学馆
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西方哲学的6句箴言

6 Great Sayings From Western Philosophy

Six Ideas From Western Philosophy
西方哲学的六句箴言
Philosophy is a discipline committed to
哲学是这样一门学科——
helping us to live wiser and less sorrowful lives.
让我们的生活更明智 少些悲伤
Here are six ideas from its Western branch
以下六个来自其西方哲学分支的理念
that can inspire and console:
足以启迪智慧 慰藉心灵:
“What need is there to weep over parts of life?
“何必为部分人生哭泣?
The whole of it calls for tears.”
整个人生都是一把辛酸泪”
The Roman philosopher Seneca used to comfort his friends– and himself –
罗马哲学家塞内卡曾这样安慰朋友和自己
with this darkly humourous remark which gets to the heart of Stoicism,
这句黑色幽默是斯多葛学派的核心理念
the school of philosophy which Seneca helped to found
斯多葛学派是塞内卡帮助建立的哲学流派
and which dominated the West for two hundred years.
200年来一直是西方的主流思想
We get weepy and furious, says Stoicism,
斯多葛学派认为 我们之所以悲伤和愤怒
not simply because our plans have failed,
不仅因为我们的计划失败了
but because they have failed and we strongly expected them not to.
还因为强烈的事与愿违
Therefore, thought Seneca, the task of philosophy is
因此 塞内卡认为 哲学的任务是
to disappoint us gently before life
在生活有机会暴击我们之前
has a chance to do so violently
先温柔地让我们失望
The less we expect, the less we will suffer.
我们期待得越少 受苦就越少
Through the help of a consoling pessimism,
我们应该通过慰藉悲观
we should strive to turn our rage and our tears
努力将愤怒和眼泪
into that far less volatile compound: sadness.
转变成比较稳定的合成物:悲伤
Seneca was not trying to depress us,
塞内卡并不是想让我们沮丧
just to spare us the kind of hope that,
只是想让我们不再抱有这样的希望
that when it fails, inspires bitterness and intemperate shouting.
否则失败时 这种希望会激发痛苦和放纵的叫喊
TWO: Peccatum Originale
二 原罪
In the late 4th century,
在四世纪晚期
as the immense Roman Empire was collapsing,
庞大的罗马帝国行将崩溃
the leading philosopher of the age, St. Augustine,
当时的主要哲学家圣奥古斯丁
became deeply interested in possible explanations
对解读人世间明显的悲剧性纷乱
for the evident tragic disorder of the human world.
产生了浓厚兴趣
One central idea he developed was
他开创性地提出了一个核心理念
what he legendarily termed Peccatum Originale: original sin.
即Peccatum Originale(原罪)这个理念
Augustine proposed that human nature is inherently damaged and tainted
奥古斯丁提出 人性生来就受过损害和玷污
because – in the Garden of Eden –
因为在伊甸园里
the mother of all people, Eve, sinned against God
人类之母夏娃违背上帝的意志
by eating an apple from the Tree of Knowledge.
偷食了智慧树上的苹果
Her guilt was then passed down to her descendants
她的罪恶随后传给了她的后代
and now all earthly human endeavours are bound to fail.
所以现在人类所有的努力都注定要失败
because they are the work of a corrupt and faulty human spirit.
因为它们是腐败的有缺陷的人类精神的产物
This odd idea might not be literally true, of course.
当然 这个古怪的想法未必是真的
However, as a metaphor for why the world is in a mess,
然而 作为世界混乱原因的隐喻
it has a beguiling poetic truth,
对信徒和无神论者来说
as relevant to atheists as believers.
它是具有欺骗性的诗意的真相
We should not – perhaps– expect too much from the human race, Augustine implies.
奥古斯丁暗示 或许我们不该对人类期望过高
We’ve been somewhat doomed from the outset.
我们从一开始就注定要失败
And that can, in certain moods, be a highly redemptive thought to keep in mind.
在某些情况中 这又带来一种高度救赎性的含义
THREE: ‘Kings and Philosophers shit, and so do ladies’
三 国王和哲学家也拉屎 女士们也一样
This blunt phrase appears in an essay by the 16th century French philosopher,
这个直白的句子出现在16世纪法国哲学家
Michel de Montaigne.
米歇尔·德·蒙田的一篇文章中
Montaigne wasn’t being mean .
蒙田并非刻薄
His point was kindly:
他的观点是善意的:
he wanted us to feel closer to (and less intimidated) by people
他希望我们减少和一些人的距离感(恐惧感)
whose overt mode of life might seem painfully impressive and very far from our own.
因为这些人的公开生活方式貌似光鲜亮丽 高高在上
And he could have added:
言外之意是:
in secret these people also feel inadequate,
私下里 这些人一样会不满足
fear rejection and mess up their sex-lives.
害怕被拒绝 性生活不和谐
We could also update his examples to speak of CEOs, entrepreneurs,
此例也适用于首席执行官们 企业家们
and the over-achieving person we went to college with.
以及我们的学霸大学同窗
Montaigne was attempting to free us from underconfidence and shyness,
蒙田试图让我们摆脱不自信和害羞
born out of an exaggerated sense of the differences
摆脱与生俱来的差距夸大——
between ourselves and mighty others.
自己和大人物
At moments of panic,
在恐慌的时刻
before an important speech or a much-anticipated date,
重要演讲之前 期待已久的约会之前
we should run Montaigne’s phrase through our febrile, underconfident minds
我们应该在头脑发热 缺乏自信之际重温蒙田的话
and remind ourselves that no one,
并提醒自己
however outwardly poised, is more than a few hours away
表面上无论多么泰然自若的人
from a poignantly modest and vulnerable moment.
与辛酸的谦逊和脆弱不过咫尺之遥
FOUR: ‘All our unhappiness comes from our inability to sit alone in our room’
四 我们所有的苦恼都源于缺乏在房间里独坐的能力
This assertion, by the 17th century French philosopher Pascal,
十七世纪法国哲学家帕斯卡的这一论断
is obviously not literally true.
显然不是字面意义
But like all good philosophical aphorisms,
但就像所有好的哲学格言一样
it pointedly exaggerates an important idea
为了给人们带来一般性领悟
in order to bring home a general insight.
它尖锐地夸大了一个重要想法
We are tempted to leave ‘our room’
我们试图离开“我们的房间”
and crave excitements that too often turn out badly;
渴望那些经常有不好后果的刺激
we meddle in the lives of others but fail to help them;
我们干涉他人的生活 却没有帮助到他们
we seek fame and end up being misunderstood
我们追逐名声
by large numbers of people we don’t know.
最终被许多我们不认识的人误解
‘Sitting alone’ doesn’t mean literally being on the bed
“独自坐着”并不是真正地躺在床上
but rather staying undistracted with ourselves: appreciating small pleasures;
而是指保持专注:享受小小的快乐
examining the contents of our own minds,
审视自己的内心
allowing the quieter (but important) parts of our psyche to emerge;
让我们心灵中更安静(但重要)的部分浮现出来
thinking before we act.
三思而后行
It’s a poignant phrase because the louder voices in our culture
这是一个尖锐的句子 因为在我们的文化中
are constantly speaking in the opposite direction;
持相反观点的呼声越来越大
They are always goading us to get out more,
它们总是煽动我们多多走出去
to grow more agitated,
助长我们的焦虑不安
to seek more drama
促使我们寻求更多的戏剧性
and to spend less time in thoughtful daydreams,
使我们在冥思上花更少的时间
gazing out of the window at the clouds passing high above.
且不再凝视窗外的碧霄流云
But we should, with Pascal’s encouragement,
但是在帕斯卡的鼓励下
learn to become better, quieter friends to ourselves.
我们应该学会和自己成为更好 更安静的朋友
FIVE: Sub specie aeternitatis
五 以永恒角度观物
this means, translated from the Latin, ‘under the aspect of eternity’
从拉丁语翻译过来的意思是“用永恒的观点看待一切”
– a memorable phrase from the Ethics,
这句令人难忘的话出自《伦理学》
published in 1677 by the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza.
——由荷兰哲学家巴鲁克·斯宾诺莎于1677年发表
For Spinoza, the task of philosophy is to teach us to look at things,
对斯宾诺莎来说 哲学的任务是教会我们去看待事物
especially our own suffering and disappointment,
尤其是“在永恒的层面上”
‘under the aspect of eternity,’
看待自己的痛苦和失望
that is,
也就是说
as though we were gazing down at the earth
就好像我们从遥远的地方或不同的星球上
from very far away or from a different star
凝望地球一样
(Spinoza’s outlook was much indebted to Galileo).
(斯宾诺莎的观点深受伽利略影响)
From this lofty perspective, the incidents that trouble us
从这个崇高的角度来看 困扰我们的事件
no longer have to seem so shocking or so large.
好像就不再那么惊人那么大了
What is a divorce or a sacking when contemplated from the lunar surface?
在月球表面考虑什么是离婚或解雇?
What is a rejection in love judged against the earth’s 4.5 billion year history?
和地球45亿年的历史相比 爱情受挫算什么?
Our nature means that we’ll always be pulled to exaggerate the here and now,
本性驱使着我们夸大此时此地的感受
but our reasoned intelligence gives us access to a unique alternative perspective,
但理性智慧让我们拥有独特的视角
in which we participate in what Spinoza called ‘eternal totality’,
即我们可以参与斯宾诺莎所谓的“永恒的总体”
and can cease railing against the status quo,
并且停止对现状的指责
submitting to the flow of events with clear-eyed serenity instead.
以清醒的目光平静地接受事件的发展
SIX: Aus so krummem Holze, als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist,
六:人类的弯曲木材
kann nichts ganz Gerades gezimmert werden.
从来不能制造出任何正直的东西
It’s a slightly daunting and long German phrase
这是一个有点令人生畏的冗长的德语句子
but a hugely arresting and redemptive one,
但却是引人注目 具有救赎意义的句子
central to the spirit of Western philosophy to translate
是西方哲学精神的核心 译为:
‘Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.’
“从人类弯曲的木材中 从来没有制造出任何正直的东西”
So wrote the German eighteenth century philosopher Immanuel Kant,
德国18世纪哲学家伊曼纽尔·康德这样写道
who urged us to recognise that
他敦促我们认识到
nothing human beings do can ever be less than slightly wonky,
人类所做的一切都非常的不靠谱
because we are creatures as much of passion and erroneous instinct
因为我们既是充满激情和错误本能的生物
as of reason and noble intelligence.
也是拥有理性和高尚智慧的生物
The wise accept this dark reality head on and so do not expect perfection.
智者正面接受这个黑暗的现实 因此并不期望完美
When designing governments, they do not presume that rationality will triumph;
在设计政府时 他们并不认为理性会胜利
they do everything to assume that error and folly will try to have their way –
他们尽一切努力假设错误和愚蠢会努力得逞——
and so create structures to contain them.
所以才创建机构来遏制它们
When they marry, with comparable realism,
秉着同样的现实主义理念 智者在挑选伴侣时
the wise never expects that one person can be everything to them
也从未期待一个人可以成为他们的一切
and then harangue a partner when they turn out not to be.
不符合预期时 他们不会大声训斥伴侣
An acceptance of our crooked nature isn’t dispiriting,
其实接受我们邪恶的本性并不令人沮丧
it’s the birth of generosity and dark good humour.
这正是慷慨和黑色幽默的诞生
Not least added Immanual Kant, crooked beams can make for beautiful floors,
伊曼努尔·康德补充说 最重要的是 在天才木匠手中
in the hands of a talented carpenter.
弯曲的横梁可以变成漂亮的地板
If you want to learn more about the thinkers from our videos,
如果你想从我们的视频中了解更多的思想家
check out our Great Thinkers Book.
欢迎购买《伟大的思想家》
Available world wide and now as an e-book.
该书全球发行并有电子书

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