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你的蓝色会和别人的不一样吗?——维特根斯坦的思维实验

Is Your Blue Different Than Everybody Else's? - A Thought Experiment by Ludwig Wittgenstein

If you were to experience something
如果 你曾经历过某件事
but couldn’t understand or express the experience with words
却无法以词语理解它或用词语表达它
then of course, you wouldn’t be able to accurately
那么 你自然就不能向他人
describe the experience to other people.
准确地描述这段经历
Thus, no-one else would be able to know
所以 就没有其他人能知道
what you experienced
你经历了什么
If that were true though,
不过 如果这是真的
would that also mean that nither could you?
这会意味着你也无法理解他人吗?
Ludwig Wittgenstein
路德维希‧维特根斯坦
was a 20th century Austrian-British philosopher,
是一位二十世纪奥地利-英国哲学家
known for his uniquely innovative
他以独具创造性
and often confusing ideas
又常常令人迷惑的理论闻名
regarding the nature of language, internal experience,
这些理论涉及语言和内部经验的本质
and the relationship between them.
还有这两者间的关系
To help illustrate this relationship
为了更好地解释这种关系
Wittgenstein purposed the following metaphorical thought experiment
他在后期的主要作品 《哲学研究》中
in his primary later book, Philosophical Investigations
提出了接下来的隐喻性思维实验:
in which he suggested that we imagine a group of people
他提出 我们可以想象有一群人
each person has a box.
每个人都有一只盒子
Inside each box,
每只盒子中
there is a thing that everyone calls a beetle
都有一个被所有人称为甲虫的东西
However, in the context of this thought experiment,
但在这个思维实验的情境中
no-one is allowed to look inside anyone else’s box.
任何人都不准往别人的盒子里看
Everyone can only look inside their own,
每个人都只能往自己的盒子里看
and they’re only allowed to talk about what’s inside their box
并且只能谈论自己盒子里面的东西
So, the question is can anyone ever know
那么 问题是 其他人能否知道
if anyone else actually has a beetle in their box?
某人的盒子里实际上有没有甲虫?
And can anyone know
如果他们知道这点
what anyone else’s beetle actually looks like if they do?
是否有人能知道其他人的甲虫的真实样子?
Sure, everyone could describe what’s in their box
不错 人人都能描述自己盒子里的东西
but they can, of course,
但他们无疑只能用
only talk using words everyone shares and understands
每个人所共享和所能理解的言语来进行
regarding what’s in their box,
关于盒中之物的交谈
which in this case, is beetle
在此情景中 盒中之物指的是甲虫
According to Wittgenstein though,
不过 维特根斯坦说
the thing inside the box
对盒中之物来说
cannot be meaningfully talked about using the word beetle,
用甲虫这个词无法有意义地将它描述出来
because no-one can ever confirm what anyone means by beetle
因为无人能确定其他人所指的甲虫是什么
As a result, the word beetle can only mean,
因此 “甲虫”一词只能表示
the thing that’s in the box
“盒子里的那个东西”
but doesn’t and can’t necessarily describe
但它未能也不一定能描述出
the thing that’s actually in anyone’s box
每个人盒子里的那个实际东西
Wittgenstein uses this beetle analogy
维特根斯坦拿这只甲虫作类比
to suggest that the felt states and sensations
来说明每个人的大脑中产生的
that occur in a person’s mind,
感知状态与感觉
things like smell, pain, love,
例如气味 痛苦 爱
happiness, sadness and so on
快乐和悲伤等等
are things that no-one can ever communicate sufficiently enough
都是任何人都无法通过足够充分的交流
to share and reveal their experience of to others
与他人分享和向他人揭示的经验
I can never see your beetle,
我永远看不到你的甲虫
and you can never see mine
你也永远看不到我的
when we attempt to think and communicate about the beetle though,
但当我们尝试去考虑和讨论甲虫的时候
the word has to be a word that
所用词语就必须是
everyone understands or can be taught
每个人都能理解或能学会理解的
for the word to have any meaning.
这样这个词才有意义
According to Wittgenstein and many others,
根据维特根斯坦和许多其他人的观点
language is entirely social.
语言是完全社会性的
This theory is known as
这一理论叫做
“the private language argument”.
“私人语言论证”
which proposes that no language can be understandable
该理论认为 语言如果只被一人使用
if it is solely to one individual.
那么它便是不可被理解的
Rather, language is only formed through shared use
相反 只有当一个群体共用某种话语时
amongst a community of others
语言才能形成
Thus the sensation of something
因此 某人对某物的感知
might exist exclusively to oneself
可能会独属于他自己
but it can never be understood
但这种感知永远不会
in terms of language exclusively to oneself,
通过私人语言被了解
meaning we can never know
这意味着我们永不会知道
if anyone experiences anything the same way we experience it
是否有人对某物的体验与我们相同
even if everyone talks about it with the same words,
即使每个人都以同样的词来描述它
We can only assume
我们只能假设
arguably,
或许
trying to rationalize, communicate
越过某一特定的界限后
comprehend the mental experience of a sensation as it actually is
试图解释 交流 理解 某种感知在脑中的实际体验
becomes inconceivable after a certain point
就会变得难以实现
For example one could say that
例如 某人可以说
fresh cut grass smells good
新割的草闻起来不错
but when asked what it smells like
但是当问到具体是什么味道
they would have to go on and say things like
他们可能会接着这么说:
It smells natural or
草闻起来很自然
It smells like the season of spring
或闻起来有如春天
if then asked what that smells like,
但如果被问到那又是什么味道时
perhaps if one tried hard enough
要是一个人思考得足够认真
they could come up with a few other smells to compare it to
他可能会将它比作一些其他的气味
but they would eventually and inevitably
但他们最终会无可避免地
reach the limits of language
触碰到语言的极限
There would be a final question of what it smells like
最终“它闻起来是什么样的”这个问题
that would have no answer
不会有答案
a sensation beyond words
这是一种无法名状的感知
that no-one besides the smeller could know for sure what is like.
只有那个闻过的人能切实知道它是什么样的
“Whereof one cannot speak,
“对于那些不可言说的
thereof one must be silent.”
我们必须保持沉默”
Wittgenstein writes when referring to the notion of subjective experience
(在提到超越语言和逻辑理解的主观经验时
and that which exceeds language and logical understanding.
维特根斯坦这么写道)
Beyond the suggestions of language and shared meaning
除了对于语言和共有意义的看法
arguably, what is most thought provoking about all of this
可以说 这一系列中最发人深省的观点
is the notion that we can never know
就是我们永远无从知晓
what is feels like to be anyone else other than ourselves.
成为自己之外的任何人是什么感受
we can never know what the world might look,
在自己的意识之外
taste, smell, sound, and feel like
世界看 尝 闻 听 感觉起来是怎样的
from outside our own head.
我们永将不知
We can never verify what
我们也永远无法确证
anyone else’s colour blue looks like
别人的蓝色是什么样的
or what anyone else’s punch in the arm feels like
手臂被击打时别人有什么感觉
or what anyone else’s sense of love or happiness is like
或者他人感受到的爱和幸福是什么样的
We are all locked inside our minds
我们都被锁在自己的意识里
yelling out to each other
彼此大声喊叫着
in an attempt to find out
试图找到答案
but never capable of entering anyone else’s
却永远都无法进入别人的意识
to find out for sure.
去找到准确答案
Even if the framework structure and wiring of
即使我们每个人的大脑的
each of our brains are mostly identical
框架结构和线路基本相同
the unknowable conscious psychological layer on top of it all
但最根本的不可知的有意识的心理层面
transmutes the experience of neurological occurrences
将神经性事件的经验
into something abstract
转化成某种抽象事物
distanced enough from the measurable and communicable
这种事物是这样难以测量和交流
to ever know exactly
以至于我们永远不知道
what any of it is where it comes from
它们是什么 从哪里来
and how it might change in different heads.
以及在不同大脑中可能会如何改变
Ultimately, no matter any
最后 无论存在着何种
philosophical stance or scientific theory
哲学立场和科学理论
it is fair to argue that
这样说都是合理的:
at a minimum no-one can or will ever know
至少 没人能知道也没人会知道
what it means to have navigated and experienced this universe
以你的方式来遨游和体验这宇宙——过去或未来
in the way that you have and will.
意味着什么
Each moment that you experience a particular sense
你以特定的意识状态
or image of the world
体会到特定感受
with your particular conditions of consciousness
或看到特定的世界图景的每一时刻
is forever yours exclusively,
都永远只属于你
withholding the mystery of what it means
永远都只有你一人理解这个奥秘:
to actually be you for all of eternity
作为你意味着什么
Perhaps we all feel and experience
或许 我们感受和体验的方式
in nearly identical ways
都相差无几
or perhaps we all feel and experience
或许 我们感受和体验的方式
in very dissimilar ways.
都截然不同
your version of blue, your sensation of pain,
你心目中的蓝色 你感觉到的痛楚
your experience of love
你所经历的爱
could perhaps be its only version of blue,
或许是整个宇宙中曾存在过的
its only version of pain and
独一无二的一种蓝色
its only version of love to ever exist in the entire universe.
独一无二的一种苦痛 独一无二的一种爱
the point is we don’t know,
关键是我们不知事实是否如此
because each of us holds the answer
因为 每个人所持有的答案
that no-one else can ever access
他人永远也无法触及

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视频概述

无法言说的感知,不可逃离的孤独 每个人对事物的感知都是独一无二的,即使以语言也不能向他人传递你的确切感受

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Clio

审核员

审核员LJ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDPG9E_NZxs

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