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大卫·休谟

PHILOSOPHY - David Hume

哲学
大卫·休谟
The 18th century writer,
大卫•休谟是18世纪作家
David Hume, is one of the world’s great philosophical voices
是世界上最伟大的哲学家之一
because he hit upon a key fact about human nature-
他发现了人性的重要真相
that we are more influenced by our feelings than by reason.
即人更容易被情绪而非理智影响
This is, at one level, possibly a great insult to our self image,
某种程度上 这种说法是对人类形象的极大侮辱
but Hume thought that
但休谟认为
if we could learn to deal well with this surprising fact,
如果我们能与这个惊人的真相和谐共处
we could be both individually and collectively a great deal
而非否认它 这样一来无论是个人还是集体
calmer and happier than if we denied it.
都要平静快乐得多
Hume was born in Edinburgh in 1711, to a family
1711年 休谟出生于爱丁堡
that was long established but far from rich.
一个历史久远但并不富裕的家庭
He was the second son
他是家里的次子
and it was clear early on that he would need to find a job eventually,
很明显 他最终也需要外出谋生
but nothing seemed to suit him.
但似乎什么都不适合他
He tried law, the vocation of his father and his older brother,
他试过像父亲和大哥一样当个律师
but soon decided that it was:
但是很快意识到:
“a laborious profession, requiring the drudgery of a whole life.”
“辛苦的工作使一生变得单调乏味”
He was considered for academic posts at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow,
他曾经有望在 爱丁堡大学和格拉斯哥大学担任学术职务
but he didn’t land either job.
但两份工作都没得到
So, he set out to become a public intellectual, someone
所以他准备当一个公知
who would make his money selling books to the general public.
靠卖书给大众赚钱
It was pretty hard-going.
但是实践起来相当难
His first book, ‘A Treatise of Human Nature’, for which he had the highest hopes, met with a dismal reception.
他寄以厚望的第一本书《人性论》惨淡收官
“Never literary attempt was more unfortunate than my Treatise”, he wrote.
他写到“没有哪种文学上的尝试能比我的论文更不幸”
“It fell dead-born from the press, without reaching such distinction
“它并没有一鸣惊人 出版后反响平平
as to even excite a murmur along the zealots.”
甚至狂热分子也不屑一谈”
But Hume kept at it,
但是休谟坚持下来了
realising that the blame largely lay with the way that he had expressed his ideas.
意识到自己表达观点的方式不讨喜
And doggedly training himself
他开始努力训练
to write in a more accessible and popular manner,
用更易接受更通俗的方式写作
eventually, he did find an audience.
最终 他找到了读者
His later works:
他后来的书
popular history books and collections of elegant essays were best-sellers of the day.
不论是流行历史书还是优美的散文集都大卖
As he would say, not without some pride:
他不无骄傲地说:
“The money given me by booksellers much exceeded anything formerly known in England;
“书商给我的钱在英格兰史无前例”
I was to become not only independent but opulent.”
“我独立了 也更富足”
Hume’s philosophy is built around a single powerful observation:
休谟的哲学建立在一个简单有力的观察上:
that the key thing we need to get right in life is feeling rather than rationality.
我们生活中最重要的是感觉而不是理性
It sounds like an odd conclusion.
听起来是个奇怪的结论
Normally we assume that
因为一般我们会假定
what we need to do is train our minds to be as rational as possible,
自己需要尽可能地把思想训练得理智
to be devoted to evidence and logical reasoning
专注于证据和逻辑推理
and committed to preventing our feelings from getting in the way.
避免感情用事
But Hume insisted that whatever we may aim for –
但是休谟却坚持认为 无论我们的目的是什么
reason is the slave of passion.
理智都是激情的奴隶
We are more motivated by our feelings
驱使我们的更多是情绪
than by any of the comparatively feeble results of analysis and logic.
而不是相对来说薄弱的分析推理
Few of our leading convictions had driven by rational investigations of the facts.
我们的主要信念 很少出于对事实的理性研究
We decide whether someone is admirable,
我们决定某人是否值得敬佩?
what to do with our spare time,
闲暇时间做什么?
what constitutes a successful career,
成功事业的构成因素是什么?
or who to love
或者去爱谁 ?
on the basis of feeling above anything else.
都在感觉高于一切的基础上
Reason helps a little,
理智也有些许作用
but the decisive factors are bound up with our emotional lives,
但决定性因素在于感性生活
with our passions, as Hume calls them.
在于休谟所说的“激情”
Hume lived in a time known as the Age of Reason,
休谟生活在知名的“理性时代”
when many claimed that the glory of human beings consists in their rationality,
当时许多人认为人类的高贵在于理性
but for Hume a human is just another kind of animal.
但休谟认为 人不过是另一种动物
Hume was deeply attentive to the curious way that
休谟对这种奇怪方式非常留心 ——
we very often reason from not to our convictions.
自身信念并不能导致理性
We find an idea nice or threatening and on
我们觉得一个想法是好的 或有威胁性的
that basis alone declare it true or false.
并基于此宣布它是对是错
Reason only comes in later to support the original attitude.
理智只是随后加进来 并支持原来的态度
What Hume didn’t believe however was that all feelings are acceptable and equal.
而休谟反对所有感觉都是可以接受的和平等的
that’s why he firmly believed in the education of the passions.
这就是他坚信激情教育的原因
People have to learn to be more benevolent, more patient, more at ease with themselves
人们要学会更仁慈 更耐心 更自在
and less afraid of others.
并且对他人少一些恐惧
But to be taught these things
但是要教这些需要一种
they need an education system that addresses feelings rather than reason.
强调感觉大于理智的教育体系
This is why Hume so deeply believed in the role and significance of public intellectuals.
这就是为什么休谟如此深信公知的作用和意义
These were people who (unlike university professors that Hume grew to dislike immensely)
因为公知不像休谟越来越讨厌的大学教授
had to excite a passion-based
公知需要激发一种基于激情
attachment to ideas, wisdom and insight.
对想法 智慧 洞察力的依恋
Only if they succeeded would they have the money to eat.
只有成功了他们才有钱糊口
It was for this reason that
正因为如此
they had to write well, use colorful examples
公知们必须得写好书 用多彩的例子
and have recoursed wit and charm.
并且拥有智慧和魅力
Hume’s insight is that if you want to change people’s beliefs
休谟认识到 如果你想改变人们的观念
reasoning with them like a normal philosophy professor won’t be the most effective strategy.
像正常的哲学教授那样讲道理不是最有效的策略
He’s pointing out that we have to try to
他指出 我们得试着
adjust sentiments by sympathy, re-assurance, good example,
通过同情 安慰 好榜样 鼓励
encouragement and what he called “art”.
和他所说的“艺术”来调节情感
And only later, for a few determined souls, s
只有在这之后 对少数固执己见的人
chould we ever try to make a case on the basis of facts and logic.
我们才能试着根据事实和逻辑提出论点
A key place where Hume made use of the idea of the priority
休谟将感觉优先于理性的思想
of feeling over reason was in connection with religion.
运用到宗教这一关键领域
Hume didn’t think it was rational to believe in god.
休谟不认为信仰上帝是理智的
That is –
也就是说
he didn’t think there were compelling logical arguments in favor of the existence of a deity.
他不认为有令人信服的逻辑论据来证明神存在
He himself seems to have floated between
他本人似乎在两者之间徘徊——
mild agnosticism (there might be a god, I’m not sure)
温和的不可知论(可能有上帝 我不确定)
and mild theism
温和的有神论
(there is a god, but it doesn’t make much difference to me that there is).
(有一个神 但对我来说有神与否区别不大)
However the idea of a vindictive god,
然而有一种观念是
someone ready to punish people in an afterlife for not believing in him in this one,
今生不信上帝 来世会得到报应
this he considered a cruel superstition.
他认为这是残酷的迷信
Hume’s central point is that religious belief isn’t the product of reason.
休谟的中心观点是 宗教信仰不是理性的产物
So arguing for or against it on the basis of facts doesn’t touch the core issue.
所以根据事实论证对宗教赞成与否 并没有触及问题核心
To try to persuade someone to believe or not believe with well-honed arguments
用纯熟的论证试图说服某人相信或不相信宗教
seemed particularly daft to Hume.
在休谟看来特别愚蠢
This is why he was a foremost defender of the concept of religious toleration.
所以他成为了宗教宽容概念的首要捍卫者
We shouldn’t treat those who disagree with us over religion as rational people
我们不应该把那些在宗教问题上与我们意见相左的人
who’ve made an error of reasoning and so need to be put right,
当作理性的人犯了一个需要纠正的错误
but rather as passionate emotion-driven creatures
而应该视其为充满激情的 受情感驱使的生物
who should be left in peace so long as they do likewise with us.
只要他们与我们相安无事 我们就不必自找麻烦
Trying to have a rational argument
对于休谟来说
over religion was for Hume the height of folly and arrogance.
试图就宗教问题进行理性论证是愚蠢且傲慢至极的事
Hume was what is technically known as a skeptic
严格说来 休谟被称为怀疑论者
someone committed to doubting a lot of the common sense ideas of the day.
即致力于怀疑当时的很多常识性想法
One of the things he doubted was
他怀疑的事情之一就是
the concept of what is technically called “personal identity”.
所谓的“人格同一性”的概念
The idea that we have that we can understand ourselves and have
该概念认为我们可以理解自己
a more or less graspable and enduring identity that runs through life.
并拥有一个贯穿一生的可把握的持久身份
Hume pointed out that there is no such thing as a “Core Self “
休谟指出 没有所谓的“核心自我”
“When I enter most intimately into what I call ‘myself’,” he famously explained,
他的著名说法是“当我进入深藏的‘自我’时”
“I always stumble on some particular perception or other,
“我总是偶然发现某种特定的感知
of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure.
热或冷 光和阴影 爱或恨 痛苦或欢愉
I never can catch “myself” at any time without a perception
任何时候我都不可能在没有感知的情况下抓住‘自我’
and can never observe anything but the perception.
而且除了感知什么都观察不到”
Hume concluded that
休谟的结论是
we aren’t really the neat definable people reason tells us that we are
从理智上而言 我们并非真正可以明确定义的人
and that we seem to be
自我定义似是而非
when we look at ourselves in the mirror
当我们看着镜子里的自己时
or casually use that grand and rather misleading word “I”.
或者随便用“我”这个宏大而颇具误导性的词时
我们只不过是不同感知的聚集或集合
这些感知以一种难以置信的方式协同合作
永恒地流动着
Yet, despite being skeptical of temper
然而 尽管对性情持怀疑态度
Hume was very happy for us to hold onto most of our common-sense beliefs
休谟还是非常高兴人能坚持自己的大多数常识性信仰
because they are what help us make our way in the world.
因为它们帮助我们在这个世界上走出自己的路
Trying to be rational about everything is a special kind of madness.
试图对一切保持理性是一种特殊的疯狂
Hume was making a slight dig at Descartes.
休谟稍微借鉴了笛卡尔的哲学思想
The French philosopher had died 60 years before Hume was born.
这位法国哲学家死于休谟出生前60年
But his intellectual influence was still very much alive.
但是他的思想影响至今
He had argued that
笛卡尔曾主张
we should throw out every fruit of the mind that wasn’t perfectly rational.
我们应抛弃心灵中不完全理智的果实
But Hume proposed that hardly anything we do is ever truly rational
但休谟提出 我们所做的任何事情几乎都不是真正理性的
And yet he ventured that most beliefs are justified
他还大胆地说 大多数信念之所以正当
simply because they work.
仅仅是因为它们起作用
They’re useful to us.
它们对我们有用
They help us to get on with what we want to do.
它们帮助我们继续做我们想做的事情
A test of a belief isn’t
检验一种信仰的标准
its provable truth but its utility.
并非是可论证的事实 而是它的效用
Hume was offering a corrective which we sometimes badly need
我们执着于无足轻重的声望 针对这一逻辑难题
to our fascination with prestigious but not actually very important logical conundrums.
休谟提供了一个我们有时急需的补救措施
In opposition to academic niceties
与学术细节相反
he was a skeptical philosopher who stood for common sense.
他是一个主张常识 持怀疑态度的哲学家
Championing the everyday and the wisdom of the unlearned and the ordinary.
他拥护日常 拥护未受教育的平凡人的智慧
Hume took a great interest in the traditional philosophical topic of Ethics
休谟对伦理学这一传统哲学话题产生了极大的兴趣
a conundrum of how humans can be good.
即人类如何做好人的一个难题
He argued that morality isn’t about having moral ideas.
他认为道德不是指拥有道德观念
It’s about having been trained from an early age in the art of decency through the emotions.
而是从小就通过情感训练学习高雅艺术
Being good means getting into good habits of feeling.
做好人意味着养成良好的情感习惯
Hume was a great advocate of qualities like wit, good manners and sympathy
休谟是机智 良好的礼貌 同情心这些优良品质的倡导者
because these are the things make people nice to be around
因为这些东西能让人变得友善
outside of any rational plan to be good.
而不需要任何使人变好的理性计划
He was hugely struck by the fact that a person
一个事实困扰着休谟
and here again, he was thinking of Descartes
此时他又想到了笛卡尔
could be ostensibly rational and yet, not that nice.
即一个人可能外表理性 但内心并不善良
Because being able to follow complex argument or deduce trends from data
因为能够理解复杂的论点或者从数据中推断趋势
doesn’t make you sensitive to the sufferings of others
并不会让你对别人的苦难敏感
or skilled at keeping your temper.
或者熟练控制自己的脾气
These qualities are the work of our feelings.
这些品质由我们的感情产生
So if you want people to behave well,
如果你想人们表现良好
what we need to do is to rethink education.
我们应该重新思考教育
We have to influence the development of feeling.
我们必须影响感情的发展
We have to encourage benevolence, gentleness, pity and shame
我们天性中有充满激情的一面 要发挥其诱导作用
through the seduction of the passionate sides of our nature,
鼓励仁慈 温柔 怜悯和羞耻
without delivering dry, logical lectures.
而非发表枯燥的 逻辑性的演讲
Hume’s philosophy always emerged as an attempt to answer a personal question.
休谟的哲学总是试图回答个人问题
What is a good life?
什么是好的生活?
He wanted to know how his own character and that of those around him
他想知道自己和周围人的性格
could be influenced for the best.
如何受到最好的影响
And oddly, for a philosopher,
奇怪的是 对于一个哲学家来说
he didn’t feel the traditional practice of Philosophy could really help.
他觉得传统的哲学实践并不能真正有所帮助
Though he was scholarly,
虽然他很博学
he was in large part, a man of the world.
但在很大程度上他是个平凡人
For some years, he was an adviser to the British ambassador in Paris
有几年 他是英国驻巴黎大使的顾问
who welcomed his shrewd wisdom.
大使很赏识他的精明智慧
He was much liked by those around him,
他深受周围人的喜爱
known by the French as ‘Le Bon David’,
被法国人称为“好人大卫”
a humane, kind and witty conversationalist,
他是一个人道 善良 诙谐的健谈者
much in demand as a dinner companion.
是最佳晚餐伴侣
做一个哲学家 但在哲学中 仍然要做一个人
That’s the way Hume lived.
这就是休谟的生活方式
Not in the intellectual seclusion of a monastery or ivory tower,
不做在修道院或象牙塔中深居简出的知识分子
but deeply embedded in the company of other humans,
而在芸芸众生中体味苦辛
Dining, he especially liked roast chicken,
他特别喜欢一边吃烤鸡
chatting about love and career and playing Backgammon.
一边玩着西洋双陆棋 聊着恋爱和事业
Hume died in Edinburgh in August 1776, at home,
1776年8月休谟在爱丁堡的家中去世
in his house in St. Andrew’s Square.
在他圣安德鲁广场的房子里
His doctor wrote about the last hours to Adam Smith,
他的医生给亚当·斯密写了信 讲述休谟临终几小时
for many years,
多年来
Hume’s best friend.
我一直是休谟的挚友
他一直将完美的理智坚持到最后
并且没有太多痛苦或苦恼的感觉
他从未有过一点不耐烦的表情
但是当他有机会和周围的人说话时
总是带着深情和柔情去说
他安详地死去
这对他来说是最好的结局
Hume remains a rather outstanding thing.
休谟仍然是一个相当杰出的人物
A philosopher, alive to how much Philosophy can has to learn from common-sense.
一个注意到哲学得从常识中习得的哲学家

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人是理性的吗?人类的道德来自于理性吗?

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