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柏拉图:洞穴寓言 – 译学馆
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柏拉图:洞穴寓言

PLATO ON: The Allegory of the Cave

公元前423-347年
柏拉图的洞穴寓言
The ancient Greeks were emphatic that philosophy was not just
古希腊人强调
an elaborate abstract exercise.
哲学不仅是一种复杂 抽象的思想活动
It was, they felt, a deeply useful skill
他们认为 它更是一种十分实用的技能
that should be learned and practiced by all,
人人都应该学习训练
in order to help us to live and die well.
这样我们才能活得明白 死得其所
No one believed this more than Plato.
柏拉图比任何人都更加重视哲学
Who was passionate in his defense of philosophy
他热衷于捍卫哲学事业
as a kind of therapy for the soul.
把哲学当作是一种治愈灵魂的方法
One of the most forceful stories he told on behalf of the utility of philosophy
他为哲学之用提出过许多有说服力的故事
Was what has become known as “The Allegory of the Cave”.
著名的“洞穴寓言”便是其中之一
It is perhaps the most famous allegory in philosophy.
这大概是哲学界最出名的寓言故事了
This was a story that was intended, as he wrote,
据他所说 讲述这个故事是为了对比
to compare “the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature.”
接受后天教育和先天教育缺失之间的差别
At the start of Book 7 of his masterpiece, “The Republic”,
在柏拉图著作《理想国》第七卷的开篇
Plato tells us about some people living imprisoned in a cave
故事开始于一群被困在洞穴里的人
They’ve always lived there and don’t know anything of the outside world.
这群人一直住在洞里 对外面的世界一无所知
There is no natural light in this cave, the walls are damp and dark
洞里没有一丝自然光 洞壁阴湿又黑暗
All the inhabitants can see comes from the shadows of things thrown up on the wall by a light of a fire
外界事物透过火光映在壁上的投影是洞中人能看见的全部事物
The cave dwellers get fascinated by these reflections of animals, plants and people
洞里人对这些动植物和人的投影很感兴趣
Moreover, they assume that these shadows are real
他们甚至想象这些投影都是真实存在的
and that if you pay a lot of attention to them
如果你潜心钻研它们
you’ll understand and succeed in life
你就能破解玄机 创造人生辉煌
And they don’t, of course, realize that they are looking at mere phantoms
他们当然不会意识到 他们看见的只是虚幻的影子
They chat about shadowy things enthusiastically
他们热烈地探讨有关那些影子的事情
and take great pride in their sophistication and wisdom
还为他们自己的高等修养和智慧沾沾自喜
Then one day, quite by chance, someone discovers a way out of the cave
然后有一天 有个人偶然间发现了一条可以通往洞外的路
out into the open air
他来到了外界
At first, it’s simply overwhelming. He is dazzled by the brilliant sunshine
起初 外界的一切他看都看不过来 明媚的阳光晃得他头晕
In which everything is, for the first time, properly illuminated
在阳光下 他第一次发现一切事物的明暗都恰到好处
Gradually his eyes adjust and he encounters the true forms
他的眼睛渐渐适应了光线 他看见了以前那些
of all those things which he had formerly know only as shadows
只能通过影子认识的事物真实的样子
He sees actual flowers, the colors of birds, the nuances in the bark of trees
他看见了真正的花 鸟的色彩 树皮的细微差别
He observes stars and grasps the vastness and sublime nature of the universe
他仰望星空 同时感受着自然的壮丽和宇宙的浩瀚
As Plato puts it in solemn terms:
就像柏拉图一本正经地写道:
“过去 他看见只是虚幻的影子”
“现在 他才更接近存在真实的本质”
Out of compassion, this newly enlightened man
出于同情 这个刚领教过真实世界的人
decides to leave the sunlit upper world and makes his way back into the cave
决定离开上面这个光明的世界 回到洞里去
to try to help out his companions who are still mired in confusion and error
希望能够开导他那些还陷于无知和错误的同伴们
Because he’s become used to the bright upper world, he can hardly see anything underground
因为他已经适应了外界的光线 他在洞里几乎什么都看不到
He stumbles along the damp wet corridors and gets confused
他在潮湿的通道里蹒跚而行 到达后陷入了困惑
He seems to the others totally unimpressive
因为众人对他所说的一点也不感到兴奋
When he in turn is unimpressed by them and insists on explaining what the sun is
反过来 他也不理会他们的井蛙之见
or what a real tree is like
坚称他见过真正的太阳和树
The cave dwellers get sarcastic, then very angry and eventually plot to kill him
洞里的人先是嘲讽他 后来特别愤怒 最后甚至密谋要干掉他
The story of the cave is an allegory of the life of all enlightened people
洞穴的故事蕴含着人类接受后天教育的过程
The cave dwellers are humans before philosophy
洞里的人代表没有接触过哲学的人类
The sun is the light of reason
太阳代表理性之光
The alienation of the returned philosopher is what all truth tellers can expect
人们讨厌重返洞里的哲学家 就像讨厌那些
when they take their knowledge back to people who have not devoted themselves to thinking
声称自己见过真理 喋喋不休讲着大家闻所未闻的知识的人
For Plato, we are all for much of our lives in shadow
在柏拉图看来 我们大部分的时间都是为虚无的影子而活
Many of the things we get excited about, like fame, the perfect partner, a high status job
许多我们为之兴奋的事物 如名誉 灵魂伴侣 高职位的工作
are infinetly less real than we suppose
远比我们的想象还要虚无缥缈
they are for the most part phantoms projected by our culture
它们大部分是我们的文化观念投射到我们
onto the walls of our fragile and flawed minds
脆弱斑驳的脑海中的虚幻影子
but because everyone around us is insisting that they are genuine
但我们周围所有人都坚称它们是真实的
we are taken in from a young age
这是我们从小就被灌输的观念
It’s not our fault individually
这不是我们个人的错误
No one chooses to be in the cave
没有人希望生来就活在洞里
That’s just where we happen to begin
只是我们碰巧出生在这样的地方
We’re all starting from a very difficult place
我们都出生在这样一个无知的狭小天地
If, like the man in Plato’s story, you bluntly tell people they’re wrong
如果 像柏拉图故事里的人一样 你直接告诉人们他们是错的
You get nowhere, you cause deep offense and may endanger your own life
不但没有用 还可能激化矛盾 甚至危及你自己的生命
Athens had, after all, recently put Socrates, Plato’s friend, to death
毕竟 柏拉图的朋友苏格拉底就是这样死于雅典
Plato knew from close experience just
柏拉图的亲身经历让他清楚的知道
what the cave dwellers might do to those who claim to know the sun
洞里的人会怎样对待那些声称见过太阳的人
The solution, Plato says, is a process of widespread
柏拉图认为 解决办法就是普及
carefully administered philosophical education
并精细化管理哲学的教育方法
By which he understood the method of inquiry
柏拉图正是通过这种教育
pioneered by Socrates
理解了苏格拉底首创的诘问法
and known to us as the “Socratic Method”
也就是我们熟知的“苏格拉底法则”
It’s a very gentle process. You don’t lecture or harang
这个方法润物细无声 你不用说教或者高谈阔论
or force someone to read a particular book
或者强迫别人去看一本特定的书
You just start with a general declaration of intellectual modesty no one knows very much
首先你只需保持谦逊 承认大家的认识都不全面
It’s always good to insist: “wisdom starts with owning up to ignorance”
有句话说得好:“承认无知是是智慧的开始”
Confess that you don’t know exactly what the government should do,
你先承认你不知道政府该怎么做
what wars meant to achieve
不明白战争的目的是什么
or how good relationships work
也不懂得如何维系良好关系
You then get the other person to say what they think and
然后 你让另一个人谈谈他们的想法
gradually together you investigate the answers
你们会一起慢慢找到答案
Most likely the other person will be confident or rather painfully overconfident
这个人很有可能充满自信 甚至自负到令人头疼
They may tell you it’s all quite simple really and everyone knows the answer already
他们可能会说答案不是明摆着嘛 谁不知道啊
You must be supremely patient with this kind of bravado
你面对这样爱逞强的人须得非常有耐心
If they go off topic, you must cheerfully double back
如果他们跑题了 你必须笑着快速拉回来
You must take a lot of time and be ready to have chats over many days
你肯定要花很长时间 并做好聊上好几天的准备
This method of talking is founded on a lovely confidence
这种聊天方法是在友好 信任的
that with the right encouragement
基础上进行正确的引导
people can eventually work out things for themselves
人们最终会自己解决问题
and detect errors in their own reasoning
并且通过自己的论证发现错误
If you carefully and quietly draw their attention to tricky points
你要做的就是足够细心 让他们不知不觉中关注到难点
and don’t cast blame or ever get annoyed
千万不要指责或者表现恼怒的情绪
You’ll never teach anyone anything by making them feel stupid
别让他们觉得自己愚蠢 那样你什么目的都达不到
Even if they are, at first
即使起初他们是有点蠢
We have all started in that cave
我们都生来就在无知的洞里
but it is Plato’s deepest insight that we don’t have to stay there
但柏拉图最深刻的见解在于我们不必待在洞里
And the road out is called, quite simply, philosophy
而那条通往光明的出路有个简单的名字:哲学
This is the sun whose light we can follow and by whose rays
哲学之光将会引导我们 在它的照耀下
the proper nature of things can become clear
事物的真正本质将会清晰可见
If you enjoyed the films on this channel, you might want to
如果你喜欢我们频道的视频
hear about another smart insightful channel we love called
这里推荐给你另一个有深度见解的频道
Wisecrack
我们叫它《俏皮娱乐》
Click here to visit their channel page and discover a succession of videos on
点击这里可以进入他们频道的网页 还能发现一系列关于
world literature, philosophy, cinema, history and more
世界文学 哲学 影视 历史等方面的视频
All delivered with a playful beguiling sense of humor
调侃式吸引人的幽默感是他们的一贯风格
They’re in L.A., we’re here in London, but the School of Life
他们在洛杉矶 我们在伦敦
and Wisecrack have become firm friends
但《生命学院》和《俏皮娱乐》一直是盟友
Based around shared values about making education compelling
因为我们有共同的目标 关于教育的价值观是一致的
We’d love you to befriend us both in turn.
欢迎来关注我们和我们的朋友

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视频概述

我们现在所知的一切是否也只是洞壁上的影子,我们以为真实存在的,我们所狂热追逐的,其实根本是虚幻…关于这个哲学问题,我们也许会在柏拉图的洞穴寓言里探寻到一丝真理之光

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收集自网络

翻译译者

kuki仔

审核员

审核员BY

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWlUKJIMge4

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