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我是谁? – 译学馆
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我是谁?

Who Am I?

人这一生
over a lifetime
从身体角度来看
all of us change to an extraordinary degree
要经历巨大的变化
from a physical perspective
我们从一个有着可爱的容貌 吹弹可破的肌肤
we start off as a little bundle about 50 centimeters high
50厘米高的婴儿开始
with cherubic features and elastic soft skin
九十年后 我们以一个弯腰驼背 白发苍苍 满脸皱纹
and then we may end up, some 90 years later,
1米8高的老人结束生命
as a stooped, gray, liver-spotted, 180-centimeter high structure.
从出生到死亡 我们身体中的每一个细胞都会被替换成千上万次
in the intervening period every single cell in our body will have been replaced
并且我们经历的各种各样的事情
often many times over and we’ll have gone through all kinds of experiences that
可能在记忆中无处可寻
perhaps leave almost no trace in memory
一个25岁的人不能全部记住他5岁时候的事情
the twenty five-year old won’t remember most of what the five-year old felt so
一位67岁的老人只能模糊地回忆起当他接近30岁时候的往事
strongly about, the sixty seven-year old will only dimly recall what was on their
一生中 我们使用一样的名字
mind as they approached 30. We carry the same name throughout our lives and
并且认为我们自己是一个相对稳定单独的个体
consider ourselves as a relatively stable unitary entity but is it really
但是认为我们一成不变是正确的吗?
right to think of ourselves as the same person? Once one puts it under a
一旦把人放在哲学的显微镜下 人格同一性的问题
philosophical microscope the issue of personal identity emerges as far
远比我们当初认为的复杂 因此有什么道理可以认为我们这一生是永远不变的呢?
trickier than it’s first assumed. So in what ways could we be said to be
又有什么可以确保我们以为自己一生中都是一样的人呢?
continuous throughout time what does guarantee that we can plausibly think of
到底如何定位一个人的身份?
ourselves as the same people over a lifetime? Just where is personal identity
一个公认的设想是 我们的身体决定我们的
located? A standard assumption is that it’s our body that guarantees our personal
人格同一性
identity
这个理论阐明:决定我就是我的一个关键原因是我的肉体是不变的
this is the theory that a key part of what makes me me is that I’m housed in
但哲学家们喜欢挑战这个设想
an identical body, but philosophers like to push this assumption around a little
想象一下 如果我头发都掉光了
imagine if I lost all my hair
我还是我吗?当然是啊!那我如果失去一根手指呢?还是啊!失去一条腿呢?我依然是我啊!
would I still be me? Yes, sure. What if I lost a finger? yes! a leg? definitely.. now what if
现在如果有一个恶毒的魔鬼出现并且告诉我们必须失去身体的每一部分
a malevolent demon appeared and told us that we’d have to lose every part of our
但是可以保留一部分…你会选择保留那一部分呢?很少有人会选择肘部或者
bodies but could keep just one bit … which bit would it be? few of us would pick our elbow or belly
肚脐
button
几乎所有人会选择保留大脑 这说明一个很有趣的现象
almost all of us would pick our brains and that tells us something interesting
我们都心知肚明 身体上的一些部分更能体现自我 与个人身份关系更为紧密
We assume implicitly that some bits of our bodies are more meish , closer to the core of personal
并且所有中最能体现自我的就是我们的大脑
identity than others, and the most meish of all the bits are our brains. Christianity runs a
关于这个思维实验 基督教的版本是让我们想象人死后会发生什么
version of this thought experiment it ask us to think what will happen after
他们想象为肉体的分离
our death and it imagines a separation of the body
最终也没那么重要 然而一个继续生存下去的 更珍贵的东西是灵魂!
ultimately not that significant and the ongoing survival of a more modest
这个思维实验还有两个恋人可以进行的版本
precious bit that it calls the soul there’s another version of this thought
在恋爱的早期挣扎阶段
experiment that two lovers can play. In the early throes of love, two people
两个人一起睡觉的时候可能会问:你到底喜欢我什么?
who’ve gone to bed together might ask: What do you really like about me?
错误的回答是:“你丰满的双乳”或者是“你强壮的双臂”
The wrong answer is to say: “your fabulous breasts” or “your amazing muscular arms”
乳房和胸脯并不能从根本上体现自我 所以这两个是不尊重的回答
Breast and chest don’t ultimately feel ‘me’ish enough to be a respectable answer
我们希望是因为一些接近个人内在的东西而被他人喜爱 比如说我们的灵魂或者思想
It seems we want to be loved for something closer to our real self . Perhaps our soul or our brain
现在让我们进一步探讨这个思维实验
Now let’s push the thought experiment further: What bit of the brain is actually most crucial to
是对成为自我最为关键的呢?
being ‘me’?
假设我脑袋撞了一下 然后我失去了 打乒乓球的能力…
let’s imagine that I have a bump to the head and lose my ability to play table
我还是我吗?我们中的大多数会说:“是,当然!”那如果我开始讲拉丁语
tennis… Am I still myself? Most of us would say “yes, sure. ” What if I once spoke Latin and lose the
并且忘了怎么用蛋黄酱做芦笋…我还会是我吗?
ability or forgot how to cook asparagus with a light mayonese sauce… Would I still
是 你还是你 换句话说 技术能力与人格同一性的核心联系并不是很密切
be me? Yes. In other words technical capacities don’t feel very close to the core of
那其他各种记忆与人格同一性的联系又是怎样的呢?
personal identity. What about other kinds of memories? a big part of making me me
导致我就是我的很大一部分原因取决于我的记忆储存 我记得从小长大 我卧室里的那张地毯
tends to be my store of memories I remember the carpet in my bedroom when I
我记得我大学时代喜欢的女孩
was growing up or the girl I was in love with at University, the weather over
还有我第一次去澳大利亚旅游时悉尼的天气 但是如果这些记忆也全部消失?
Sydney as we came in to land for my first Australian book tour but what if these
我还会是我吗?一种观点是:可能吧
memories all vanished as well? could I still be me? One view is: Possibly.
只要我们的个性和特征还保留着
So long as something else remained and that thing we can call my character. In other
也就是说 只要我应对状况特有的方式还在
words if my characteristic way of responding to situations, my sense of
我认为什么是滑稽的 智慧的 有趣的和重要的还跟以前一样
what is funny, wise, interesting or important remained the same I can still in
那么从某种根本角度上来讲 我依然可以说我还是我
some fundamental way claim to be the same person. My memory store of feelings
我脑海中储存的感情和行为可能会消失
and behaviors might be gone but I could be assured of continuing to feel and
但是我能保证之后的生活中的言行举止依然是可相容的
behave in compatible ways in the future
周围的人需要不断提醒我曾经发生过的事情
those around me would need to keep reminding me of stuff that have happened but
但是他们会依然认为我还是我
they would still recognize me as me
有一种令人深思的观点是
a fascinating idea comes into view
人格同一性似乎并不依赖于肉体的存在
personal identity seems to consist not in bodily survival; I could be put in
我可以依附于他人的皮囊或者一个罐子 而且我还是我;
somebody else’s body or live in a jar and still be me nor in the survival of
同样也不取决于记忆的存在 我可以忘记所有事 但我依然是我;
memory, I could forget everything and still be me, but in the survival of what
而是取决于我们称之为“个性”的存在 这个想法是由一个英国哲学家约翰·洛克提出的
we here are going to call ‘character’. This is an idea attributed to the English
他曾写过一句著名的哲理:人格同一性是由感知的相同性构成
philosopher John Locke who famously wrote personal identity is made up of
感知的相同性构成。如果一个恶魔让我们在
what he called sameness of consciousness. If a demon offered as a choice between
记忆存在但感知发生变化
remembering everything but feeling and valuing very differently, or feeling in
与感知不变但记忆丢失之间做出抉择
valuing the same sorts of things but remembering nothing, most of us would
大多数人会坚定地选择后者 那么 如果我们非得把人格同一性归结于本质
Locke suggests choose the latter. So, if we have to boil personal identity down to
这些本质应该是价值观 爱好和性情
its essence it seems to come down to values, inclinations and temperament
趁脑海中还回荡着刚刚讲的那些 让我们来思考一下死亡 对于死亡的普遍观点是悲伤的
Let’s think of death with all this in mind. The standard view of death is that it’s sad because
因为它代表着生命的终结 的确 如果我们把生命定义为肉体的存活
it means the end of our identity. Now, it certainly does mean the end if we
不包括我们的记忆 死亡是意味着终结
identify identity with the survival of our bodies or without of our memories
但如果我们认为 很大程度上 是价值观和特有的爱与憎
but if we think that who we are is to a large degree about our values and
铸就了我们 那么从某种意义上来说
characteristic loves and hates, then we are, in sense, granted a kind of immortality
我们不会随着肉体的死亡而湮灭 得到了永生
simply through the fact that these will continue to live on in our species as a
因为他们会继续存在下去的
whole
可能我们所了解的“自己”
launched here and there outside of their present home. Perhaps what we have
只是一个暂时的皮囊
learned to call ‘me’ was only ever a temporary resting place for a set of
承载着比我们肉体存在时间更长的思想与癖性
ideas and proclivities that are far older and are destined to live on far
假如抛弃了人是由血肉组合的观点
longer than our bodies… We might attempt to be less sad about death by letting go
我们可能对死亡不会感到那么悲伤
of the idea that we are a particular constellation of physical features
如果人代表着思想与癖性
We are always in a sense far longer lasting, far more transgenerational as
那么会存活更长的时间 跨越更多代 我们能继续存在着
a bundle of inclinations and ideas. We will continue to crop up and live wherever
无论未来那些烙上我们最鲜明个性色彩的想法
those ideas, that are most characteristic of us, will emerge as they must, in the
会命定在何处出现
generations that have to come
纠结于个性问题充满矛盾却又令人兴奋
Focusing in on questions of identity as the paradoxical and rather cheering
因为它既是我们不再紧紧依附于某个侧面的自我 又使我们增强自信
effect of making us both less attached to certain bits of us and more confident
从某种角度上来说 在我们的躯体化为尘埃 记忆消失后
that the really important things about who we have been will survive, in a way,
我们身上真正重要的东西是会永存的!
long after our bodies have returned to dust and our memories have been obliterated

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