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西方哲学史:3.1.9 笛卡尔

(2011-06-02 16:08:10)
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卷三:近代哲学 Modern Philosophy

第一篇 从文艺复兴到休谟 From the Renaissance to Hume

 第9章 笛卡尔 Descartes

 

    若内·笛卡尔(René Descartes,1596—1650),通常都把他看成是近代哲学的始祖,我认为这是对的。他是第一个禀有高超哲学能力、在见解方面受新物理学和新天文学深刻影响的人。固然,他也保留了经院哲学中许多东西,但是他并不接受前人奠定的基础,却另起炉灶,努力缔造一个完整的哲学体系。这是从亚里士多德以来未曾有的事,是科学的进展带来的新自信心的标志。他的著作泛发着一股从柏拉图到当时的任何哲学名家的作品中全找不到的清新气息。从柏拉图到笛卡尔之间,所有的哲学家都是教师,沾着这行职业素有的职业优越感。笛卡尔不以教师的身分写哲学,而以发现者和探究者的姿态执笔,渴望把自己的所得传达给人。他的文章笔调平易不迂腐,不是供学生们念的,而是给一般生活中明白事理的人看的。并且,这还是一种异常出色的文笔。近代哲学的开拓者有这样可佩的文学感,对近代哲学来讲是很可庆幸的。直到康德以前,在欧洲大陆上和在英国,他的后继者们都保持他的非职业资格,其中有几人还保持几分他的笔风特长。

 

RENE DESCARTES ( 1596-1650) is usually considered the founder of modern philosophy, and, I think, rightly. He is the first man of high philosophic capacity whose outlook is profoundly affected by the new physics and astronomy. While it is true that he retains much of scholasticism, he does not accept foundations laid by predecessors, but endeavours to construct a complete philosophic edifice de novo. This had not happened since Aristotle,and is a sign of the new self-confidence that resulted from the progress of science. There is a freshness about his work that is not to be found in any eminent previous philosopher since Plato. All the intermediate philosophers were teachers, with the professional superiority belonging to that avocation. Descartes writes, not as a teacher, but as a discoverer and explorer, anxious to communicate what he has found. His style is easy and unpedantic, addressed to intelligent men of the world rather than to pupils. It is, moreover, an extraordinarily excellent style. It is very fortunate for modern philosophy that the pioneer had such admirable literary sense. His successors, both on the Continent and in England, until Kant, retain his unprofessional character, and several of them retain something of his stylistic merit.

    笛卡尔的父亲是布列塔尼地方议会的议员,握有一份还相当可观的地产。笛卡尔在父亲死时继承了遗产,他把地产卖掉,拿钱来投资,得到一笔每年六千或七千法郎的收入。从1604年到1612年,他在拉夫赖士的耶稣会学校受教育,这学校给他打下的近代数学根底,比当时在大多数大学里能够获得的根底似乎还强得多。1612年他到巴黎去,感觉巴黎的社会生活烦腻,于是退避到郊区圣日耳曼的一个隐僻处所,在那里研究几何学。然而朋友们刺探出他的踪迹,他为了确保更充分的安静,便在荷兰军里入了伍(1617)。由于那时候荷兰正太平无事,他似乎享受了两年不受干扰的沉思。不过三十年战争一起来,他加入了巴伐利亚军(1619)。就在1619年到1620年之间的冬天在巴伐利亚,他有了《方法论》(DisA coursdelaMé;thode)中他所描述的那种体验。因为天气苦寒,他早晨钻进一个火炉子,整天呆在里面潜思;据他自己述说,当他出来的时候,他的哲学已经半成。不过这话我们也不必太拘泥字义去理解。苏格拉底惯常在雪地里终日沉思,但是笛卡尔的头脑只当他身暖时才起作用。

Descartes's father was a councillor of the Parlement of Brittany, and possessed a moderate
amount of landed property. When Descartes inherited, at his father's death, he sold his estates,
and invested the money, obtaining an income of six or seven thousand francs a year. He was
educated, from 1604 to 1612, at the Jesuit college of La Flèche, which seems to have given
him a much better grounding in modern mathematics than he could have got at most
universities at that time. In 1612 he went to Paris, where he found social life boring, and retired to a secluded retreat in the Faubourg Saint Germain, in which he worked at geometry. Friends nosed him out, however, so, to secure more complete quiet, he enlisted in the Dutch army
( 1617). As Holland was at peace at the time, he seems to have enjoyed two years of
undisturbed meditation. However, the coming of the Thirty Years' War led him to enlist in the
Bavarian army ( 1619). It was in Bavaria, during the winter 1619-70, that he had the experience
he describes in the Discours de la Méthode. The weather being cold, he got into a stove * in
the morning, and stayed there all day meditating; by his own account, his philosophy was half
finished when he came out, but this need not be accepted too literally. Socrates used to meditate
all day in the snow, but Descartes's mind only worked when he was warm.


    1621年他结束了战斗生活;访问过意大利之后,1625年定居巴黎。但是朋友们又偏要在他起身以前拜访他(不到中午,他很少下床),所以在1628年他加入了正围攻余格诺派要塞拉罗歇尔的军队。当这段插曲终了时,他决定在荷兰居住,大概为逃避迫害的危险。笛卡尔是个懦弱胆小的人,一个奉行教会仪式的天主教徒,但是他同样犯了伽利略的那种异端。某些人认为他耳闻到了对伽利略的第一次(秘密)判罪,那是1616年发生的事。不管是否如此,总之他决心不发表他向来致力写的一部巨著《宇宙论》(LeMonde),理由是它里面含有两个异端学说:地球自转和宇宙无限。(这本书从来没有完整地出版,只有其中若干片断在他死后刊行过。)

 

In 1621 he gave up fighting; after a visit to Italy, he settled in Paris in 1625. But again friends would call on him before he was up (he seldom got up before midday), so in 1628 he joined the army which was besieging La Rochelle, the Huguenot stronghold. When this episode was finished, he decided to live in Holland, probably to escape the risk of persecution. He was a timid man, a practising Catholic, but he shared Galileo's heresies. Some think that he heard of the first (secret) condemnation of Galileo, which had taken place in 1616. However that may be, he decided not to publish a great book, Le Monde, upon which he had been engaged. His reason was that it maintained two heretical doctrines: the earth's rotation and the infinity of the universe. (This book was never published in its entirey, but fragments of it were published after his death.)

    他在荷兰住了二十年(1629—49),除开有少数几次短时到法国和一次到英国访问不算,那都是为了事务去的。十七世纪时荷兰是唯一有思想自由的国度,它的重要性不可胜述。霍布士Hobbes只好拿他的书在荷兰刊印;洛克Locke在1688年前英国最险恶的五年反动时期到荷兰避难;贝勒Bayle(《辞典》著者)也迫于必要在荷兰居住;斯宾诺莎Spinoza假若在任何旁的国家,恐怕早不许他从事著述了。

 

He lived in Holland for twenty years ( 1629-49), except for a few brief visits to France and one to England, all on business. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Holland in the
seventeenth century, as the one country where there was freedom of speculation
. Hobbes had to
have his books printed there; Locke took refuge there during the five worst years of reaction in
England before 1688; Bayle (of the Dictionary) found it necessary to live there; and Spinoza
would hardly have been allowed to do his work in any other country.

    我方才说笛卡尔是懦弱胆小的人,但是说他希望不惹麻烦,好清静无扰地作研究,这或许还比较温和近情些。他一贯阿谀教士,尤其奉承耶稣会员,不仅当他受制于这些人的时候如此,移住荷兰以后也如此。他的心理隐晦莫测,不过我总觉得好像是这样:他是个虔诚的天主教徒,为了他也为教会本身,愿意促使教会不像在伽利略的事例中所表现的那样敌视近代科学。认为他的正统信仰不过是权宜之计的人也是有的;但是,这固然是一种可能对的看法,我以为这并不是顶可靠的意见。

 

I said that Descartes was a timid man, but perhaps it would be kinder to say that he wished to be
left in peace so as to do his work undisturbed. He always courted ecclesiastics, especially Jesuits--not only while he was in their power, but after his emigration to Holland. His psychology is obscure, but I incline to think that he was a sincere Catholic, and wished to persuade the Church-- in its own interests as well as in his--to be less hostile to modern science than it showed itself in the case of Galileo. There are those who think that his orthodoxy was merely politic, but though this is a possible view I do not think it the most probable.

 

    即便在荷兰,他也难免要受到恼人的攻击,不是罗马教会攻击他,而是新教中的顽固人物攻击他。据云他的意见会导致无神论,倘若没有法国大使和奥伦治公出面干涉,恐怕他早受到迫害了。这回攻击既然失败,不几年后来顿大学当局又发起另一次不那么直接的攻击,它不问褒贬一律禁止提笛卡尔。奥伦治公再一次插手干涉,叫来顿大学休要无知。这说明由于教会从属于国家,而且由于非国际性的教会力量比较薄弱,给新教国带来如何的利益。

 

Even in Holland he was subject to vexatious attacks, not by the Roman Church, but by Protestant
bigots. It was said that his views led to atheism, and he would have been prosecuted but for the
intervention of the French ambassador and the Prince of Orange. This attack having failed,
another, less direct, was made a few years later by the authorities of the University of Leyden,
which forbade all mention of him, whether favourable or unfavourable. Again the Prince of Orange intervened, and told the university not to be silly. This illustrates the gain to Protestant countries from the subordination of the Church to the State, and from the comparative weakness of Churches that were not international.

    不幸,笛卡尔通过法国驻斯德哥尔摩大使沙尼雨,和瑞典克丽斯婷娜女王开始了书信往还;克丽斯婷娜是一个热情而博学的贵妇,自以为她既然是君主,有权浪费伟人的时间。他寄赠她一篇关于爱情的论著,这是直到那时候他向来有些忽视的题目。他还送她一个论灵魂的种种炽情的作品,那是他原来为巴拉丁选侯的女儿伊丽莎白公主写的。为这两个作品,女王请求笛卡尔亲临她的宫廷;他最后同意了,于是她派一艘军舰去接他(1649年9月)。结果原来是她想要每天听他讲课,但是除在早晨五点钟以外她又腾不出时间。在斯堪的纳维亚地方冬日的寒气里,这种不习惯的起早,对一个体质孱弱的人就不是顶妙的事。加上,沙尼雨又害了重病,因此笛卡尔去照料他。这位大使健康复原,但是笛卡尔却病倒了,1650年2月长辞人世。

 

Unfortunately, through Chanut, the French ambassador at Stockholm, Descartes got into
correspondence with Queen Christina of Sweden, a passionate and learned lady who thought that,
as a sovereign, she had a right to waste the time of great men. He sent her a treatise on love, a
subject which until then he had somewhat neglected. He also sent her a work on the passions of
the soul, which he had originally composed for Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the Elector
Palatine. These writings led her to request his presence at her court; he at last agreed, and she sent a warship to fetch him ( September 1649). It turned out that she wanted daily lessons from him, but could not spare the time except at five in the morning. This unaccustomed early rising, in the cold of a Scandinavian winter, was not the best thing for a delicate man. Moreover Chanut
became dangerously ill, and Descartes looked after him. The ambassador recovered, but Descartes
fell ill and died in February 1650.

    笛卡尔一直未结婚,但是他有一个私生女儿,五岁上死去,他讲这是他平生最大的悲伤。他永远衣冠楚楚,佩挂一柄宝剑。笛卡尔不是勤奋的人,他工作的时间很短,也少读书。他到荷兰去的时候,随身没携带多少书籍,但是在带去的书里面有圣经和托马斯·阿奎那Thomas Aquinas的著作。笛卡尔的工作仿佛是在短期间精神非常集中下做出来的;但是,也许他为了维持绅士派业余哲学家的面貌,假装比实际上工作得少亦未可知,因为否则他的成就似乎让人很难相信。

 

Descartes never married, but he had a natural daughter who died at the age of five; this was, he
said, the greatest sorrow of his life. He always was well dressed, and wore a sword. He was not
industrious; he worked short hours, and read little. When he went to Holland he took few books
with him, but among them were the Bible and Thomas Aquinas. His work seems to have been done with great concentration during short periods; but perhaps, to keep up the appearance of a gentlemanly amateur, he may have pretended to work less than in fact he did, for otherwise his achievements seem scarcely credible.

    笛卡尔是哲学家、数学家、也是科学家。在哲学和数学上,他的工作重要无比;在科学方面,成绩虽然也值得称道,总不如同时代有些人的好。

 

Descartes was a philosopher, a mathematician, and a man of science. In philosophy and mathematics, his work was of supreme importance; in science, though creditable, it was not so
good as that of some of his contemporaries.

    他对几何学的伟大贡献是发明坐标几何,固然还不完全是最后形式的坐标几何。他使用了解析方法,解析方法是先假定问题已然解决,再审查此假定的种种结论;他并且把代数应用到几何学上。这两件事在他以前都曾经有人做过;关于前者,甚至在古代人中间也找得到做过的人。他的首创在于使用坐标系,就是用平面上一点到两条固定直线的距离来确定这点的位置。笛卡尔本人并没发现这个方法的全部力量,但是他的工作足以为进一步的发展铺平道路。这决非他对数学的唯一贡献,却是最重大的贡献。

 

His great contribution to geometry was the invention of co-ordinate geometry, though not quite in
its final form. He used the analytic method, which supposes a problem solved, and examines the
consequences of the supposition; and he applied algebra to geometry. In both of these he had had
predecessors--as regards the former, even among the ancients. What was original in him was the use of coordinates, i.e., the determination of the position of a point in a plane by its distance from two fixed lines. He did not himself discover all the power of this method, but he did enough to make further progress easy. This was by no means his sole contribution to mathematics, but it was his most important.

    他讲述了自己的大部分科学理论的书是1644年出版的《哲学原理》(Principia philosophiae)。不过还有一些其他重要书籍:《哲学文集》(Essais philosophiques)(1637)讨论几何学,也讨论光学;在他写的书里有一本叫《论胚胎的形成》(Delaeormationdueoetus)。他欢迎哈维Harvey关于血液循环的发现,一直总希望自己在医学方面作出什么重大发现(然而没有实现)。笛卡尔把人和动物的肉体看成机器;动物在他看来是完全受物理定律支配、缺乏情感和意识的自动机。人则不同:人有灵魂,它蕴藏在松果腺内。在这里灵魂与“生命精气”发生接触,通过这种接触,灵魂和肉体之间起相互作用。宇宙中的运动总量有一定,所以灵魂影响不了它,但是灵魂能改变生命精气的运动方向,因而间接地能够改变肉体其它各部分的运动方向。

 

The book in which he set forth most of his scientific theories was Principia Philosophiae,
published in 1644. There were however some other books of importance: Essais philosophiques
( 1637) deals with optics as well as geometry, and one of his books is called De la formation du
foetus. He welcomed Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood, and was always hoping
(though in vain) to make some discovery of importance in medicine. He regarded the bodies of
men and animals as machines; animals he regarded as automata, governed entirely by the laws of
physics, and devoid of feeling or consciousness. Men are different: they have a soul, which resides in the pineal gland. There the soul comes in contact with the "vital spirits," and through this contact there is interaction between soul and body. The total quantity of motion in the universe is constant, and therefore the soul cannot affect it; but it can alter the direction of motion of the animal spirits, and hence, indirectly, of other parts of the body.

    笛卡尔的这部分理论被他的学派中的人废弃了——起先他的荷兰门徒格令克斯(Geulincx),后来马勒伯朗士Malebranche和斯宾诺莎Spinoza,都把它舍掉。物理学家发现了动量守恒,按动量守恒讲,在任何已知方向,全宇宙的运动总量是有一定的。这表示根本不会有笛卡尔所想像的精神对物质的那种作用。假定一切物理作用都带碰撞性质(笛卡尔学派很普遍地这样假定),动力学定律足够确定物质的运动,精神的什么影响完全没有插足余地。可是这引起一个困难。我决意要手臂动时手臂就动,然而我的意志是精神现象,我的手臂动却是物理现象。那么,假如精神和物质不能相互作用,为何我的肉体俨然像我的精神支配着它在活动?对这问题,格令克斯发明了一个答案,通称“二时钟”说。假定你有两个都十分准确的钟;每当一个钟的针指整点,另一个钟就要鸣响报时,因此倘若你眼看着一个钟,耳听另一个钟的响声,你会以为这个钟促使那个钟打点。精神和肉体也如是。各自由神上紧弦,彼此步调取一致。所以当我起意志作用的时候,尽管我的意志并未实在作用于我的肉体,纯物理的定律促使我的手臂运动。

 

This part of his theory was abandoned by his school--first by his Dutch disciple Geulincx, and
later by Malebranche and Spinoza. The physicists discovered the conservation of momentum,
according to which the total quantity of motion in the world in any given direction is constant.
This showed that the sort of action of mind on matter that Descartes imagined is impossible.
Assuming--as was very generally assumed in the Cartesian school--that all physical action is of
the nature of impact, dynamical laws suffice to determine the motions of matter, and there is no
room for any influence of mind. But this raises a difficulty. My arm moves when I will that it shall move, but my will is a mental phenomenon and the motion of my arm a physical phenomenon.
Why then, if mind and matter cannot interact, does my body behave as if my mind controlled it?
To this Geulincx invented an answer, known as the theory of the "two clocks." Suppose you have
two clocks which both keep perfect time: whenever one points to the hour, the other will strike, so that if you saw one and heard the other, you would think the one caused the other to strike. So it is with mind and body. Each is wound up by God to keep time with the other, so that, on occasion of my volition, purely physical laws cause my arm to move, although my will has not really acted on my body.

    这理论当然有种种困难。第一,它甚是古怪;第二,既然物理事件系列由自然法则严格决定,那么精神事件系列和它平行,必定同样带决定论性质。这理论假如确实,就该有一种什么可能有的辞典,里面把每个大脑事件翻译成相应的精神事件。一个想像中的计算者可根据动力学定律计算大脑事件,再借助这“辞典”推断伴随的精神事件。即使没有“辞典”,这位计算者也可以推断人的所言所行,因为这两项全是肉体的运动。这种见解跟基督教伦理及罪业降罚说恐怕很难取得调和。

 

There were of course difficulties in this theory. In the first place, it was very odd; in the second place, since the physical series was rigidly determined by natural laws, the mental series, which ran parallel to it, must be equally deterministic. If the theory was valid, there should be a sort of possible dictionary, in which each cerebral occurrence would be translated into the corresponding mental occurrence. An ideal calculator could calculate the cerebral occurrence by the laws of dynamics, and infer the concomitant mental occurrence by means of the "dictionary." Even without the "dictionary," the calculator could infer any words and actions, since these are bodily movements. This view would be difficult to reconcile with Christian ethics and the punishment of sin.

    不过这些结果并不是立刻就可以明了的。此一说看来有两点高明处。第一是,既然灵魂绝不受肉体的作用,所以这理论使灵魂在某个意义上完全不依附于肉体。第二是,它承认了“一实体对另一实体不能起作用”这个一般原理。实体有精神和物质两个,它们极不相似,其相互作用似乎是不可想像的事。格令克斯的理论否定相互作用的实在,却说明相互作用的现象。

 

These consequences, however, were not at once apparent. The theory appeared to have two merits.
The first was that it made the soul, in a sense, wholly independent of the body, since it was never acted on by the body. The second was that it allowed the general principle: "one substance cannot act on another." There were two substances, mind and matter, and they were so dissimilar that an interaction seemed inconceivable. Geulincx's theory explained the appearance of interaction while denying its reality.

    在力学方面,笛卡尔承认第一运动定律,照这定律讲,物体若不受外力影响,要沿直线等速地运动。但是不存在后来牛顿的万有引力说里讲的那种超距作用。所谓真空这种东西根本是没有的,也没有什么原子。然而所有相互作用全带碰撞性质。假使我们的知识真够丰富,我们就可以使化学和生物学化为力学;胚种发育成动物或植物的过程是纯粹机械过程。亚里士多德讲的那三样灵魂是不必要的;三样里只有一样即理性灵魂存在,而且仅存在于人类。

 

In mechanics, Descartes accepts the first law of motion, according to which a body left to itself
will move with constant velocity in a straight line. But there is no action at a distance, as later in Newton's theory of gravitation. There is no such thing as a vacuum, and there are no atoms; yet all interaction is of the nature of impact. If we knew enough, we should be able to reduce chemistry and biology to mechanics; the process by which a seed develops into an animal or a plant is purely mechanical. There is no need of Aristotle's three souls; only one of them, the rational soul, exists, and that only in man.

    笛卡尔小心翼翼地躲避着神学上的谴责,发展起来一个宇宙演化论,跟柏拉图时代以前某些哲学家的宇宙演化论不无相像。他说,我们知道世界是如《创世记》中讲的那样创造出来的,但是且看它本可能如何自然生成,也很有意思。笛卡尔作出一个漩涡形成说:在太阳周围的实空里有巨大的漩涡,带动着行星回转。这理论精妙倒精妙,但是不能说明行星轨道何以不是圆形的,而是椭圆的。漩涡说在法国得到了一般承认,逐渐地才被牛顿理论夺去它的地位。牛顿的《原理》最早的英文版的编订者寇次(Cotes)畅论漩涡说开启无神论的大门,而牛顿的学说需要有神使行星在不朝太阳的方向上运动起来。他认为根据这点,就该欢喜牛顿。

 

With due caution to avoid theological censure, Descartes develops a cosmogony not unlike those
of some pre-Platonic philosophers. We know, he says, that the world was created as in Genesis,
but it is interesting to see how it might have grown naturally. He works out a theory of the
formation of vortices
: round the sun there is an immense vortex in the plenum, which carries the planets round with it. The theory is ingenious, but cannot explain why planetary orbits are elliptical, not circular. It was generally accepted in France, where it was only gradually ousted by the Newtonian theory. Cotes, the editor of the first English edition of Newton's Principia, argues eloquently that the vortex theory leads to atheism, while Newton's requires God to set the planets in motion in a direction not towards the sun. On this ground, he thinks, Newton is to be preferred.

    现在来讲就纯哲学而论,笛卡尔的两本最重要的书。这两本书是《方法论》(1637)和《沉思录》(Meditations)(1642)。两书有很多重复,不必要分开谈。

 

I come now to Descartes's two most important books, so far as pure philosophy is concerned.
These are the Discourse on Method ( 1637) and the Meditations ( 1642). They largely overlap, and
it is not necessary to keep them apart.

    在这两本书中,笛卡尔开始先说明一向被人称作“笛卡尔式怀疑”的方法。笛卡尔为了使他的哲学获得牢固基础,决心让自己怀疑他好歹总能怀疑的一切事物。因为他预料到这个过程可能需要若干时间,所以他决意在这段期间按普通公认的规矩节制自己的行为举止;这样,他的精神就免得受个人关于实践方面的怀疑所引起的可能后果的妨害。

 

In these books Descartes begins by explaining the method of "Cartesian doubt," as it has come to
be called. In order to have a firm basis for his philosophy, he resolves to make himself doubt
everything that he can manage to doubt. As he foresees that the process may take some time, he
resolves, in the meanwhile, to regulate his conduct by commonly received rules; this will leave his mind unhampered by the possible consequences of his doubts in relation to practice.

    笛卡尔从关于各种感觉的怀疑入手。他说,我能不能怀疑我正穿着晨衣坐在这儿炉火旁边?能,我能怀疑;因为有时候我实际赤身睡在床上(当时睡衣以至睡衫还没有发明),可是我梦见了我在这里。并且,精神病人往往有幻觉,所以我也可能处在同样状况。

 

He begins with scepticism in regard to the senses. Can I doubt, he says, that I am sitting here by
the fire in a dressing-gown? Yes, for sometimes I have dreamt that I was here when in fact I was
naked in bed. (Pyjamas, and even nightshirts, had not yet been invented.) Moreover madmen
sometimes have hallucinations, so it is possible that I may be in like case.

    不过梦这东西好像画家,带给我们实际事物的写照,至少按梦的各个组成要素讲如此。(你可能梦到带翅的马,但是那无非因为你见过翅和马)。所以说,一般有形性质,包括广延性、大小和数目之类的东西,不像关于个别事物的信念容易怀疑。算术和几何学讨论的不是个别事物,因此就比物理学和天文学确实;甚至对梦中对象来讲也适用,梦里的对象在数目和广延性方面与真实对象没有区别。然而,即便对于算术和几何,仍可能怀疑。说不定每当我来数一个正方形的边数或算二加三的时候,神就叫我出错。也许,甚至在想像中把这种不仁归给神,理不该当;但是难保没有一个既神通广大又狡猾欺诈的恶魔,用尽它的巧计聪明来蒙骗我。假使真有这样的恶魔,说不定我所见的一切事物不过是错觉,恶魔就利用这种错觉当作陷阱,来骗取我的轻信。

 

Dreams, however, like painters, present us with copies of real things, at least as regards their
elements. (You may dream of a winged horse, but only because you have seen horses and wings.)
Therefore corporeal nature in general, involving such matters as extension, magnitude, and
number, is less easy to question than beliefs about particular things. Arithmetic and geometry,
which are not concerned with particular things, are therefore more certain than physics and
astronomy; they are true even of dream objects, which do not differ from real ones as regards
number and extension. Even in regard to arithmetic and geometry, however, doubt is possible. It
may be that God causes me to make mistakes whenever I try to count the sides of a square or add
2 to 3. Perhaps it is wrong, even in imagination, to attribute such unkindness to God, but there
might be an evil demon, no less cunning and deceitful than powerful employing all his industry in misleading me. If there be such a demon, it may be that all the things I see are only illusions of which he makes use as traps for my credulity.

    不过总还有某样事我怀疑不得;假使我当真不存在,任何恶魔,不管多么狡猾,也无法欺骗我。我可能不具有肉体;这是错觉也难说。然而思维那就另是一回事。“当我要把一切事物都想成是虚假的时候,这个进行思维的‘我’必然非是某种东西不可;我认识到‘我思故我在’这条真理十分牢靠、十分确实,怀疑论者的所有最狂妄的假定都无法把它推翻,于是我断定我能够毫不犹疑地承认它是我所探求的哲学中的第一原理。”

 

There remains, however, something that I cannot doubt: no demon, however cunning, could deceive me if I did not exist. I may have no body: this might be an illusion. But thought is different. "While I wanted to think everything false, it must necessarily be that I who thought
was something; and remarking that this truth, I think, therefore I am, was so solid and so certain that all the most extravagant suppositions of the sceptics were incapable of upsetting it, I judged that I could receive it without scruple as the first principle of the philosophy that I sought."

    这段文字是笛卡尔的认识论的核心,包含着他的哲学中最重要之点。笛卡尔以后的哲学家大多都注重认识论,其所以如此主要由于笛卡尔。“我思故我在”说得精神比物质确实,而(对我来讲)我的精神又比旁人的精神确实。因此,出自笛卡尔的一切哲学全有主观主义倾向,并且偏向把物质看成是唯有从我们对于精神的所知、通过推理才可以认识(倘若可认识)的东西。欧洲大陆的唯心论与英国的经验论双方都存在这两种倾向;前者以此自鸣得意,后者为这感到遗憾。最近年来,称作工具主义的那派哲学,一直打算摆脱这种主观主义,但是关于这点目下我且不谈。除工具主义是例外,近代哲学对问题的提法有极多是从笛卡尔接受过来的,只是不接受他的解答罢了。

 

This passage is the kernel of Descartes's theory of knowledge, and contains what is most
important in his philosophy. Most philosophers since Descartes have attached importance to the
theory of knowledge, and their doing so is largely due to him. "I think, therefore I am" makes
mind more certain than matter, and my mind (for me) more certain than the minds of others.
There is thus, in all philosophy derived from Descartes, a tendency to subjectivism, and to
regarding matter as something only knowable, if at all, by inference from what is known of
mind. These two tendencies exist both in Continental idealism and in British empiricism--in the
former triumphantly, in the latter regretfully. There has been, in quite recent times, an attempt
to escape from this subjectivism by the philosophy known as instrumentalism, but of this I will
not speak at present. With this exception, modern philosophy has very largely accepted the
formulation of its problems from Descartes, while not accepting his solutions.

    读者会记起,圣奥古斯丁提出了一个酷似“cogito”的论点。不过他并不特别侧重这论点,打算用它来解决的问题也只占他的思想的一小部分。所以笛卡尔的创见应该得到承认,固然这主要还不在于创造这个论点,而在于认识到它的重要意义。

 

The reader will remember that Saint Augustine advanced an argument closely similar to the
cogito. He did not, however, give prominence to it, and the problem which it is intended to
solve occupied only a small part of his thoughts. Descartes's originality, therefore, should be
admitted, though it consists less in inventing the argument than in perceiving its importance.

    现在既然获得了坚固的基础,笛卡尔便兴工重建知识大厦。已被证明是存在的那个“我”,是由我思维这件事实推知的,所以当我思维的时候“我”存在,而且只有当我思维时“我”才存在。假若我停止思维,“我”的存在便没有证据了。“我”是一个作思维的东西,即这样一种实体:其全部本性或本质在于思维作用、而且为了它存在并不需要有场所或物质事物。因此,灵魂与肉体全然两样,而且比肉体容易认识;纵然没有肉体,灵魂也会一如现状。

 

Having now secured a firm foundation, Descartes sets to work to rebuild the edifice of
knowledge. The I that has been proved to existhas been inferred from the fact that I think, therefore I exist while I think, and only then. If I ceased to think, there would be no evidence of my existence. I am a thing that thinks, a substance of which the whole nature or essence consists in thinking, and which needs no place or material thing for its existence. The soul, therefore, is wholly distinct from the body and easier to know than the body; it would be what it is even if there were no body.

    笛卡尔然后自问:“cogito”这样明白,是什么缘故呢?他的结论是,那无非因为它清晰而判然。所以他采取以下的原理当作一般准则:凡我们能够设想得很清晰、很判然的一切事物都是真的。不过他也承认,要想知道这种事物究竟是哪些个,往往有困难。

 

Descartes next asks himself: why is the cogito so evident? He concludes that it is only because it
is clear and distinct. He therefore adopts as a general rule the principle: All things that we
conceive very clearly and very distinctly are true. He admits, however, that there is sometimes
difficulty in knowing which these things are.

    “思维作用”一词,笛卡尔按极广的意义来使用它。他说,所谓作思维的东西,就是这种东西:它怀疑、理解、设想、肯定、否定、意欲、想像和感觉——因为在梦里起的那种感觉也是思维作用的一种。由于思维是精神的本质,精神必定永远在思维,即使熟睡时也如此。

 

"Thinking" is used by Descartes in a very wide sense. A thing that thinks, he says, is one that
doubts, understands, conceives, affirms, denies, wills, imagines, and feels--for feeling, as it occurs in dreams, is a form of thinking. Since thought is the essence of mind, the mind must always think, even during deep sleep.

    笛卡尔现在继续谈我们关于物体的知识这个问题。他以蜂巢里取出来的一块蜂蜡作为实例。各种感官觉得有些事情很明显:这块蜂蜡有蜜的味道、花的香气,有某种感觉得到的颜色、大小、形状,生硬冰冷,敲一敲发响声。可是你如果把它放在火近旁,尽管蜂蜡照旧是蜂蜡,这些性质却发生了变化;可见方才感官所觉得的并不是蜂蜡本身。蜂蜡本身是由广延性、柔软性、和可动性构成的,这些非想像力所理解,而精神则理解。蜂蜡这件·东·西本身无法感觉得到,因为它均等地含蕴在蜂蜡对各种感官显示的一切现象之中。对蜂蜡的知觉作用“不是看、触、或想像,而是精神的洞观”。我没有看见蜂蜡,正如我若看见大街上有帽子和外衣上身,不等于我看见街上有行人。“我纯凭位于我的精神中的判断力,理解我本以为我用眼睛看见的东西。”感官认识是混杂的,
动物一样也持有;但是现在我剥下了蜂蜡的衣裳,凭精神感知它赤裸的本相。我通过感官看见蜂蜡,由这件事确实断定我自己存在,但不能断定蜂蜡存在。认识外界事物不可靠感官,必须凭精神。

 

Descartes now resumes the question of our knowledge of bodies. He takes as an example a piece
of wax from the honeycomb. Certain things are apparent to the senses: it tastes of honey, it smells of flowers, it has a certain sensible colour, size and shape, it is hard and cold, and if struck it emits a sound. But if you put it near the fire, these qualities change, although the wax persists; therefore what appeared to the senses was not the wax itself. The wax itself is constituted by extension, flexibility, and motion, which are understood by the mind, not by the imagination. The thing that is the wax cannot itself be sensible, since it is equally involved in all the appearances of the wax to the various senses. The perception of the wax "is not a vision or touch or imagination, but an inspection of the mind." I do not see the wax, any more than I see men in the street when I see hats and coats. "I understand by the sole power of judgement, which resides in my mind, what I thought I saw with my eyes." Knowledge by the senses is confused, and shared with animals; but now I have stripped the wax of its clothes, and mentally perceive it naked. From my sensibly seeing the wax, my own existence follows with certainty, but not that of the wax. Knowledge of external things must be by the mind, not by the senses.


    由此又转而考察各类观念。笛卡尔说,最常见的错误就是以为自己的观念与外界事物相像。(“观念”这个词照笛卡尔的用法包括感官知觉)。观念似乎有三类:(1)生得观念,(2)非固有的、从外界得来的观念,(3)自己创造的观念。第二类观念我们当然假定它与外界对象相像。所以要假定这点,一部分因为“自然”教导我们如此想,一部分因为这种观念是不涉及意志(即通过感觉作用)而来的,因此,设想有某个外在事物把它的影像印在我心上,似乎也合理。但这两点是充分理由吗?在这个情况,我说“受自然的教导”,意思无非是说我有相信它的某种倾向,并不是说我借自然之光看到这点。借自然之光所看到的无法否定,但是单单是倾向,那也可能倾向于错的事情。至于说感官观念不随意,这根本不成理由,因为梦虽然出于内部,却也不随意。可见,假定感官观念来自外界的理由不能令人信服。

 

This leads to a consideration of different kinds of ideas. The commonest of errors, Descartes says, is to think that my ideas are like outside things. (The word "idea" includes sense-perceptions, as used by Descartes.) Ideas seem to be of three sorts: (1) those that are innate, (2) those that are foreign and come from without, (3) those that are invented by me. The second kind of ideas, we naturally suppose, are like outside objects. We suppose this, partly because nature teaches us to think so, partly because such ideas come independently of the will (i.e., through sensation), and it therefore seems reasonable to suppose that a foreign thing imprints its likeness on me. But are these good reasons? When I speak of being "taught by nature" in this connection, I only mean that I have a certain inclination to believe it, not that I see it by a natural light. What is seen by a natural light cannot be denied, but a mere inclination may be towards what is false. And as for ideas of sense being involuntary, that is no argument, for dreams are involuntary although they come from within. The reasons for supposing that ideas of sense come from without are therefore inconclusive.

    况且,同是一个外界对象,往往有两种不同的观念,例如感官所觉得的太阳和天文学家所相信的太阳。这两种观念不会都像太阳,根据理性知道,直接来自经验的那个观念,在两者当中一定是和太阳比较不像的。

 

Moreover there are sometimes two different ideas of the same external object, e.g., the sun as it
appears to the senses and the sun in which the astronomers believe. These cannot both be like the
sun, and reason shows that the one which comes directly from experience must be the less like it
of the two.

    但是这种种理由并未解决对外界存在置疑的怀疑论调。唯有首先证明神存在,才能够做到这一步。

 

But these considerations have not disposed of the sceptical arguments which threw doubt on the
existence of the external world. This can only be done by first proving the existence of God.

    笛卡尔对神存在的一些证明并不怎么独出心裁,大体说都是从经院哲学来的。这些证明莱布尼兹Leibniz叙述得比较好,所以我想先略去不谈,等讲到莱布尼兹的时候再讨论。

 

Descartes's proofs of the existence of God are not very original; in the main they come from
scholastic philosophy. They were better stated by Leibniz, and I will omit consideration of them
until we come to him.

    神的存在既然证明之后,其余的事情便畅行无阻了。因为神性善,他不会像笛卡尔为当作怀疑的理由而想像的那个好欺诈的恶魔一般作为。那么,既然神给了我如此强烈的心向相信物体存在,假使物体并不存在,他岂不欺哄人;所以物体存在。不仅如此,神必定还给予了我纠正错误的能力。我在应用“清晰、判然的就是真的”这条原理时运用这种能力。因此我便能够懂得数学;我如果记住,我必须单凭精神去认识关于物体的真理,不应当精神、肉体联用,我又能够懂得物理学。

 

When God's existence has been proved, the rest proceeds easily. Since God is good, He will not
act like the deceitful demon whom Descartes has imagined as a ground for doubt. Now God has
given me such a strong inclination to believe in bodies that He would be deceitful if there were
none; therefore bodies exist. He must, moreover, have given me the faculty of correcting errors. I
use this faculty when I employ the principle that what is clear and distinct is true. This enables me to know mathematics, and physics also, if I remember that I must know the truth about bodies by the mind alone, not by mind and body jointly.

    笛卡尔的认识论的建设性部分远不如在前的破坏性部分有味。建设性部分利用了如“结果决不能比其原因多具备完善性”之类各色各样的经院哲学准则,这种东西不知怎么回事会逃过了起初的批判性考查。尽管这些准则比人自己的存在确实少带自明性,却没举任何理由就承认了,而自身的存在倒大吹大擂地证明了一阵。柏拉图、圣奥古斯丁和圣托马斯的著作含有《沉思录》中大部分肯定性的东西。

 

The constructive part of Descartes's theory of knowledge is much less interesting than the earlier destructive part. It uses all sorts of scholastic maxims, such as that
an effect can never have more perfection than its cause, which have somehow escaped the initial
critical scrutiny. No reason is given for accepting these maxims, although they are certainly less
self-evident than one's own existence, which is proved with a flourish of trumpets. Plato's
Theaetetus, Saint Augustine, and Saint Thomas contain most of what is affirmative in the
Meditations.

    “批判的怀疑”方法在哲学上非常重要,尽管笛卡尔本人只是三心二意地应用这方法的。按逻辑讲,显然怀疑要在某处止住,这方法才能够产生积极结果。假若逻辑知识和经验知识双方都得有,就必须有两种怀疑止点:无疑问的事实和无疑问的推理原则。笛卡尔的无疑问的事实是他自己的思维,按最广的意义使用“思维”这个词。“我思”是他的原始前提。这里“我”字其实于理不通;他该把原始前提叙述成“思维是有的”这个形式才对。“我”字在语法上虽然便当,但是它表述的不是已知事项。等他再往下讲“我是一个作思维的东西”,这时他已经在漫无批判地应用经院哲学传下来的范畴工具。他在什么地方也没证明思维需要有思维者,而且除按语法上的意义来讲,并没有理由相信这点。可是,不把外界对象而把思维看成是原始的经验确实项,这一着决断非常重要,对后来的一切哲学有深刻影响。

 

The method of critical doubt, though Descartes himself applied it only half-heartedly, was of great philosophic importance. It is clear, as a matter of logic, that it can only yield positive results if scepticism is to stop somewhere. If there is to be both logical and empirical knowledge, there must be two kinds of stopping points: indubitable facts, and indubitable principles of inference. Descartes's indubitable facts are his own thoughts--using "thought" in the widest possible sense. "I think" is his ultimate premiss. Here the word "I" is really illegitimate; he ought to state his ultimate premiss in the form "there are thoughts." The word "I" is grammatically convenient, but does not describe a datum. When he goes on to say "I am a thing which thinks," he is already using uncritically the apparatus of categories handed down by scholasticism. He nowhere proves that thoughts need a thinker, nor is there reason to believe this except in a grammatical sense. The decision, however, to regard thoughts rather than external objects as the prime empirical certainties was very important, and had a profound effect on all subsequent philosophy.

    笛卡尔的哲学在另外两点上也重要。第一,它完成了、或者说极近乎完成了由柏拉图开端而主要因为宗教上的理由经基督教哲学发展起来的精神、物质二元论。松果腺里的那种奇妙事务被笛卡尔的信徒们抛弃了,且不去管它;笛卡尔体系提出来精神界和物质界两个平行而彼此独立的世界,研究其中之一能够不牵涉另一个。精神不推动肉体,这是个新颖想法;按明白形式说出于格令克斯,但是潜在上出于笛卡尔。有了这想法便能够讲肉体不推动精神,此其一利。关于肉体感到渴的时候为什么精神觉得“难过”,《沉思录》中有不少议论。笛卡尔主义的正确解答是:肉体和精神好似两个钟,每当一个钟指示出“渴”,另一个钟指示出“难过”。然而从宗教观点看,这理论有一个严重的不利;这就转入上面我提及的笛卡尔哲学的第二特征。

 

In two other respects the philosophy of Descartes was important. First: it brought to completion,
or very nearly to completion, the dualism of mind and matter which began with Plato and was
developed, largely for religious reasons, by Christian philosophy. Ignoring the curious transactions in the pineal gland, which were dropped by the followers of Descartes, the Cartesian system presents two parallel but independent worlds, that of mind and that of matter, each of which can be studied without reference to the other. That the mind does not move the body was a new idea, due explicitly to Geulincx but implicitly to Descartes. It had the advantage of making it possible to say that the body does not move the mind. There is a considerable discussion in the Meditations as to why the mind feels "sorrow" when the body is thirsty. The correct Cartesian answer was that the body and the mind were like two clocks, and that when one indicated "thirst" the other indicated "sorrow." From the religious point of view, however, there was a grave drawback to this theory; and this brings me to the second characteristic of Cartesianism that I alluded to above.

    笛卡尔哲学在关于物质界的全部理论上,是严格的决定论。活的有机体完全和死物一样受物理定律支配;不再像亚里士多德哲学,需要有“隐德来希”(entelechy)或灵魂来解释有机体的生长和动物的运动。笛卡尔本人只承认了一个小小例外:人的灵魂通过意志作用,虽然不能改变生命精气的运动量,能够改变它的运动方向。不过这一点违反他的体系的精神,也证实和力学定律抵触,因此被人抛弃了。结果是,物质的一切运动由物理定律决定,又由于平行关系,精神事件也必是同样有定的。这一来,笛卡尔派关于自由意志问题就感到棘手。而对笛卡尔的科学比对他的认识论更注意的人,不难把动物是自动机之说加以推广:何不对于人也一样讲法,将这个体系作成首尾一贯的唯物论,简化这体系?在十八世纪,实际走了这一步。

 

In the whole theory of the material world, Cartesianism was rigidly deterministic. Living
organisms, just as much as dead matter, were governed by the laws of physics; there was no
longer need, as in the Aristotelian philosophy, of an entelechy or soul to explain the growth of
organisms and the movements of animals. Descartes himself allowed one small exception: a
human soul could, by volition, alter the direction though not the quantity of the motion of the
animal spirits. This, however, was contrary to the spirit of the system, and turned out to be
contrary to the laws of mechanics; it was therefore dropped. The consequence was that all the
movements of matter were determined by physical laws, and, owing to parallelism, mental events
must be equally determinate. Consequently Cartesians had difficulty about free will. And for those
who paid more attention to Descartes's science than to his theory of knowledge, it was not difficult to extend the theory that animals are automata: why not say the same of man, and simplify the system by making it a consistent materialism? This step was actually taken in the eighteenth century.

    笛卡尔身上有着一种动摇不决的两面性:一面是他从当时代的科学学来的东西,另一面是拉夫赖士学校传授给他的经院哲学。这种两面性让他陷入自相矛盾,但是也使他富于丰硕的思想,非任何完全逻辑的哲学家所能及。自圆其说也许会让他仅仅成为一派新经院哲学的创始者,然而自相矛盾,倒把他造就成两个重要而背驰的哲学流派的源泉。

 

There is in Descartes an unresolved dualism between what he learnt from contemporary science
and the scholasticism that he had been taught at La Flèche. This led him into inconsistencies, but it also made him more rich in fruitful ideas than any completely logical philosopher could have been. Consistency might have made him merely the founder of a new scholasticism, whereas
inconsistency made him the source of two important but divergent schools of philosophy.

 

(待续)

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