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首页 捍卫敏感性

捍卫敏感性.pdf

捍卫敏感性

九月虺
2012-10-14 0人阅读 举报 0 0 暂无简介

简介:本文档为《捍卫敏感性pdf》,可适用于人文社科领域

InDefenseofSentimentalityROBERTCSOLOMONOXFORDUNIVERSITYPRESSInDefenseofSentimentalitythepassionatelifeASeriesonthePhilosophyofEmotionsbyRobertCSolomonNotPassion’sSlave:EmotionsandChoiceInDefenseofSentimentalityInDefenseofSentimentalityrobertcsolomonOxfordNewYorkAucklandBangkokBuenosAiresCapeTownChennaiDaresSalaamDelhiHongKongIstanbulKarachiKolkataKualaLumpurMadridMelbourneMexicoCityMumbaiNairobiSa˜oPauloShanghaiTaipeiTokyoTorontoCopyright#byRobertCSolomonPublishedbyOxfordUniversityPress,IncMadisonAvenue,NewYork,NewYorkwwwoupcomOxfordisaregisteredtrademarkofOxfordUniversityPressAllrightsreservedNopartofthispublicationmaybereproduced,storedinaretrievalsystem,ortransmitted,inanyformorbyanymeans,electronic,mechanical,photocopying,recording,orotherwise,withoutthepriorpermissionofOxfordUniversityPressLibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationDataSolomon,RobertCIndefenseofsentimentalityRobertCSolomonpcm(Thepassionatelife)IncludesbibliographicalreferencesandindexISBNXEmotions(Philosophy)SentimentalismITitleBESdcPrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmericaonacidfreepaperforKathleenandKathrynHigginsThispageintentionallyleftblankPreface:EmotionsandSentimentalityFeelingiseverythingJohanWolfgangvonGoethePhilosophyhasasmuchtodowithfeelingsasitdoeswiththoughtsandthinkingItrequiressensitivityanddevotionaswellascuriosityabouttheworldandacriticalspiritItisafascinationnotonlywithabstractideasandlogicallypossibleworldsbutalsowithconcreteandveryrealhumanconcernsandengagements,‘‘thehumancondition’’Tobeaphilosopheristobesteadfastlyattentivetowhatitmeanstobehuman,tothepassionsaswellastomuchcelebrated‘‘rationality’’Itistobeconcernedwithwhatitmeansto‘‘exist,’’withthesatisfactionsandworriesandreallifejoysandconfusionsthataffectusallThatiswhyoneofthecanonicalexhortationsinphilosophy,inheritedfromtheDelphicOracleviaSocrates,hasalwaysbeen‘‘knowthyself,’’foritisthroughunusuallyrigorousselfexaminationthatwecometoknownotonlyourselvesbutourSelves:ourdeepestfeelings,fears,andhopesPhilosophy,accordingly,initsconcernforfeelings,requiresnotonlyemotionalsensitivitybutalsoanunderstandingoftheemotions,notascuriousbutmarginalpsychologicalphenomenabutastheverysubstanceoflifeAndyet,philosophyandphilosophershavemuchmoreoftenthannotshunnedtheemotionsanddefinedtheirprofessionandthemselvesstrictlyintermsofreasonandrationalityIdonotthinkthatthereisanythingwrongwithreasonandrationalityassuch:letmebeclearaboutthatButwhenbeing‘‘reasonable’’meansrepressing,ignoring,ordenigratingfeeling,thenphilosophyhasgonetoofarand,sofarasmostpeopleareconcerned,rendereditselfirrelevantInthehistoryofphilosophyandespeciallyintheacademicmachismoofthecontemporaryuniversity,sensitivityistoooftenconsideredaviceratherthanavirtueanddismissedasmere‘‘sentimentality’’‘‘Sensitivitytotheissue’’tendstoreferonlytoscholarlyfocusandtechnicalfacility,nottheemotionalnatureofthesubjectathandTake,forinstance,manyofthecold,logical,thrustandparryphilosophicaldiscussionsofsuchemotionallychargedissuesasabortionandhumanrightsBut‘‘appealtotheemotions’’iscondemnedinsuchdebates,andinalmosteveryintroductorylogictextandethicsbook,asafallacy(albeit‘‘informal’’)Sentimentandsentimentalityaretobeavoided,notatallcosts,perhaps,butatleastinphilosophicaldiscussionsand(advisedly)instudenttermpapersandrefereedjournalsPhilosophy,accordingly,getsdefinedasthehardheadedformulationandcriticismofarguments,theexclusivedomainofreasonPhilosophymightstillbedutifullydescribedasthe‘‘love’’ofwisdom,butthisloveishardlytheeroticenthusiasmwithwhichSocrates,ifnotPlato,approachedthesubjectThegreateighteenthcenturyGermanphilosopherImmanuelKantfamouslydismissedthesentimentofloveas‘‘pathological’’Hemayalsohaveinsistedthat‘‘nothinggreatiseveraccomplishedwithoutenthusiasm’’(acommentusuallyattributedtoHegel),butitisclearthatenthusiasmassuchhasverylittleplaceinhiscelebrationofrational‘‘critique’’andtherigorsof‘‘theCategoricalImperative’’Inmostofthesubsequenthistoryofphilosophy,enthusiasm,emotion,andthe‘‘sentiments’’failedtoholdtheirownagainsttheonslaughtofdispassionatereason,andthusaredismissedasmeresentimentalityInthisbook,ingeneral,Iwillbeconcernedtodefendsentimentalityandtheemotionsatleast,someemotionsasessentialtolifeTheyareorcanbevirtues,featuresofthehumanconditionwithoutwhichcivilizedlifewouldbeunimaginableAndtheyareessentialtophilosophy,bothasatopicofcentralconcernandasmotivationforourideasForemostamongthoseessentialemotions(butbynomeansthelotofthem)arethosetypicallyreferredtoasthesentimentsofloveandcompassionAboutthesametimeasKantandjustbefore,thereweremanyphilosophersinGermanyandtherestofEurope(includingBritain)whocelebratedthe‘‘moralsentiments’’inadditionto(andsometimesinsteadof)reasoninhumanlifeTheSwissbornphilosopherJeanJacquesRousseau,inparticular,glorifiedthenaturalsentimentsandopposedthemtotheartificesand‘‘corruption’’ofsocietyMorethananyoneelse,hecametobeidentifiedwiththe‘‘sentimental’’sideofmoralphilosophy,despitehissometimesharshpoliticaljudgmentsandhisenormousinfluenceonthequiteantisentimentalKantInScotland,such‘‘moralsentimenttheorists’’asDavidHumeandAdamSmithweretryingtorestore‘‘sympathy’’anditskintotheirrightfulplaceinethicsandphilosophyButitiswithRousseauthatthephilosophicalmovementofRomanticismgotitsstart,andevenbeforethewaningoftheEnlightenment,RomanticismwasalreadysweepingacrossEuropeForemostinthevocabularyoftheRomanticsweresuchtermsas‘‘passion’’and‘‘sentiment,’’andreasonwassuddenlyonthedefensiveTheGermanRomanticselevatedfeelingtosomethinglikedivinestatus(theusualstatusofreason),andcelebrateditintheirpoetryTobesentimentalwastobeatrulyexcellenthumanbeing,perhapsevenjustabitgodlyThecomeuppanceoftheRomantics,accordingly,naturallyturnedontheiroftenuncriticalemphasisonsentimentBythemidnineteenthcentury,tobeviiiPrefacecalleda‘‘sentimentalist’’hadbecomeaninsultOscarWildeenjoyedandemployedtheoffensivetermoftenSentimentality,mawkishness,‘‘softmindedness,’’‘‘bleedingheart’’thesewere,andstillare,intendedtobedamningOnerecentcritic(AmitavaKumar,inTheNation,November,)chastisedSalmanRushdie’sbookFuryforits‘‘embarrassingsentimentality’’InmanycirclessentimentalityisoneofthoseoffensesagainstwhichthereisnodefenseForhardheadedactivistsasforintellectualsingeneral,‘‘sentimentality’’isadirtyword,indicatingbadtaste,apaucityofarguments,snivelingmorals,andanabsenceofbackboneTobesure,someexpressionsandprovocationsofthetenderemotionsaregranderandmorepoignantthanothers,whilesomearejustplaintackyButwhatisbeingcriticizedorridiculedassentimentalityisalltoooftenneitheranexcessofemotionnoralackofhardheadedrationality,buttheveryevidenceofemotionassuch(except,perhaps,tightlycontrolledrageandcontempt,whichareacceptableandevenadmired)Butotherthancontrolledangerandthedisdainfulemotions,emotiontendstoimplyweaknessandbecomingemotionalmeansnotbeingreasonableFollowingone’sfeelingsisoftenthoughnotsooftenasameretwentyorthirtyyearsagoidentifiedwith‘‘femininity,’’which,like‘‘sentimentality,’’istypicallyintendedasadiminutive(like‘‘cute’’)ifnotasanoutrightputdown(whenappliedtoaman,as‘‘effeminate’’)Butbeneaththeattackonsentimentality,Ibelieve,oftenlurksanattackonsentimentandmostemotion,andthisIfindunacceptableWhetherornotlifeisreasonable,itismostcertainlyandessentiallyemotionalThatiswhatthisbookisabout:defendingthesentimentsandtheemotions,andthusdefendingmuchabused‘‘sentimentality’’aswellNotallofthesentimentsare‘‘sweet,’’ofcourseContinuingthegustatorymetaphor,somearebitter,othersaresour,othersarequitespicyandeven‘‘hot’’Somearesickening,poisonous,orevenlethal,buttogethertheymakeuptherangeofexperiencesthatdefineanddominatehumanlifeAccordingly,inthechaptersthatfollow,Iwanttodiscussnotonlysuch‘‘moralsentiments’’assympathyandcompassionbutalsogrief,gratitude,love,horror,andevenvengeanceAllofthesehavesufferedfromconsiderableabuse,thoughfromdifferentquarters,butallofthemplayacentralifnotessentialroleinourexperienceandourlivesGrief,forexample,istypically(ifnotofficially)treatedasanillness,apredictablemalaisefromwhichonehopestorecoverButgriefisafarnobleremotionthanthis,andhoweverpainfulitmaybe,ithonorsandlaysbarethemostimportantattachmentsofourlivesGratitude,likewise,isoftenseenasaweakness,aslavishemotionthatmakesalltooclearourinabilitytostandonourownandourneedtodependonothersButgratitude,too,istherebydeeplymisunderstoodWearemutuallydependentcreatures,howeverstrongourindividualism,andanPrefaceixinabilitytofeelorexpressgratitudeisnotasignofstrengthbutasuresymptomofweakness,ifnotviciousnessHorrorisanemotionofaverydifferentkind,butagain,theabilitytobehorrifiedisneitheraweaknessnoraliabilityitisanessentialaspectofthehumanconditionItdoesnotmuchhelpthathorrorisoftenconfusedorconflatedwithfear,averydifferentemotion,orthatthementionofhorrorfirstofallbringstomindsomeofthemostridiculousfilmsevermadeAndIhavenotyetsaidanythinghereaboutvengeance,oneofthemostallegedlydespisedemotionsThepassionforrevengeis,tobesure,oneofthemostdangerouspassions,butthatdoesnotmeanwedonotneedtoappreciateitspowerandevenitsvirtuesAsSusanJacobiarguedsomeyearsago,asocietythatrepressesitsneedforvengeanceisaspronetoneurosisasonethatrepressesitssexualurgesTryingtoobeySocrates’DelphicOracle,accordingly,Ihavemadesomeattemptstounderstandandappreciatethesevariousabusedandneglectedemotions,sentiments,andfeelingsForinthatdirectionlienotonlyselfknowledgebutalsoperhapsevenSocrates’ultimategoal,wisdomallbutoneofthesechaptershavebeenpublishedpreviously,butIhavetakenthelibertytorewritethem,insomecasesjusttobringthemuptodate,mostofthemmuchmoreextensivelyHegeloncecomplainedofhisonetimefriendFriedrichSchellingthat‘‘heeducatedhimselfinpublic’’(Schelling,fiveyearsyounger,hadpublishedfivebooksandbecomeworldfamousbeforeHegelcrankedouthisfirstpublishedarticle)IhavetoadmitthatsuchismyowncaseOvertheyearsIhaveeducatedmyselfinpublic(and,Iwouldliketothink,sometimeswiththepublic),inthesensethatIrethinkandrewritemyessaysfrequently,oftenaftertheyhavebeenpublishedAccordingly,manyoftheessaysthatmakeupthisbookhavebeenthroughnotonlymultipledraftsbutalsomultiplepublishedandpubliclypresentedversions,usuallyresultinginlonger,Ihopebetter,piecesSeveralofthechaptersinthisbookrepresentsuchfurtherthinking,elaborations,andextensionsThetitleessay,‘‘InDefenseofSentimentality,’’alongwiththefollowupessay,‘‘OnKitschandSentimentality’’(thelastchapterinthisvolume)grewoutofmanyconversationswithKathleenHigginsonthesubjectofkitschBothessayswerehelpedalongbythegeneroussupportoftheAmericanSocietyforAesthetics,oneofthemostfriendlyandinspiringorganizationsofwhichIamamarginalmemberThesetwoarticlesframemyconcernsinthebook,thecontemptthatintellectualsandpoliticalactivistsshowforsentimentality(withorwithoutsuchadjectivesas‘‘mawkish’’or‘‘embarrassing’’)WhileIdonotdenythatI,too,feelacertainamountofdisgustwiththeexcessiveemotionalitysurroundingagooddealofholidaycheerandmorexPrefacemelodramaticromances,Idothinkthatthedegreeofthat‘‘excessiveness’’ismuchofwhatisatissueFortoomanypeople,anysuchemotionorovertsentimentisexcessiveSuchemotionsarethemselvesembarrassing(andthisembarrassmentisinturnembarrassing,thusshiftingtheemotionalstagefromsentimentalitytoembarrassmenttoshametorage)Itisagainstsuchviewsandprejudicesthatmyargumentshereareintended‘‘SympathyandVengeance:TheRoleofFeelingsinJustice’’hasalonghistoryandhasappearedinseveralquitedifferentversionsovertheyearsItbeganasabriefpresentationtotheInternationalSocietyforResearchonEmotionsandatOxfordUniversityinIthenrevisedandexpandeditconsiderably,firstasaMemorialLectureattheUniversityofMassachusettsinBostonformydearfriendandISREcolleagueShulaSommersafterhertragicdeathinApril,thenagain,onamuchhappiernote,ontheoccasionofNicoFrijda’sformalretirementattheUniversityofAmsterdamAmongthemanydelightsofthatcelebrationwasNico’sowncontributiononthesametopicandhisampleandalwaysinsightfuladviceonmypresentation‘‘CareandCompassion’’grewoutofmyinterestintheemotionalbasisofethicsandpoliticaljusticeaswellasoutofmylongengagementintheverypracticalfieldofbusinessethicsIhavetakenaveryparticularapproachtothatfield,whichissooftenstraitjacketedbystrictlylegal(‘‘compliance’’)considerations,generalpolicymatters,andotherlargeissuesthatarefarbeyondthepowersofthepeoplewhoactuallyworkinthecorporateworldbelowtheexecutivesuitesIaminterested,bycontrast,inthevirtuesandvicesoftheordinaryemployeeandmanager,andtheirmotivationThisledmebacktoAdamSmith,oneofthefoundersofmodernbusinessethicsaswellasthefatheroffreeenterprisetheory,andhisTheoryoftheMoralSentiments()TheengineofbusinessandthequestionposedtobusinessethicsbySmith(asopposedtohismorecrassinterpreters)isnotthemaximizationofprofitbutthesatisfactionofvitalhumaninterests,especiallythoseexpressedinthemoralsentiments‘‘OnGriefandGratitude’’grewfirstoutofatechnicalworryaboutthenatureofemotionsingeneral,namely,theanalysisofanemotion(grief)thatapparentlycontainednocoherentdesiresandservednoapparentpersonalorevolutionarypurpose,butratherseemedmorelikeanemotionalbreakdown(andabreakdowninaperson’slife)ratherthananemotionassuchButitquicklydevelopedintoamuchmoregeneralconcernabouttherelationshipbetweengriefandlove,thesocialroleofgrief,andthecommonobservationthatAmericansociety(aswellasphilosophers)seemstohaveagooddealoftroublewithit(Inworkinglife,‘‘two‘personaldays’offforthefuneral,andthenbacktowork’’Inphilosophy,forthemostpart,notaword)Thatconcerndovetailedwithaseeminglyverydifferentconcern,promptedbythePrefacexiresearchofShulaSommers,whichsuggestedthatAmericanmen,inparticular,haveagreatdealoftroublewithgratitudeThusIstartedtothinkbothabouttheimportanceofgratitudeandabouttheneglectofbothgriefandgratitudeincontemporaryethics‘‘RealHorror’’emergedwhileIwasthinkingaboutrewritinganessayonhorrormoviesandwasinterruptedbytheveryrealhorroroftheterroristattackontheWorldTradeCenterandthePentagoninSeptemberOnthattragicTuesdaymorning,myinterestin‘‘makebelieve’’horrorseemednothingbutfrivolousandirrelevant,despitethefactthatmyinterestinhorrormoviesgoesbacktomychildhoodMyscholarlyinterestdevelopedwhenIwasaskedtoreviewNoe¨lCarroll’sdelightfulbook,ThePhilosophyofHorror,forthejournalPhilosophyandLiteratureTheessayIwasstartingtowritewasforDanielShaw’sbookonhorrormovies,butafterSeptemberIfocusedonthedifferencebetweenrealhorrorand‘‘arthorror,’’andthisinturnreturnedmetomymoregeneralinterestinthemisunderstoodemotions‘‘ComicRelief:InAppreciationoftheSevenDeadlySins,’’bycontrast,wasanattempttomakelightofthehumanconditionItkickedoffadelightfullycreativecollectionofessays,notbymebutbyroughlyhalfadozenorso(seven,tobeexact)ofmyfriendsandcolleagues,eachofwhomembracedhisorherfavoritesinfortheoccasionTitlecredit(‘‘ComicRelief’’)goestoKathleenHiggins(fromherComicRelief:Nietzsche’sGayScienceOxford:OxfordUniversityPress,)and,ofcourse,totheWilliams–Crystal–Goldbergtelethonforthehomeless‘‘SpiritualityasSentimentality’’isadaptedfromabookIwroteconfessingmyblitheringignoranceofandcontemptforthatwholesideofhumanexperienceoftendesignatedas‘‘spiritual’’AsIconfessedintheintroduction,IfoundthatIhadthrownoutthebabywiththebathtoys,confusingsectarianrageandNewAgepapwiththerealthingIdon’tyethaveagraspontherealthing,butI’mcreepinguponit‘‘TheVirtueof(Erotic)Love’’grewoutoftwobooksonloveandmygrowinginterestin‘‘virtueethics’’PartofmyconcernwasscholarlyAristotlehadarguedvigorouslyforthevirtues,buthealsoinsistedthatvirtueswerenotpassionsbutstatesofcharacterKant,attemptingaverydifferentapproachtoethics,hadsuggestedthatthepassionsplayednoessentialroleinethicsandhadno‘‘moralworth’’IwasconcernedtoshowthatatleastonepassionlovewasitselfavirtueandanimportantpartofethicsAristotle,whohadakeenappreciationoftheimportanceofemotionsinthegoodlife,certainlyappreciatedthisButhisdefinitionof‘‘virtue’’andhisconceptionoftheemotionsseemedtoundermineitKant,adevoutChristian,certainlyappreciatedtheimportanceoflove,atleastinwhathecalledthe‘‘practical’’senseButwiththisinmind,IwantedtoargueboththatlovewasavirtueandthateroticlovewasavirtueThefactthatthisthesisxiiPrefaceseemedsooutrageoushasnotonlytodowithourfamouspuritanicaldiscomfortwithsexbutalsowithourdiscomfortwithpowerfulemotionsandthephilosophicalinsistence(soevidentinKant)thatethicsandphilosophymustbestrictlyrationalSo,onceagain,Ifoundmyselfdefendingsentimentality,butinthiscase,aseroticsensibilityconstruedasavirtue‘‘ReasonsforLove’’isamorerecentpieceItwasspurredbytwoSyracuseUniversityphilosophers,MichaelStockerandLaurenceThomas,quiteseparatelyStocker

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