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首页 【伊格尔顿】生命的意义

【伊格尔顿】生命的意义.pdf

【伊格尔顿】生命的意义

九月虺
2009-06-19 0人阅读 举报 0 0 暂无简介

简介:本文档为《【伊格尔顿】生命的意义pdf》,可适用于人文社科领域

THEMEANINGOFLIFEThispageintentionallyleftblankTHEMEANINGOFLIFETerryEagletonGreatClarendonStreet,OxfordOxfordUniversityPressisadepartmentoftheUniversityofOxfordItfurtherstheUniversity’sobjectiveofexcellenceinresearch,scholarship,andeducationbypublishingworldwideinOxfordNewYorkAucklandCapeTownDaresSalaamHongKongKarachiKualaLumpurMadridMelbourneMexicoCityNairobiNewDelhiShanghaiTaipeiTorontoWithofficesinArgentinaAustriaBrazilChileCzechRepublicFranceGreeceGuatemalaHungaryItalyJapanPolandPortugalSingaporeSouthKoreaSwitzerlandThailandTurkeyUkraineVietnamOxfordisaregisteredtrademarkofOxfordUniversityPressintheUKandincertainothercountriesPublishedintheUnitedStatesbyOxfordUniversityPressInc,NewYork©TerryEagleton,ThemoralrightsoftheauthorhavebeenassertedDatabaserightOxfordUniversityPress(maker)FirstpublishedAllrightsreservedNopartofthispublicationmaybereproduced,storedinaretrievalsystem,ortransmitted,inanyformorbyanymeans,withoutthepriorpermissioninwritingofOxfordUniversityPress,orasexpresslypermittedbylaw,orundertermsagreedwiththeappropriatereprographicsrightsorganizationsEnquiriesconcerningreproductionoutsidethescopeoftheaboveshouldbesenttotheRightsDepartment,OxfordUniversityPress,attheaddressaboveYoumustnotcirculatethisbookinanyotherbindingorcoverandyoumustimposethissameconditiononanyacquirerBritishLibraryCataloguinginPublicationDataDataavailableLibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationDataDataavailableTypesetbyRefineCatchLimited,Bungay,SuffolkPrintedinGreatBritainonacidfreepaperbyBiddlesLtd,King’sLynn,NorfolkISBN––––ForOliver,whofoundthewholeideadeeplyembarrassingThispageintentionallyleftblankCONTENTSPictureAcknowledgementsviiiPrefaceixQuestionsandAnswersTheProblemofMeaningTheEclipseofMeaningIsLifeWhatYouMakeItFurtherreadingIndexviiPICTUREACKNOWLEDGEMENTSWittgenstein©HultonArchiveGettyImagesA‘NewAge’gathering©MattCardyAlamyJerryFalwell©WallyMcNameeCorbisAsportsfan©RexFeaturesMontyPython©PhotocomCollectionCinémaMacbeth©HultonArchiveGettyImagesSchopenhauer©HultonArchiveGettyImagesWaitingforGodot©RobbieJackCorbisAristotle©BettmannCorbisMontyPython’sGrimReaper©PhotocomCollectionCinémaDeath©MarkPowerMagnumPhotosTheBuenaVistaSocialClub©RoadMovieProductionsTheKobalCollectionviiiPREFACEAnyonerashenoughtowriteabookwithatitlelikethishadbetterbracethemselvesforapostbagcrammedwithlettersinerratichandwritingenclosingcomplexsymbolicdiagramsThemeaningoflifeisasubjectfitforeitherthecrazedorthecomic,andIhopeIhavefallenmoreintothelattercampthantheformerIhavetriedtotreatahighmindedtopicaslightlyandlucidlyaspossible,whileatthesametimetakingitseriouslyButthereissomethingabsurdlyoverreachingaboutthewholesubject,incontrasttothemoreminiaturescaleofacademicscholarshipYearsago,whenIwasastudentinCambridge,myeyewascaughtbythetitleofadoctoralthesiswhichread‘Someaspectsofthevaginalsystemoftheflea’Itwasnot,onewouldguess,themostsuitableworkforthosewithpooreyesightbutitrevealedanappealingmodestythatixIhaveapparentlyfailedtolearnfromIcanatleastclaimtohavewrittenoneoftheveryfewmeaningoflifebookswhichdoesnotrecountthestoryofBertrandRussellandthetaxidriverIamverygratefultoJosephDunne,whoreadthebookinmanuscriptandmadesomeinvaluablecriticismsandsuggestionsxPREFACEQUESTIONSANDANSWERSPhilosophershaveaninfuriatinghabitofanalysingquestionsratherthanansweringthem,andthisishowIwanttobeginIs‘Whatisthemeaningoflife’agenuinequestion,ordoesitjustlooklikeoneIsthereanythingthatcouldcountasananswertoit,orisitreallyakindofpseudoquestion,likethelegendaryOxfordexaminationquestionwhichissupposedtohavereadsimply:‘Isthisagoodquestion’‘Whatisthemeaningoflife’looksatfirstglancelikethesamekindofquestionas‘WhatisthecapitalofAlbania’,or‘Whatisthecolourofivory’ButisitPerhapsIshouldaddthatIamnotmyselfaphilosopher,afactwhichIamsuresomeofmyreviewerswillpointoutinanycasereallyCoulditbemorelike‘Whatisthetasteofgeometry’ThereisonefairlystandardreasonwhysomethinkersregardthemeaningoflifequestionasbeingitselfmeaninglessThisisthecasethatmeaningisamatteroflanguage,notobjectsItisaquestionofthewaywetalkaboutthings,notafeatureofthingsthemselves,liketexture,weight,orcolourAcabbageoracardiographisnotmeaningfulinitselfitbecomessoonlybybeingcaughtupinourconversationsOnthistheory,wecanmakelifemeaningfulbyourtalkaboutitbutitcannothaveameaninginitself,anymorethanacloudcanItwouldnotmakesense,forexample,tospeakofacloudasbeingeithertrueoffalseRather,truthandfalsehoodarefunctionsofourhumanpropositionsaboutcloudsThereareproblemswiththisargument,astherearewithmostphilosophicalargumentsWeshallbelookingatafewofthemlateronLetustakeabrieflookatanevenmoreimposingquerythan‘Whatisthemeaningoflife’PerhapsQUESTIONSANDANSWERSthemostfundamentalquestionitispossibletoraiseis‘Whyisthereanythingatall,ratherthannothing’Whyisthereanythingaboutwhichwecanask‘Whatdoesitmean’inthefirstplacePhilosophersaredividedaboutwhetherthisisarealquestionorabogusone,thoughtheologiansforthemostpartarenotFormosttheologians,theanswertothisinquiryis‘God’Godissaidtobe‘Creator’oftheuniversenotbecauseheissomekindofmegamanufacturer,butbecauseheisthereasonwhythereissomethingratherthannothingHeis,astheysay,thegroundofbeingAndthiswouldstillbetrueofhimeveniftheuniversehadnobeginningHewouldstillbethereasonwhythereissomethingratherthannothingeveniftherehasbeensomethingfromalleternity‘Whyisthereanythingandnotjustnothing’couldberoughlytranslatedas‘Howcomethecosmos’Thiscouldbetakenasaquestionaboutcausalityinwhichcase,‘Howcome’wouldmean‘Wheredoesitcomefrom’ButthisissurelynotwhatthequerymeansIfwetriedtoanswerthequestionbytalkingabouthowtheuniversegotofftheQUESTIONSANDANSWERSgroundinthefirstplace,thenthosecausesmustthemselvesbepartofeverything,andwearebacktowherewestartedOnlyacausewhichwasnotpartofeverythingonewhichtranscendedtheuniverse,asGodissupposedtodocouldavoidbeingdraggedbackintotheargumentinthiswaySothisisnotreallyaquestionabouthowtheworldcameaboutNor,fortheologiansatleast,isitaquestionaboutwhattheworldisfor,sinceintheiropiniontheworldhasnopurposewhatsoeverGodisnotacelestialengineerwhocreatedtheworldwithsomestrategicallycalculatedgoalinmindHeisanartistwhocreateditsimplyforhisownselfdelight,andfortheselfdelightofCreationitselfItisunderstandable,then,whyheiswidelyconsideredtohavesomethingofatwistedsenseofhumour‘Whyisthereanythingratherthannothing’isratheranexpressionofwondermentthatthereisaworldinthefirstplace,whentherecouldpresumablyquiteeasilyhavebeennothingPerhapsthisispartofwhatLudwigWittgensteinhasinmindwhenheremarksthat‘Nothowtheworldis,istheQUESTIONSANDANSWERSmystical,butthatitis’This,onemightclaim,isWittgenstein’sversionofwhattheGermanphilosopherMartinHeideggercallstheSeinsfrage,orquestionofBeing‘HowcomeBeing’isthequestiontowhichHeideggerwantstoreturnHeislessinterestedinhowparticularentitiescameabout,thaninthemindbendingfactthatthereareentitiesinthefirstplaceAndthesethingsareopentoourunderstanding,astheymighteasilynothavebeenFormanyphilosophers,however,notleastAngloSaxonones,‘HowcomeBeing’isasupremeexampleofapseudoquestionIntheirview,itwouldnotonlybedifficult,ifnotimpossible,toknowhowtoanswerititisdeeplydoubtfulthatthereisanythingtheretobeansweredForthem,itisreallyjustaponderousTeutonicwayofsaying‘Wow!’Itmaybeavalidquestionforthepoetormystic,butnotforthephilosopherAndintheAngloSaxonworldinparticular,thebarricadesbetweenthetwocampsarevigilantlymannedLudwigWittgenstein,TractatusLogicoPhilosophicus(London,),QUESTIONSANDANSWERSInaworklikePhilosophicalInvestigations,WittgensteinwasalerttothedifferencebetweenrealquestionsandphoneyonesApieceoflanguagecanhavethegrammaticalformofaquestionbutnotactuallybeoneOrourgrammarcanmisleadusintomistakingonekindofpropositionforanother‘Whatthen,fellowcountrymen,oncetheenemyisvanquished,canwenotaccomplishinthehourofvictory’soundslikeaquestionanticipatingananswer,butisinfactarhetoricalquestion,towhichonewouldprobablybeilladvisedtoreturnthereply:‘Nothing’Theutteranceiscastininterrogativeformsimplytoenhanceitsdramaticforce‘Sowhat’,‘Whydon’tyougetlost’,and‘Whatareyoustaringat’soundlikequestionsbutaren’treally‘Whereaboutsinthebodyisthesoul’mightsoundlikeareasonablesortofquestiontopose,butonlybecausewearethinkingalongthelinesofaquestionlike‘Whereaboutsinthebodyarethekidneys’‘Whereismyenvy’hastheformofakosherquestion,butonlybecauseweareunconsciouslymodellingiton‘Whereismyarmpit’QUESTIONSANDANSWERSWittgensteincametobelievethatagreatmanyphilosophicalpuzzlesariseoutofpeoplemisusinglanguageinthiswayTake,forexample,thestatement‘Ihaveapain’,whichisgrammaticallyakinto‘Ihaveahat’Thissimilaritymightmisleadusintothinkingthatpains,or‘experiences’ingeneral,arethingswehaveinthesamewaythatwehavehatsButitwouldbestrangetosay‘Here,takemypain’Andthoughitwouldmakesensetosay‘Isthisyourhatormine’,itwouldsoundoddtoask‘Isthisyourpainormine’Perhapsthereareseveralpeopleinaroomandapainfloatingaroundinitandaseachpersoninturndoublesupinagony,weexclaim:‘Ah,nowhe’shavingit!’ThissoundsmerelysillybutinfactithassomefairlymomentousimplicationsWittgensteinisabletodisentanglethegrammarof‘Ihaveahat’from‘Ihaveapain’notonlyinawaythatthrowslightontheuseofpersonalpronounslike‘I’and‘he’,butinwayswhichunderminethelongstandingassumptionthatmyexperiencesareakindofprivatepropertyInfact,theyseemevenmorelikeprivatepropertythanmyhat,sinceIcangiveawayQUESTIONSANDANSWERSFigLudwigWittgenstein,commonlythoughttobethegreatestphilosopherofthetwentiethcenturyQUESTIONSANDANSWERSmyhat,butnotmypainWittgensteinshowsushowgrammardeceivesusintothinkingthisway,andhiscasehasradical,evenpoliticallyradical,consequencesThetaskofthephilosopher,Wittgensteinthought,wasnotsomuchtoresolvetheseinquiriesastodissolvethemtoshowthattheyspringfromconfusingonekindof‘languagegame’,ashecalledit,withanotherWearebewitchedbythestructureofourlanguage,andthephilosopher’sjobwastodemystifyus,disentanglingdifferentusesofwordsLanguage,becauseitinevitablyhasadegreeofuniformityaboutit,tendstomakedifferentkindsofutterancelookprettymuchthesameSoWittgensteintoyedwiththeideaofappendingasanepigraphtohisPhilosophicalInvestigationsaquotationfromKingLear:‘I’llteachyoudifferences’ThiswasnotaviewconfinedtoWittgensteinaloneOneofthegreatestofallnineteenthcenturyphilosophers,FriedrichNietzsche,anticipateditwhenhewonderedwhetheritwasbecauseofourgrammarthatwehadfailedtogetridofGodSinceQUESTIONSANDANSWERSourgrammarallowsustoconstructnouns,whichrepresentdistinctentities,thenitalsomakesitseemplausiblethattherecanbeakindofNounofnouns,amegaentityknownasGod,withoutwhichallthelittleentitiesaroundusmightsimplycollapseNietzsche,however,believedneitherinmegaentitiesnorineverydayonesHethoughttheveryideaoftherebeingdistinctobjects,suchasGodorgooseberries,wasjustareifyingeffectoflanguageHecertainlybelievedthisabouttheindividualself,whichhesawasnomorethanaconvenientfictionPerhaps,soheimpliesintheaboveremark,therecouldbeahumangrammarinwhichthisreifyingoperationwasnotpossiblePerhapsthiswillbethelanguageofthefuture,onespokenbytheÜbermenschorMetamanwhohasgotbeyondnounsanddiscreteentitiesaltogether,andthereforebeyondGodandsimilarmetaphysicalillusionsThephilosopherJacquesDerrida,athinkermuchindebtedtoNietzsche,israthermorepessimisticinthisrespectForhim,asforWittgenstein,suchmetaphysicalillusionsarebuiltintotheverystructureofourlanguage,andcannotbeeradicatedThephilosophermustsimplywageaceaseless,CanuteQUESTIONSANDANSWERSlikewaragainstthemabattlewhichWittgensteinseesasakindoflinguistictherapy,andwhichDerridaterms‘deconstruction’JustasNietzschethoughtthatnounswerereifying,sosomeonemightthinkthisoftheword‘life’inthequestion‘Whatisthemeaningoflife’WeshallbelookingatthismorecloselylaterItmightalsobethoughtthatthequestionmodelsitselfunconsciouslyonadifferentkindofquestionaltogether,andthatthisiswhereitgoeswrongWecansay‘Thisisworthadollar,andsoisthat,sohowmucharetheyworthaltogether’soitfeelsasthoughwecanalsosay‘Thisbitoflifehasmeaning,andsohasthatbit,sowhatmeaningdoallthevariousbitsaddupto’Butitdoesnotfollowfromthefactthatthepartshavemeaningthatthewholehasameaningoverandabovethem,anymorethanitfollowsthatalotoflittlethingsadduptoonebigthingsimplybecausetheyareallcolouredpinkForamoredetaileddiscussion,seemy‘Wittgenstein’sFriends’,inAgainsttheGrain(London,)QUESTIONSANDANSWERSAllthis,tobesure,bringsusnonearertothemeaningoflifeYetquestionsareworthexamining,sincethenatureofaquestionisimportantindeterminingwhatmightcountasananswertoitInfact,itcouldbeclaimedthatitisquestions,notanswers,whicharethedifficultthingItiswellknownwhatkindofanswerasillyquestionprovokesPosingtherightkindofquestioncanopenupawholenewcontinentofknowledge,bringingothervitalqueriestumblinginitswakeSomephilosophers,ofasocalledhermeneuticalturnofmind,seerealityaswhateveritisthatreturnsananswertoaquestionAndreality,whichlikeaveterancriminaldoesnotjustspontaneouslypipeupwithoutfirstbeinginterrogated,willonlyrespondtousinaccordancewiththekindsofinquiriesweputtoitKarlMarxonceobservedsomewhatcrypticallythathumanbeingsonlyposesuchproblemsastheycanresolvemeaningperhapsthatifwehavetheconceptualapparatustoposethequestion,thenwealreadyhaveinprinciplethemeanstodetermineananswertoitThisispartlybecausequestionsarenotposedinavacuumItistruethattheydonothavetheirQUESTIONSANDANSWERSanswerstiedconvenientlytotheirtailsbuttheyintimatethekindofresponsethatwouldatleastcountasananswerTheypointusinalimitedrangeofdirections,suggestingwheretolookforasolutionItwouldnotbehardtowritethehistoryofknowledgeintermsofthekindofquestionsmenandwomenhavethoughtitpossibleornecessarytoraiseNotanyquestionispossibleatanygiventimeRembrandtcouldnotaskwhetherphotographyhadrenderedrealistpaintingredundantThisisnotofcoursetosuggestthatallquestionsareanswerableWetendtoassumethatwherethereisaproblemtheremustbeasolution,justaswetendratheroddlytoimaginethatthingswhichareinfragmentsshouldalwaysbeputbacktogetheragainButthereareplentyofproblemstowhichwewillprobablyneverdiscoversolutions,alongwithquestionswhichwillgoeternallyunansweredThereisnorecordofhowmanyhairsadornedNapoleon’sheadwhenhedied,andnowweshallneverknowPerhapsthehumanbrainissimplynotuptoresolvingcertainquestions,suchastheoriginsofintelligencePerhapsthisisbecausethereisnoQUESTIONSANDANSWERSevolutionaryneedforustodoso,thoughthereisnoevolutionaryneedforustounderstandFinnegansWakeorthelawsofphysicseitherTherearealsoquestionstowhichwedonotknowtheanswersbecausethereareinfactnoanswers,suchashowmanychildrenLadyMacbethhad,orwhetherSherlockHolmeshadasmallmoleonhisinnerthighWecannotanswerthislastquestioninthenegativeanymorethanwecanreplytoitintheaffirmativeItispossible,then,thatthereisindeedananswertothemeaningoflifequestion,butthatweshallneverknowwhatitisIfthisisso,thenweareinsomethinglikethesituationofthenarratorofHenryJames’sstory‘TheFigureintheCarpet’,whoistoldbyacelebratedauthorheadmiresthatthereisaconcealeddesigninhiswork,oneimplicitineveryimageandturnofphraseButtheauthordiesbeforethebaffled,franticallycuriousnarratorcandiscoverwhatitisPerhapstheauthorwashavinghimonOrmaybehethoughttherewassuchadesigninhiswork,buttherewasn’tOrperhapsthenarratorissomehowseeingthedesignallalongwithoutgraspingthefactthathehasgraspeditOrQUESTIONSANDANSWERSmaybeanydesignhehimselfmanagestoconstructwilldoItisevenconceivablethatnotknowingthemeaningoflifeispartofthemeaningoflife,ratherasnotcountinghowmanywordsIamutteringwhenIgiveanafterdinnerspeechhelpsmetogiveanafterdinnerspeechPerhapslifeiskeptgoingbyourignoranceofitsfundamentalmeaning,ascapitalismisforKarlMarxThephilosopherArthurSchopenhauerthoughtsomethingofthekind,andsoinasensedidSigmundFreudFortheNietzscheofTheBirthofTragedy,thetruemeaningoflifeistooterribleforustocopewith,whichiswhyweneedourconsolingillusionsifwearetocarryonWhatwecall‘life’isjustanecessaryfictionWithoutahugeadmixtureoffantasy,realitywouldgrindtoahaltTherearemoralproblems,too,towhichnosolutioncanbehadBecausetherearedifferentkindsofmoralgoods,suchascourage,compassion,justice,andsoon,andbecausethes

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【伊格尔顿】生命的意义

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