145 罗素对二元论的看法


from ‘The Art of Philosophizing’ Bertrand Russell

哲学上,二元论(dualism)是这样的一种学说,即人是由两种性质截然不同的两部分组成:思想(mind)和身体(body),又或者说世界是由思想和物质组成的。两者都不可再分,同等重要,都不不能还原为对方。当然,许多哲学家都不喜欢二元论,他们要不是认为思想先于身体而归入唯心主义,便是认为思想是物质的一种形式而归入唯物主义。但罗素认为:“The distinction between mind and body did not always exist, but was made primarily in the interest of religion”(p30)

笛卡尔认为思想总意味着存在一个思想者,罗素则认为“To suppose that thoughts need a thinker is to be misled by grammar (or rather syntax). The thoughts can be perceived, but the thinker cannot; he is a piece of unnecessary metaphysical lumber.”

罗素克服了二元论,但不再盲从唯心主义或者是唯物主义的老路,而是从物理学的新发展中找寻启示。他认为,现代物理学(这只是他的想法)用事件(event)代替了物体(things)的概念:“there are not two ‘things’, my mind and my body; there is a series of events, called ‘thoughts’, which are such that the later can remeber the earlier.” … “there is also, …, a series of events which is what is commonly thought of as my arm”

这种说法会使人想起20世纪初风行一时的现象学的学说,即把对象还原为一系列的显象,以克服表象-本质二元论。而萨特也指出过,用这种方法是不能克服二元论的,因为表象-本质二元论会在还原的企图下演变为有限-无限二元论。‘The Art of Philosophizing’以普罗大众作为目标读者,因此并没有在这个问题上深入讨论。谁是谁非还很难说清楚,但双方都是有理据的。

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