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森《真实的印度》(3):西方陋儒如何知道我们的民主传统?  

2009-05-05 21:49:45|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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三、西方陋儒如何知道我们的民主传统?


PB: What is your take on cultural relativism?

PB:那么,你是怎么看待文化相对主义的呢?

AS:
Where it's most diverting is in the field ofrelativist ethics. It is argued: How can you criticize other countries becausein their context, their ethics is the right one? That view overlooks theimmensely constructive possibility of arguments that are used in the context ofa debate in one culture but where the argument draws also from another. Andit's always been like that, even religion. Buddhism arose in India. It's theonly agnostic world religion. But it went out to Japan,China, Korea, all kinds of places from India. Incontrast, the purely cultural relativist position would be to ask: What has aKorean or a Japanese got to learn from the Indians on Buddhism?

AS:分歧最厉害的地方,就在于“相对无神论”的领域内。我们所讨论的是:你如何去批评其他国家呢,因为在那些国家的语境里,它们的无神论是一种正确的表达?这种观点,忽略了观点的无限建构可能,在一种文化中,它用于争论的语境,而观点又来自于其他文化。而且,事实也常常如此,即使是宗教,也是如此。佛教产生自印度,这是惟一的不可知论的世界宗教。但是,它却流传到了日本、中国、韩国,自印度流传至各色各样的地方。相反,纯粹文化相对主义的立场,就会问:韩国人或日本人,在佛教上,从印度人那里学到了什么呢?

A similar thing can be said today. To say of some practicethat's prevalent in some countries, like stoning of adulterous woman in Afghanistan or genital mutilation in North Africa, - "Look, that's their practice, youcan't criticize," is ridiculous. That critique may not survive even in Somalia or Afghanistan, provided a freediscussion is possible, involving women as well as men, rather than dissidentsbeing threatened or being put in jail. One of the strongest arguments thatshows the weakness of the cultural relativist dismissal of dissent is the needthat authorities have to put local dissidents in jail for taking a -"foreign" point of view.

今天,我们也可以讨论相似的这种问题。从某种实用的角度上看,说它在某些国家占主导地位——就像阿富汗用石头砸死通奸女人,或在北朝鲜会切掉外生殖器,说“看啊,这就是他们的实践,你不能批评”——这真是荒谬。即使在索马里或阿富汗,这样的说法也不成立,如果人们可以将男女都包括进来,进行自由的讨论,而不是对异议者进行威胁或把异议者投入监狱。我们可以看到,有一个最强的批评,可以说明文化相对主义排斥异见的缺陷,那就是;存在一种需要:当本地的持异见者,持有一种“另类”观点时,当局就必须把他投进监狱。

And there are some strong intellectual arguments foruniversalism. Just as Chomsky claims that our ability to use certain forms ofsyntax and language are present in all human beings, similarly there are anumber of capacities to think on your own, if you try, that exist amongdifferent people.

在知识界,人们在强烈地呼吁着普遍主义。正如乔姆斯基所说的,我们使用某种形式的句法和语言的能力,在所有人之中,都是存在的;相似地,在不同的人群之中,还存在着一些自主思考的能力(你不妨试试)。

PB: Some of your critics in India -and there are some, true to the argumentative tradition - have said that inthis book you have indulged in the same kind of partisan selection of evidencefrom history that you find in others. They say that spanning more than 2,000years, for your point about tolerance and pluralism and the inclusionary viewof Indian identity, you choose figures like the Emperor Ashoka in the thirdcentury bc, Emperor Akbar of the 16th century, and then Rabindranath Tagore inthe 19th/20th century. And they say that others could choose historical figuresrepresenting the opposite: orthodoxy, intolerance, etc.

PB:印度有一些批评家(而且,有一些人,还是本着争论传统的),说:在你的大作里,你沉浸于与别人相同的党派选择之中,选择偏向于自己的历史证据。他们说,在整整地两千多年的历史中,就你所认为的印度身份的宽容论、多元论和包容论,你选择了像3世纪的Ashoka皇帝、16世纪的Akbar皇帝和19-20世纪的泰戈尔这样的人物。他们说,其他也可以选择一些反面的人物:正统论、不包容现象,等等。

 

AS: I am not claiming thatAkbar or Ashoka represent anything like the - "essential India." My point is that theyrepresent a very strong perspective that has come up again and again, whichincludes a lot of tolerance. But of course there is also a long history ofextreme intolerance and nastiness. Indian culture has this variety that needsacknowledgement. Since the focus has been so much on the other side, I am usingmy focus as a correction. I have quite an elaborate discussion of science andmathematics in India.This is not a claim that everyone was a scientist in India. It's a claim that thattradition exists.

AS:我并没有说,AkbarAshoka代表的是什么“本质的印度”。我的意思是说:他们代表了一种很明显的视角,这种视角在历史上一再地出现,而且,包容着许多宽容。但是,当然,还有很长的一段历史,是极端不宽容,极端丑恶的。印度文化的这种方面,是需要承认的。因为人们太多地关注另一个方面,所以,我就让我的关注来作这样的一个修正。我对印度的科学和数学,进行了详细地讨论。这并不是说,印度的每个人都是科学家。它是要说明,我们存在这样的一种传统。

When we try to draw on the past, we draw always in aselective basis. When the French and the British and the Americans were drawingon the European past in saying there is a democratic tradition, and theyreferred to Athens and ancient Greece - over a small number of centuries fromsixth, fifth, fourth, third century bc - they were not looking at the Goths andVisigoths and Ostrogoths. Because in the context of the debate on democracy in America in thelate 18th or early 19th century, the relevant reference is Athenian democracy.Ostrogoths, Vikings, and in a different way, intolerant masters of theInquisition are no less - "European" than ancient Greeks.Nevertheless, one could say if you're looking for representative Europe, it ain't like that.

当我们试图描摩过去时,我们总是选择性的。当法国、英国和美国,来描述欧洲的过去时,他们说:它们具有一个民主传统,他们会指向雅典和古希腊,(那段时间,是很短的,从公元前6世纪、5世纪、4世纪、3世纪开始。但是,他们没有看到哥特人、西哥特人和东哥特人。因为美国在18世纪晚期和19世纪早期的民主讨论语境里,相关的指向就是雅典民主。东哥特人、维京人,以及另一条道路上的“宗教裁判所”不宽容的主人们,相比于古希腊来说,也不是“欧洲味”更少。然而,如果你是想看到一个代表性的欧洲,它就不是这样的了。

Looking back on our history, it is not surprising thatGandhi or Nehru would emphasize those parts of the Indian tradition of publicreasoning that were particularly relevant for modern India - the first poorcountry which chose to be an uncompromisingly democratic, multi-party state. Idon't think any of them claimed that their focus was the only tradition thatexisted in India.

回望我们的历史,不奇怪的是,甘地或尼赫鲁会强调公共推理的印度传统部分,这是与现代印度特别相关的。那是一个第一贫穷的国家,它选择成为一个坚决的民主国家、一个多党制国家。我并不认为他们所们所说的重点,就是印度的惟一传统。

This point is worth mentioning because there is a tendencyin the West to think of something of which they approve as being a Westernthought. Describing Iranian dissidents as - "ambassadors of European thought"is to add insult to injury because there is also a history in Iran ofdemocracy going back to the third century bc. And to be told that no, no, no,you are actually implants of John Stuart Mill, misdescribes the nature ofIranian dissidence.

这一点应该说明,因为在西方,有一种趋势,认为他们所承认的东西,才是西方思想。将伊朗的持异议者,说成“欧洲思想的大使”,是让受害者增加了耻辱,因为在伊朗,它的民主传统,可以回溯到公元前三世纪。要说的是:非也,非也,非也!你真是John Stuart Mill的传人,误会了伊朗异议者的实质。


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