“告白”这个电影

February 21st, 2011

他忘记了又模糊感觉到,

他是在悬崖上走钢丝,脚下是无边黑暗。

所以要确证这感觉,

他要不断往下看,往下看,直到跳入深渊。

真正的痛是和生活不可分,

文字所能捕捉的也只不过是意义的尾巴。

Random thoughts on Pleasure

February 19th, 2011

Pleasure and ego are always in a twisted relationship. On the one hand, the fulfillment of the needs of the ego produces the greatest kind of pleasure (the so-called pleasure of self-fulfillment); on the other hand, the unsatisfiable ego constantly demands more attention and more enjoyment which, according to Freud,  is the principal source of human’s unhappiness. The capitalist spirit and the Protestant ethic, though maybe unwillingly, promote the pursuit of ultimate secular success through strict self-discipline. It is in the pursuit of success in terms of career, wealth, and power that  the ego’s demands are meet and re-arise again and again. Eastern philosophy takes another path that leads toward happiness. In stead of meeting all the requirements the ego enlists, Confucianism and Buddhism teach people to learn how to curb their desire (and perhaps phenomenology though it is a branch of modern western philosophy), to appease the insatiable ego and to reconcile with the objective world. I personally prefer the Eastern solution, though I practice the Western one for the sake of its ends which best helps people surviving in a material sense.

Bourdieu: learning the “rationale” and embodying the structure

February 19th, 2011

“Subjects do not, strictly speaking, know what they are doing that what they do has more meaning than they know. The habitus is the universal mediation which causes an individual agent’s practices, without either explicit reason or signifying intent, to be non the less ‘sensible’ and ‘reasonable’. ”

————–Outline of a Theory of Practice, p. 79

“The mind born of the world of objects does not rise as a subjectivity confronting an objectivity: the objective universe is made up of objects which are the product of objectifying operations structured according to the very structures which the mind applies to it. The mind is a metaphor of the world of objects which is itself but an endless circle of mutually reflecting metaphors.”

————–p. 91

Space and Time: “Just as a map replaces the discontinuous, patchy space of practical paths by the homogeneous, continuous space of geometry, so a calendar substitutes a linear, homogeneous, continuous time for practical time, which is made up of incommensurable islands of duration, each with its own rhythm, the time that flies by or drags, depending on what one is doing.”

————–p.105

Bourdieu: on ritual, usefulness, and power.

February 5th, 2011

It is natural that politics should be the privileged arena for the dialectic of the official and the useful: in their efforts to draw the group’s delegation upon themselves and withdraw it from their rivals, the agents in competition for political power are limited to ritual strategies and strategic rituals, products of the collectivizing of private interests and the symbolic appropriation of official interests.

——p 40 Outline of a Theory of Practice

也来思考关于做学术的意义

February 2nd, 2011

在暴风雪肆虐的波士顿,忽然开始矫情得怀疑学术的意义。就像豆瓣上的某人写过的那样,我们所有的辛苦,记过的笔记,准备的reference和citation. 在十几年后,如果还在坚持,99%的可能是变成一本某特定领域的学术专著,发行量不超过3000册,3000册里面多数是被大学图书馆采购,然后束之高阁,最多在之后同主题学术专著的references里被一笔带过。在唱衰学术的论调里,一个经典的说法就是,人如果一辈子的工作留下的只是一个citation,那么学术对学者的意义何在?

要回答这个问题,我认为首先理清我们对意义的理解比较重要。所谓的意义,可以有对内的和对外的区别。我认识很多有崇高学术理想的人,非常聪明,积累也颇深。他们当中绝大多数人都存在想要用知识改变世界的理想。知识是否会改变世界,答案是当然的。然而当一个知识或者思想被创造出来后,她便拥有了自己的生命,这个独立的生命往往又会对世界产生让她的创造者史料未及的影响。马克思极大地影响了世界历史的进程,然而他估计怎么都想不到20世纪的东方会有毛邓版本的对共产革命的解读。哈耶克的著作在西方整整影响了一代人,可是对他的《通往奴役之路》的误读或许都超过对此书的正确解读。这样的例子数不胜数。这些经验告诉我们想要用学术影响世界是一件多么吊诡的事情,任何类似的企图都需要谨慎而保守的态度。然而所有这些讨论并不影响我们对知识改变世界的理想,即使这个理想是一将功成万骨枯的事情。从这个角度来说,学术有点类似革命,要在这条清贫而狭窄的道路上走下去,还走得远,一点钻牛角尖的精神或许是必要的。

很多人,包括我自己,都会偏向于从对内的意义上去理解学术。简单的说,就是我们去做学术,是因为我们喜欢这个事情本身。读书的时候体会到一个范式的美,一个理论的典雅;写论文的时候因为一个发现而激动,因为自己想法上的一个突破而雀跃。所有这些点滴的感受,都在诠释人生的意义,世界的意义;人因为这些渐进的感受而成长和改变。从这个角度来说,学术,是和艺术一样能够让人“诗意地栖居”在世界上的方式之一。这个倾向也和儒家思想里的修身之道相契合;可以影响世界当然好,不能够也要独善其身。然而如果一味寻找对内的意义,往往会流于琐碎和小气。如何在使命感和私人感受之间求平衡,是一个无法避免的问题。

或许因为思考是学者的天职,因而对自身工作的reflxsive thinking 不可避免;或许是因为从社会到学术界都给学术本身赋予了一些by default的意义;我看到很多同行纠结于学术的意义,却很少看到工程师纠结于他的工作的意义,农民纠结于种水稻的意义。这如此多的纠结,或许大半是出于学者的自恋。又或者当初选择学术的人,本来就是一群倾向于纠结,喜欢寻根究底的人;他们不满于现象世界的肤浅和浮躁,而转向学术世界寻一个净土。这样的人,本来就是理想主义居多。等进入了学术界,又对这里的体制化而感到失望,于是开始抱怨并怀疑起学术的意义来。唉~ 说到底,选择了学术,就是选择了拧巴的人生啊。