点评：What's the right thing to do? 什么是正确的事？这个看似简单的问题可能比你想象的困难。我们相信的、都是正确的吗？我们认为正确的、都值得去做吗？哈佛教授用生动风趣的一个个问题逐步瓦解了我们对“正义”的定义……
Episode One / Part One: The Moral Side of Murder
Justice: A Journey in Moral Reasoning
■ Transcribed and Translated by 顾忆青
▋ 话题 | TOPIC
The Trolley Car Case Study: One Life versus Five Lives
Case A: Suppose you're the driver of a trolley car and your trolley car is hurtling down the track at 60 miles an hour. At the end of the track, you notice five workers working on the track. You try to stop, but you can't. Your brakes don't work. You feel desperate because you know that if you're crashing into these five workers, they will all die. Not too soon you'll know that for sure. And so you feel helpless until you notice that there is odd to right, a side track. At the end of that track, there is one worker working on the track. Your steering wheel works, so you can turn the trolley car, if you want to, onto the side track, killing the one, but sparing the five.
Case B: In this case, you're not a trolley car driver but an onlooker. You're standing on the bridge overlooking a trolley car track. And down the track comes the trolley car. At the end of the track are five workers. The brakes don't work. The trolley car is about to careen into the five and kill them. And now you are not the driver, thus you really feel helpless until you notice standing next to you leaning over the bridge is a very fat man. You could give him a shove, and he will fall over the bridge onto the track right in the way of the trolley car. He would die but he would spare the five.
The Hospital Case Study: One Life versus Five Lives
Case A: You're a doctor in an emergency room and six patient come to you. They've been in a very terrible trolley car wrack. Five of them were moderately injured and one were severely injured. You could spend all day caring for the one severely injured victim but in that time the five would die. Or you could look after the five, restore them but the severely injured person would die.
Case B: You're a transplant surgeon and you have five patients, each in desperate need of an organ transplant in order to survive. One needs a heart, one a lung, one a kindney, one a liver and the fifith a pancreas. You have no organ donors and you're about to see them die. Then it occurs to you that in the next room there's a healthy guy who came in for a check up. He's taking a nap. You could go in very quitely, yank out the five organs that the person would die but you could save the five.
▋ 问题 | QUESTIONS
What's the right thing to do? What becomes of the principle at each time?
▋ 结果 | RESULT
As for the Trolley Car Case, in the Case A, a vast majority would choose to turn while very few people would go straight ahead (kill 1, save 5). However, in the Case B, most of the students wouldn't push the fat man (kill 5, save 1).Similarily, for the Hospital Case, a handful of people would care for the five moderately injured patient (5 spare, 1 die) in the Case A; no one persumedly would yank out the innocent guy's organs for transplant in the Case B.
▋ 原因 | REASONS ( from the present students )
♦ 5 > 1:
1) It wouldn't be right to kill five people if you could only kill one person instead.
2) In 9/11 incident, we regard the people who flew the plane into Pennsylvania field as heros because
they chose to kill the people on the plane and ot kill more people in the buildings.
3) An act of choice: direct involvement or not.
4) A spilt second (reluctant) choice or actualized murder.
♦ 5 < 1:
1) That's the same of mortality that justify genocide and terrorism in order to save one typle of race,
you wipe out the other. To avoid the horror of genocide, I would crash into the five and kill them.
▋ 阐释 | ILLUSTRAION
>> Modes of Moral Reasoning 道德推理模式
1. Consequentialist - locates morality in the consequence of an act.
e.g. Jeremy Bentham: Utilitarianism
2. Categorical/Deontological - locates morality in certain duties and rights.
( absolute moral requirements / intrinct quality of the act itself )
e.g. Immanuel Kant: Categorical Imperative
▋ 引入 | INTRODUCTION
If you look at the syllabus, you'll notice we read a number of great and famous books. Books by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill and others. You'll notice too from the syllabus we don't only read these books, we also take up contemporary political and legal controversy that raise philosophical questions. We'll debate equality and inequality, affirmative action, free speech versus hate speech, same sex marriage, millitary conscription - a range of practical questions. Why? Not just to enlive these abstract and distant books, but to make clear to bring out what's at stake in our everyday lives including our political lives, for philosophy? So we'll read these books and we'll debate these issues and we'll see how each informs and illuminates the others.
This may sound appealing enough but here I have to issue a warning. And the warning is this: To read these books in this way, as an exercise in self-knowledge. To read them in this way carries certain risks -risks that are both personal and political; risks that every student of political philosophy has known. These risks spring from the fact that philosophy teaches us and unsettles us by confronting us with what we already know.
There is an irony. The difficulty of this course consist in a fact that it teaches us what you've already known. It works by taking what we know from familiar unquestioned settings and making it strange. That's how those examples work, the hypotheticals with which we began with the mix of playfullness and sobriety. It's also how those philosophical books work. Philosophy estranges us from the familiar, not by supplying new information but by inviting and provoking a new way of seeing.
But, and here's the risk. Once the familiar turns strange, it's never quite the same again. Self-konwledge is like a lost innocent, however unsettling, you find it you can never be unthought or unknown. What makes this and your enterprise difficult but also riveting is that moral and political philosophy is a story, and you don't know where the story will lead, but you do know is that the story is about you. Those are the personal risks.
Now where're the political risks? One way of introducing a course like this would be the promise you by reading these books and debating these issues, you'll become a better, more responsible citizen. You'll examine the presuppositions that public policy. You'll hone your political judgement. You'll become a more effective participant in public affairs. But this would be a partial and misleading promise. Political philosophy for the most part hasn't worked that way. You have to allow for the possibility that political philosophy may make you a worse citizen rather than a better one. Or at least a worse citizen before it makes you a better one. And that's because philosophy is a distant thing, even debilitating activity.
And you see this going back to Socrates. There's a dialogue the gorgeous in which one of Socreates's friends, Callicles, tried to talk him out of philosophizing. Callicles tells Socrates, 'Philosophy is a pretty toy, if one indulges in it with moderation at the right time of life; but if one pursues it farther than one should it is absolute ruin. Take my advice', Callicles says. 'Abandon argument. Learn the accomplishment of active life. Take for your models, not those people who spend their time on these petty quibbles but those who have good livelihood and reputation and many other blessings.' So Callicles is really saying to Socrates: Quit philosophizing. Get real. Go to business school.
And Callicles did have a point. He had a point because philosophy distances us from conventions, from established assumptions, from settled beliefs. Those are the risks, personal and political.
And at the face of these risks there's a characteristic evasion. And the name of the evasion is scepticism. It's the idea that goes something like this. We didn't resolve once and for all, either the cases or the principles we're arguing when we began. And if Aristotle, and Locke, and Kant, and Mill, haven't solved these questions after all of these years. Who are we to think? That, we here in Sanders Theater over the course of this semester can resolve them. So maybe it's just a metter of each person having his or her own principles and there's nothing more to say about it. No way of reasoning. That's the evasion, the evasion of scepticism.
To each I'd offer the follwing reply. It's true these questions have been debated for a very long time. But the very fact that they've recurred and persisited may suggest, though they're impossible in one sense, they're unavoidable in another. And the reason that they're unavoidable, the reason that they're inescapable, is that we live some answer to these questions everyday. So scepticism, just throwing up your hands and giving up by moral reflection, is no solution. Immanuel Kant described very well the problems with scepticism when he wrote,'Skepticism is a resting place for human reason where it can reflect on dogmatic wanderings and gain some knowledge of the region, but it cannot be permanent dwelling place. Simply to acquiesce in skepticism can never suffice to overcome the restlessness of reason.' I've tried to suggest to these stories and these arguments, some sense of risk and temptation of the perils and the possibilities.
I would simply conclude by saying that the aim of this course is to awaken the restlessness of reason and to see where I might lead. Thank you very much.
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