20140705【英译中】【独立博客】思考的方法:举个例子 (23句)

冰绪 (冰绪) 路人甲
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发表于:2014-07-05 13:27 [只看楼主] [划词开启]
Tools of thought, #2: Give an example (or several)

思考的方法No.2 :举个例子(或几个)

来自 Michael 的博客

The second tool of thought that I want to share with you is simple: Give an example. If you're arguing that there are such-and-such things, point out at least one of them. If you're saying that something can be done in such-and-such a way, walk us through an actual example in detail.


Giving an example helps you think clearly in several ways:


· It ensures that you are talking about something real, not just arranging words. Or, worse, rearranging someone else's words without having found an actual point of disagreement.

· 它能确保你正在谈论确实的事务确实正在谈论一件事,而非单单在排列字句。或者,更糟糕的是,更糟一点,只是在没有找到实际分歧点的情况下重新排列别人的话没有异议时重组别人的话

· It immediately raises useful questions: "Are there other examples? Are they very different from this one? How would we know whether something is an example of this or not?"

· 它能使我们立刻提出一些有用的问题:“还有其他例子吗?它们与这一个截然不同吗?我们如何能知道一件事是否能作一个例子?”

· You might even find out that there are no examples. I've heard of this happening in a mathematics thesis defense — the student had proved a set of theorems about a particular set of functions, without actually identifying one of the functions, and the examiners stumbled upon a proof that there aren't any. The same thing happens in the real world. Don't just philosophize about the snakes of Ireland. Go find one.

· 你甚至可能会发现根本找不到没有例子。我听说在一次数学论文答辩中发生过这种情况——一个学生没有给出任何一个具体的函数就证明出了一组特定函数集的定理,后来考官很偶然地证明了,事实上并不存在任何函数符合这个定理偶然发现任何函数都不符合这个定理。现实世界中也会出现同样的情况同样如此。不要仅仅从哲学方面去思辨爱尔兰的蛇,去找一只。

Let me practice what I preach by giving examples of the need for examples.


In an undergraduate philosophy class, I once heard a fellow student opine, "I think we should take emotions into account, not just logic." Not sure what this person meant by "logic," and suspecting it wasn't the same thing I meant by the same word, I had the presence of mind to ask for an example. I'm not sure we ever got one — the discussion took off in a different direction — but the point is, an example would have been very instructive and would have told us things that an abstract statement of the problem could not.


(以上感谢 @薄荷家的喵 的细心修改>/////<) 

Another example: Responding to Tools of Thought #1, a correspondent says that more things need to be "viewed in shades of gray" than I indicated. My response is that this, by itself, is not clear enough to debate, but some examples would shed a lot of light on it. 


Indeed, thinking of examples, we realize immediately that some questions have definite "yes" and "no" answers ("Were you born in the United States?"), and others pertain to gradients ("Are you tall?"). Still others might have numerous discrete possibilities rather than just two ("What country are you a citizen of?"). 



If you start looking for shades of gray in people's nationality, you will find a lot of interesting cases you hadn't thought of before (dual citizenship, stateless individuals, etc.), but, I contend, you will not find shades of gray. On the other hand, if you try to classify everyone as either "short" or "tall" with no smooth gradient from one to the other, you'll fail to do justice to the facts. (And the same goes for classifying people by race.) Are there other examples that behave differently from any of these? That's for you to explore.

- <思考的方法,No.2 :举个例子(或几个)> 完 -

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最后编辑于:2014-07-10 14:54
分类: 英语
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