2014.05.07【英译中】为什么我教水管工柏拉图哲学?(1/2)

RunnerTracy (MFA161-A21) 初涉译坛
116 3 0
发表于:2014-05-07 09:50 [只看楼主] [划词开启]

Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers

为什么我教水管工柏拉图哲学

Liberal arts and the humanities aren't just for the elite.

通识教育和人文科学不仅是给精英的。

Once, when I told a guy on a plane that I taught philosophy at a community college, he responded, “So you teach Plato to plumbers?” Yes, indeed. But I also teach Plato to nurses’ aides, soldiers, ex-cons, preschool music teachers, janitors, Sudanese refugees, prospective wind-turbine technicians, and any number of other students who feel like they need a diploma as an entry ticket to our economic carnival. As a result of my work, I’m in a unique position to reflect on the current discussion about the value of the humanities, one that seems to me to have lost its way.

我曾在飞机上告诉一个人我在一个社区大学教授哲学。他的回应是:“所以说你教水管工们柏拉图哲学?”是的,的确如此。但是我也给护士的助理、士兵、有前科的人、幼儿园音乐老师、看门人、苏丹难民、前途光明的风力涡轮机技师以及任何想要进入经济狂欢时代的学位证书的学生教过柏拉图哲学。我的工作使得我可以从一个独特的位置思考现今有关人文科学价值的讨论,在我看来,人文科学迷路了。

As usual, there’s plenty to be worried about: the steady evaporation of full-time teaching positions, the overuse and abuse of adjunct professors, the slashing of public funding, the shrinkage of course offerings and majors in humanities disciplines, the increase of student debt, the peddling of technologies as magic bullets, the ubiquitous description of students as consumers. Moreover, I fear in my bones that the supremacy of a certain kind of economic-bureaucratic logic—one of “outcomes,” “assessment,” and “the bottom-line”—is eroding the values that undergird not just our society’s commitment to the humanities, but to democracy itself.

通常,我们有很多东西要担心:全职教学岗位的逐渐消失、客座教授的过度使用和滥用、公共资金的削减、人文科目课程设置的缩水以及主修课目的减少、学生贷款的增加、灵丹妙药一样沿街推销的技术(学科)、以及普遍存在的描述学生为消费者。而且,我深深地害怕一种特定的经济官僚主义逻辑(求指教……),即一种以“产出”、“估价”、“着眼于盈亏”贯穿的思想,正在侵蚀我们的价值观。这种价值观的巩固不仅需要着眼于人文科学,也需要着眼于民主本身。

The problem facing the humanities, in my view, isn’t just about the humanities. It’s about the liberal arts generally, including math, science, and economics. These form half of the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects, but if the goal of an education is simply economic advancement and technological power, those disciplines, just like the humanities, will be—and to some degree already are—subordinated to future employment and technological progress. Why shouldn’t educational institutions predominately offer classes like Business Calculus and Algebra for Nurses? Why should anyone but hobbyists and the occasional specialist take courses in astronomy, human evolution, or economic history? So, what good, if any, is the study of the liberal arts, particularly subjects like philosophy?  Why, in short, should plumbers study Plato?

我认为,人文科学面对的问题,不仅仅关乎人文科学。这也与整个通识教育有关,包括数学、科学以及经济学。这构成了所谓的“主干(STEM)”学科(科学、技术、工程学、数学)的一半,但是如果教育的目的仅仅是经济的发展以及科技的腾飞,这些科目,比如说人文科学,将会(而某种程度上已经如此)沦为未来的就业和科技进步的附属品。为什么教育机构不应该大量地向护士开商科、微积分和代数学这样的课?为什么只有业余爱好者或偶然专门研究的人员才应该上天文学、人类进化学或经济史这样的课程?所以,学习同时课程尤其是哲学这样的学科究竟有什么好处?简而言之,为什么水管工要学柏拉图哲学?

My answer is that we should strive to be a society of free people, not simply one of well-compensated managers and employees. Henry David Thoreau is as relevant as ever when he writes, “We seem to have forgotten that the expression ‘a liberal education’ originally meant among the Romans one worthy of free men; while the learning of trades and professions by which to get your livelihood merely, was considered worthy of slaves only.”

There are among future plumbers as many devotees of Plato as among the future wizards of Silicon Valley.

我的答案是我们应该努力成为一个有着自由之人的社会,不仅仅有着能劳酬相抵的经理和员工。亨利·大卫·梭罗很中肯地写道:“我们似乎已经忘记了‘通识教育’的表述来源于以自由为傲的罗马人;当你只学贸易和职业教育以谋生,你只会被当做奴隶看待。”

 

在未来的水管工与未来的硅谷奇才中,柏拉图的信徒一样多。

 

Traditionally, the liberal arts have been the privilege of an upper class. There are three big reasons for this. First, it befits the leisure time of an upper class to explore the higher goods of human life: to play Beethoven, to study botany, to read Aristotle, to go on an imagination-expanding tour of Italy. Second, because their birthright is to occupy leadership positions in politics and the marketplace, members of the aristocratic class require the skills to think for themselves. Whereas those in the lower classes are assessed exclusively on how well they meet various prescribed outcomes, those in the upper class must know how to evaluate outcomes and consider them against a horizon of values. Finally (and this reason generally goes unspoken), the goods of the liberal arts get coded as markers of privilege and prestige, so that the upper class can demarcate themselves clearly from those who must work in order to make their leisure and wealth possible.

传统上,通识教育被认为是上层阶级的特权。这有三个原因。第一,通识教育适合有闲暇时光的上层阶级去探索人类生命的更高级的美好:弹奏贝多芬的乐曲,学习植物学,读读亚里士多德,以及进行一场去往意大利的丰富想象之旅。第二,他们与生俱来就能占据在政治和商场的领导地位,贵族阶级的成员需要这些技能为他们自己着想。另一方面,下层阶级只能通过完成各种各样规定的产出得到评价,那些上层阶级的人们当然知道如何鉴定这种产出,他们认为这种产出与价值观给的视野相悖。最后导致的是(原因大体上不言自明),通识教育的好处被“加密”了,并作为特权与名望的标志,也因此,上层阶级可以借此与那些需要通过工作才能获得休息与财富的清晰地划清了界限。

@ydyinglluk @myAnne123 @Medical20 @heyjude1943 @ziquan50 @xuejv813 @ausko

分类: 英语
全部回复 (3)

  • 0

    点赞

  • 收藏

  • 扫一扫分享朋友圈

    二维码

  • 分享

课程推荐

需要先加入社团哦

编辑标签

最多可添加10个标签,不同标签用英文逗号分开

保存

编辑官方标签

最多可添加10个官方标签,不同标签用英文逗号分开

保存
知道了

复制到我的社团