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刘擎:2018西方思想年度述评(观念/文化篇:自由主义之死与智识争论复兴)
【編者按】本文為華東師範大學劉擎教授自2003年起所撰之「西方思想年度述評」系列第16年作品下篇,首發於《騰訊·大家》欄目,略去部分內容和全部文獻註釋。完整印刷版將在《學海》雜誌發表。端傳媒經作者及《騰訊·大家》授權刊發,以饗讀者。

令人憂慮的是「自由主義造就了現代世界,但現代世界正在背離自由主義」。如果要復興自由主義的活力,必須反省它失去活力的多種成因。在社會經濟方面,需要反省自由主義崇尚的「優績制」(meritocracy)競爭對造成貧富差別與社會固化的影響。在文化方面,檢討「身份政治」的局限,在正當回應族群歧視的過程中,沒有防止它演變為「宗派憤怒」的傾向。在國際與地緣政治方面,自由派也沒有足夠的智慧和勇氣來捍衞「二戰」後形成的同盟和自由制度體系。在政治上,當政的自由派已經變得越來越保守,傾向於維持現狀,而完全忘記了自由主義最初的激進立場。

沃森的觀點可能在政治上不正確,但如果在科學上是真實的呢?難道科學真理應當屈從於政治正確的管制嗎?

回應這種鏗鏘有力的質疑其實並不困難,而且可以斬釘截鐵:沃森的這種觀點首先在科學上錯誤的(雖然他是一位科學大師),因為在生物學意義上,「種族」類別(白人、黑人、黃種人等)並不存在,這早已是學術界的普遍共識。

社會生活中使用的種族分類,是文化和政治塑造的概念(所謂「社會建構」),並不具有對應的生物學依據。這是目前生物學和人類學界的主流觀點,已經有大量的研究證據支持,也有許多相關的科普作品傳播。

萊克認為不應當迴避研究不同人群(populations)之間的遺傳差異。他明確反對一種流行的誤解:由於人類來自共同的祖先,人群相互分離的時間不久,不足以在自然選擇壓力下形成重要的遺傳差異。「但這不是事實」,他指出「東亞人、歐洲人、西非人和澳大利亞人的祖先(直到最近為止)幾乎完全相互隔絕了4萬年或更長的時間,足以讓進化力量發生作用」。人群之間的遺傳差異不僅客觀存在,而且會影響某些遺傳疾病、特定的身體性狀甚至行為和認知能力在人群之間的概率性差異。

研究人群遺傳差異是一把雙刃劍:在很多情況下它會揭露「種族」概念的虛假性,瓦解絕大多數的刻板印象,但遺傳學的發現也有可能會確證某些刻板印象。在這種情況下,科學發現的隻言片語會被某些願意信奉種族主義觀點的人用來證明自己正確。恰恰因為存在這種可能性,萊克才要在文章中直面這個問題。

美國大學招生同樣以「擇優錄取」為主要原則,反映了美國的「優績制」(meritocracy)的價值取向,但其公平原則也包含對弱勢群體的「補償正義」觀念,突出體現於「平權法案」(Affirmative Action,又譯作「肯定性措施」)。此外,還會兼顧「文化多樣性」的目標,可能會考慮校園的「族裔平衡」(racial balancing)。擇優錄取、補償正義和文化多樣性,這三重維度之間存在張力,每個大學有自己側重與應對策略。
summary  read  2018  west  intelligentsia  journalism  liberalism  opinion  race  usa  debate  polemic  university  elite  policy  scientist 
february 2019 by aries1988
在武侠小说之外,报人金庸的“决定性时刻”|深度|一周精选|端传媒 Initium Media
2000年,金庸在中国内地文学刊物《收获》杂志上,发表了一篇自传式散文,在文章的最后一段里,他是这样写道:

“金庸的小说写得并不好。不过他总是觉得,不应当欺压弱小,使得人家没有反抗能力而忍受极大的痛苦,所以他写武侠小说。他正在写的时候,以后重读自己作品的时候,常常为书中人物的不幸而流泪。他写杨过等不到小龙女而太阳下山时,哭出声来;他写张无忌与小昭被迫分手时哭了;写萧峰因误会而打死心爱的阿朱时哭得更加伤心;他写佛山镇上穷人钟阿四全家给恶霸凤天南杀死时热血沸腾,大怒拍桌,把手掌也拍痛了。他知道这些都是假的,但世上有不少更加令人悲伤的真事,旁人有很多,自己也有不少。”

终于在2018年,当金庸远去后,他不需要再面对和思考如今的世界和中国,不需要面对所有的褒贬和悲欢。他和池田大作一起“探求一个灿烂的世纪”的美好理想,也还远未来到。

斯人已逝,当我们回顾金庸近一个世纪的跌宕人生时,会发现他在所有的“决定性时刻”,或犹豫或坚定后所做的最终抉择,“好人应该有好报”这句评价中共前领导人赵紫阳的简单信条,就几乎是金庸在他的武侠世界和社评文章里所要讲的全部事情。
literature  journalism  newspaper  hongkong  leader  zhejiang  obituary  history  20C  1989/6/4 
november 2018 by aries1988
江湖已逝,侠客转行──四个中国调查记者的转型样本(下)|大陆|端传媒 Initium Media
2014年,一篇名为《那些年离职创业的主编们》的文章在媒体圈内流传。原《凤凰周刊》的主编黄章晋离职创办了自媒体“大象公会”;《南方周末》头版编辑创办了投资者的社交网络“雪球”;《21世纪经济报导》新闻总监左志坚创办阅读社交平台“拇指阅读”……
china  journalism  story  journalist  reportage  youth  society  today 
november 2017 by aries1988
他们想做大陆最棒的中学生杂志,却先学会了接受“新闻审查”|深度|一周精选|端传媒 Initium Media
中国大陆的公立学校是行政制度的延伸,享受财政拨款,大多数教师都拥有事业编制,是体制内的一员。一群十六、七岁的中学生对一份校园媒体寄予的浪漫想像和美好愿景,或许无法获得学校管理层的真正理解。一份过于活跃的学生杂志,可能会带来潜在的政治风险。而在探索开放和保守的边界时,做出妥协的往往是学生那一方。

“这些问题背后其实都是我们把一个复杂的人简单化、标签化、甚至两面化。”郭旭峥察觉到了学生们的惯用思维模式,“这大到影响我们对一个人的理解,小到在写作中对一个词、一个句子的运用。”

他试图告诉学生去寻找事实,比如尽可能采访到细节,去和采访对象相处一段时间,要做外围采访,做交叉印证,不要只听一方观点,甚至不要把一方观点放大。在写作时,要少用形容词,多用动词,因为每次使用形容词都会造成对采访对象的一次判断。

总之,就是能通过采访与写作“看到事实的价值和复杂性”。
journalism  experiment  school  beijing 
november 2017 by aries1988
La consommation de charcuterie nuit gravement à la santé

Selon les conclusions du CIRC, rappelle-t-il, le risque de cancer colorectal est accru de 18 % pour une consommation de seulement 50 grammes de viandes transformées par jour – soit à peine deux fines tranches de jambon. Et encore ne s’agit-il là que d’un seul type de cancer, celui qui est le plus étudié en relation avec la consommation de produits carnés transformés…

La toxicité des sels nitrés (à base de nitrate ou de nitrite) est connue depuis plus d’un siècle et la cancérogénicité de certains d’entre eux, depuis plus de 50 ans. Ce qui n’empêche nullement les charcutiers industriels d’en ajouter à la grande majorité de leurs produits.
food  europe  français  industry  scandal  health  book  journalism 
november 2017 by aries1988
Young subscribers flock to old media
Shunning Trump, the millennial generation does what it once resisted: pay for news.
millennials  journalism 
october 2017 by aries1988
Are We Ready for Intimacy with Robots?

Hiroshi Ishi­guro builds robots. Beautiful, realistic, uncannily convincing human replicas. His quest? Untangle the ineffable nature of human connection.

in Japan: the Advanced Telecommuni­cations Research Institute International in Nara and the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory on the campus of Osaka University.

Hiroshi Ishi­guro

the capacity to imbue such a machine with humanness—that ineffable presence the Japanese call sonzai-kan.

Ishi­guro believes that since we’re hardwired to interact with and place our faith in humans, the more humanlike we can make a robot appear, the more open we’ll be to sharing our lives with it.

He is convinced that human emotions, whether empathy or romantic love, are nothing more than responses to stimuli, subject to manipulation. Through the fluid interplay of its pneumatic joints, the arch of its mechanical brow, the tilt of its plastic skull, the many subtle movements achieved through years of research studying the human template, the android becomes more able to span that gap, to form a perfectly engineered bond with us. An elaborate metaphysical trick, perhaps—but what does that matter, if it fills a need? If it feels real?

Designed with the physical proportions that its human owner prefers, the preferred voice timbre and eye color and personality type, and the ability to recall and riff on its owner’s personal stories and little jokes, android will captivate human.

someone would be left alone in their advanced age to relive the joy of having a child through the cradling of a robot with stunted limbs.

The countless ways in which we judge someone based on their appearance all evaporate in the face of this neutral appearance, as Hiroshi calls the Telenoid’s blank, abstract body. And what is left in its place is that ineffable thing he has been trying to define: a distinctly human presence, free of the uncanny. It is an outsider, like its maker—but one who manages to trigger our affection. While holding the android, it hardly matters that this humanness is emitting from something that barely resembles a human at all.
human  body  android  idea  research  thinking  history  japan  japanese  reportage  interview  invention  story  emotion  office  journalism 
october 2017 by aries1988
Les médias français et la Chine : trop complaisants ou trop sévères ?
A l'occasion du 19e Congrès du parti communiste chinois qui s'est ouvert mercredi à Pékin réflexions avec deux anciens correspondants sur le traitement médiatique de la Chine dans la presse française
podcast  media  français  china  debate  journalism  journalist 
october 2017 by aries1988
Learning Arabic from Egypt’s Revolution

In Dardasha, icons of little bombs with burning fuses had been printed next to the kind of phrase that, even during a revolution, qualified as explosive: Your son is really smart, Madame Fathiya. Fortunately, this compliment-bomb was promptly disarmed: This is what God has willed, Madame Fathiya, your son is really smart.

Grammar functions as a kind of spice, similar to the way that Sichuanese cuisine uses strong flavors to create satisfying meals that actually contain little meat.

Western academics call it modern standard Arabic, although the language retains strong links to the time of Muhammed. Back then, Arabic lacked a strong written literary tradition, and, in the eyes of believers, the Prophet’s illiteracy is evidence of the divine nature of the Quran. Even a skeptic like Rifaat told us that the Quran is so beautiful that it could only have come from God.

In China, the Han dynasty, which was founded in 206 B.C.E., codified and standardized the Confucian, or Ruist, classics, a process that helped set the terms for the writing system. By taking these centuries-old texts as their model of proper Chinese writing, the Han prescribed an idealized language—classical Chinese—that was probably never spoken in day-to-day life.

traditionalists feared further cultural damage. It will not be long before our ancestral language loses its form, God forbid, an editor at the newspaper Al-Ahram wrote, in 1882. How can we support a weak spoken language which will eliminate the sacred original language?

Most important, classical Chinese wasn’t tied to a religion or a divine text.

while places like German Switzerland also practice diglossia, the use of two languages, the difference is that both Swiss German and High German are living, spoken languages. The majority of Arab children are put in a position that I cannot think of an equivalent for any other group of children in the world, she said.
language  speaking  culture  arab  egypt  today  politics  news  journalism  story  learn  american  history  explained 
april 2017 by aries1988
Battling for influence — Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief, Global Times
Few people in China have shaped debate on foreign affairs like the 56-year-old Mr Hu. For 11 years he has been editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a daily mix ofinternational news, military fan club and shrill commentary that has become the main window on the world for many Chinese. Mr Hu combines a boyish fascination with wars and weapons with a scorched-earth argumentative approach. That has won him as many enemies among China’s western-leaning “rightists” as friends on the ascendant left.

The Global Times is predictable in its world view: America wants to keep China down, Japan today is no different from the warmongering invader of the 1930s, other Asian countries are US puppets, Russia is a much-maligned partner in fending off the world-conquering ambitions of the US and Nato. Popular democracy is a disaster.

Tempering this incendiary mix is an ambition to make international news understandable and relevant.

“People used to see foreign affairs as something for the intelligentsia. Now, anything that happens in the world is related to China,” Mr Hu says. “Foreigners should understand the views of Chinese society to reduce the chance of misreading China. Chinese are unsatisfied, and it is our right to be heard.”
china  newspaper  journalism  nationalism  interview 
november 2016 by aries1988
How the New York Times plans to conquer the world
We believe there’s a gap we’re well positioned to fill, said Dunbar-Johnson. The Economist addresses its readers as if they’re aspiring heads of state. The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal try to address them as if they’re captains of industry. Our readers are people who are deeply curious about the world, not necessarily because they want to run it, but because they want to understand it and make it better.

The bigger question, he said, is what the problem that the Times solves for people is supposed to be, and whether it helps people be part of communities that they want to or need to be part of. Reading the New York Times is part of being a certain kind of person in the US. It is less clear that the Times occupies a similar position with its target audiences around the world.

From the perspective of Latin America, that was much more important, said Polgreen. Similarly, she said, Imagine you’re a reader in France and come to the New York Times homepage. It’s completely dominated by what to a foreign reader feels like really small-bore American politics.
media  journalism  american  world  globalization  competition  evolution  relevancy  business  news 
may 2016 by aries1988
EDITO. Notre correspondante à Pékin menacée
De la même façon, nous avons toujours défendu âprement la liberté d’expression et le devoir d’information, en France comme à l’étranger. Et si notre journal est toujours prêt à reconnaître une erreur factuelle dans un article, il n’a pas pour habitude de "présenter des excuses" pour une analyse ou un point de vue, ni de céder à l’intimidation.
conflict  opinion  china  journalism  français 
december 2015 by aries1988
An American Hero in China | ChinaFile
The answer is partly that reporters in free societies have an obligation to dissect problems. Journalists at home rarely write about the highways that work because this is assumed to be a given; what citizens need to know about is the backlog of unrepaired bridges. But when applied abroad, this practice means a steady stream of negative stories with no overall sense of the broad situation of the country—in the case of China, reports of dissidents, internecine contests for power, and impending crises.

countless studies show that one of the best measures to alleviate poverty is building infrastructure, and here we were on a road that was something of a miracle to local people, allowing them to get their products to market, their children to schools, and themselves to jobs in the cities. China was in the midst of an unparalleled and largely successful attempt to reduce poverty, so why wouldn’t we write about this, he asked. All I could do was stammer that good news is no news. Back in Beijing a few days later, I wrote a story about a girl who was so poor she lived in a pig stall. My editors loved it and readers pledged money, but I was often nagged by the feeling that this had been the easy story. More challenging to expectations would have been to look at how lives had changed in this poor part of the country.

Hessler saw the story of China in the 1990s and 2000s as driven not by nationally known personalities or dramatic news events, but by an epochal movement of hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and out of the village life that had dominated Chinese civilization. It was the rise of individuals—people with their own aspirations and goals, which they pursued in the space granted by the post-Mao state. Hessler lived in China while people like future Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo were publicly active, but he never wrote about them. To him, they might be noble but were marginal. That they were persecuted proved the state’s paranoia, not their larger significance for China’s future.

In each place, the same pattern emerged: the most talented people either were recruited by the Party or quietly disengaged from it. The only people who actually fought the Party were poorly connected and often dysfunctional—petitioners, for example, or other marginal figures. Many were interesting and he wrote about them in depth, but they were not driving events.

This is why I think it’s a big mistake to focus too much on the high-profile and truly remarkable dissidents, Hessler told me. It gives the American reader the impression that the really smart people in China are opposed to the Party.

These strongly held ideas underpin his books. Many journalists in China have been turned off—I often heard them say they wished he would finally tackle a real topic rather than his allegorical tales from small towns.
reportage  journalism  journalist  china  american  community  pattern  history 
may 2015 by aries1988
跳出历史的“周期率”
那么“道统”是什么?从表面上看,好像是以儒家的那一套东西作为中国的道统,实际上中国几千年来从来没有真正实行过儒家的这套东西,儒家的这一套只是用来作为表面文章的。毛泽东很清楚这一点,他写过一句诗叫做“百代都行秦政制”,“秦政制”是什么东西呢?它的核心就是一句话,外儒内法,表皮上可能有一点儒的东西,实际上讲的是法家。所谓“法”不仅是指法家那一套,它一方面是严刑峻法,另一方面这个法就是阴谋诡计,就是权术谋略。而中国人恰恰最喜欢这个东西,作为上层来说,玩政治就是玩阴谋、玩黑箱,底层社会来说,老百姓最喜欢什么,《红楼梦》前面有两句诗,好象是袁子才写的,叫做“人情练达即文章,世事洞明皆学问”。这两句诗就集中概括了中国底层社会的所有学问,这个学问是“人情练达”和“世事洞明”。他们要教一个人成年以后学会什么?就是学会世故,学会圆熟。所谓的世故圆熟,就是要让人把自己装在一个壳子里面,而不是用真面目去见人。实际上跟上层政治里所说的外儒内法是一样的,就是说一套,做一套。

蔡锷和宋教仁,这真是两个阳光一样的人物,他们都是湖南籍的,如果按照他们的思路,按照他们当时的观念来改造中国,或许近代的中国会有很多的转机,可惜历史没有假设,历史就是历史,它是发生过的事,不是我们可以去假设的,所以说地上不能造天国,乌托邦永远是乌托邦,因为历史不是在小房子里虚构出来的,无论多么伟大的人,托马斯·莫尔也好,康帕内拉也好,你的《太阳城》、你的什么《乌托邦》,还有更伟大的人构想出更伟大的社会,那都是一种虚构,哈耶克不相信这些东西,波普尔也不相信这些东西,中国最优秀的知识分子,近代以来,包括胡适到后来的顾准、李慎之在内,也最终都不相信这些东西,因为这是书斋里构想出来的东西,它不符合社会发展的自然规律,只有从地上长出来的东西才是可靠的,你虚构一套想法,再按这个模式到地上去建,这毕竟不像造房子,社会还是有它自身的规律。中国要跳出历史“周期率”,一方面是要寻找跟人性相吻合的一种社会生活方式、文化观念、新的思想,另一方面就是必须把社会从国家的桎梏下解放出来。我们自从近代以来,喊过很多的口号,比如说个性解放,思想解放,这些口号本身都很好,都没有错,但是到目前为止还没有人喊过社会解放的口号。最近有一本书在民间流行,是波兰思想家米奇尼克的《通往公民社会》,崔卫平教授她们翻译过来的,在这本书翻译完成以后,崔卫平经常跟人讲一句话,我们中国过去有个性解放、思想解放,而没有社会解放,米奇尼克的思想当中最重要的或者说核心的东西就是倡导社会解放,社会的自我解放。我前面讲,我们中国自古以来只有一个重心,社会的重心始终在皇权这里,在官家这里,整个社会是臣服于权力之下的,只是一个附属品,没有独立的空间,如果说我们要跳出历史的“周期率”,社会必须有自身的空间,自主的空间,只有这样,社会解放才有可能起步。在这个社会解放的过程当中,新闻自由是一切自由当中先行的自由,是整个人类文明的前提,没有言论自由、新闻自由一切都免谈。

正因为我们曾有过这样一些人,这样一些事,就构成了我们在20世纪前半叶一个相对微弱的舆论空间,在这个舆论空间当中,一个脆弱的民间社会本来是可以形成的,一个独立于朝廷之外的,在皇帝的餐桌之外过自己日子的,按老百姓自己的意愿去追求幸福美好生活的可能性是存在的。也就是说,从这条路走下来,我们跳出历史“周期率”的进程会大大加快,我们在唯一的权力重心之外,另建一个新的社会重心这个可能性是存在的。换言之,社会跟国家分离,这个可能性是存在的。如果没有这样的可能性,我们将永远走不出以暴易暴的循环,走不出成王败寇的旧框框。
http://www.instapaper.com/read/346028144
zeitgeist  history  journalism  china  story  future  debate  mao  intelligentsia 
november 2012 by aries1988

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