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哲学阅读指南 by Jim Pryor

Guidelines on Reading Philosophy


It will be difficult for you to make sense of some of the articles we’ll be reading. This is partly because they discuss abstract ideas that you’re not accustomed to thinking about. They may also use technical vocabulary which is new to you. Sometimes it won’t be obvious what the overall argument of the paper is supposed to be. The prose may be complicated, and you may need to pick the article apart sentence by sentence. Here are some tips to make the process easier and more effective.


Skim the Article to Find its Conclusion and Get a Sense of its Structure

A good way to begin when you’re trying to read a difficult article is to first skim the article to identify what the author’s main conclusion is. Pay special attention to the opening and closing paragraphs, since authors will often tell you there what they intend to be arguing for. When you do figure out what the author’s main conclusion is, try to restate it in your own words. This will help you to be sure that you really understand what the author is arguing for.


When you’re skimming the article, try also to get a general sense of what’s going on in each part of the discussion. What is the structure of the article? Sometimes authors will tell you, early in the paper, what their argument will look like. This makes your job easier.


The articles we read won’t always have a straightforward structure. They won’t always be of the form:


This is the conclusion I want you to accept. Here is my argument for that conclusion…


Philosophers often provide auxiliary arguments, arguments for important premises they appeal to in support of their main conclusion. For instance, the author’s discussion may have the form:


The conclusion I want you to accept is A. My argument for this conclusion is as follows: B and C are true, and if B and C are true, then A must also be true. It is generally accepted that B is true. However, it is controversial whether C is true. I think you ought to accept C for the following reasons…

我希望你接受的结论是 A,以下是我的论证:已知命题 B 和 C 正确,如果 B 和 C 都对,那么 A 一定对。大家普遍认同 B 正确。但是 C 对不对还有争议。我认为你应该接受 C,理由如下……

Here the author’s main argument is for the conclusion A, and in the process of arguing for A he advances an auxiliary argument in support of C. Try to identify these auxiliary arguments, and the claims they’re intended to support; and try to avoid mistaking one of these auxiliary arguments for the author’s main argument.

这里作者的主要论证是证明结论 A,在证明结论 A 的过程中,他提出了一个辅助论证来支持命题 C。(然后再用 C 论证 A。)试着找出这些辅助论证以及辅助论证想要支持的论点,不要混淆辅助论证和主要论证。

Articles can be complex in other ways, too. Not everything the author says will be a positive conclusion or a premise in support of his conclusion. Sometimes he’ll be supporting his view with a thought-experiment. Sometimes he’ll be arguing for a distinction which his positive view relies on. Sometimes he’ll be arguing that another philosopher’s views or arguments ought to be rejected. Sometimes he’ll be defending a view against somebody else’s objections.


Keep an eye out for words like these when you’re reading:

  • because, since, given this argument
  • thus, therefore, hence, it follows that, consequently
  • nevertheless, however, but
  • in the first case, on the other hand



These are signposts which help you keep track of the structure of the discussion. For example, one philosophy article might run as follows:


Philosopher X advanced the following argument against dualism…The dualist has two responses to X’s argument. First…However, this response runs into problems, because…A better response for the dualist says…X might be tempted to counter as follows… However…

哲学家 X 提出了以下论证来反对二元论……二元论者对 X 的论证有两种回应。首先……然而,这一回应遇到了问题,因为……对二元论者来说更好的回应是……X 可能会这样反驳……然而……

and so on. The words “first” and “however” and “a better response” make it easy to see where the discussion is going. You’ll also want to put signposts like these in your own philosophical writing.


Here’s another example:


The skeptic says that we can’t tell whether we’re seeing things as they really are, or whether we’re brains in vats being force-fed false experiences, like the inhabitants of The Matrix. Y raised the following objection to the skeptic… Hence, Y concludes, we have no reason to think our situation is as bad as the skeptic makes it out to be. This is an attractive response to the skeptic, but I don’t think it can really work, for the following reason…Y might respond to this problem in one of two ways. The first way is… However, this response fails because…The second way Y might respond is… However, this response also fails because…So in the end I think Y’s objection to the skeptic can not be sustained. Of course, I’m not myself a skeptic. I agree with Y that the skeptic’s conclusion is false. But I think we’ll have to look harder to see where the flaw in the skeptic’s reasoning really is.

怀疑论者说,我们无从知晓自己看到的是事物的本来面貌,还是我们是被灌输错误体验的缸中之脑,就像《黑客帝国》里的人那样。作者 Y 向怀疑论者提出了以下反对意见……因此,Y 得出结论,我们没有理由认为我们的处境像怀疑论者所说的那样糟糕。这一回应对反对怀疑论来说很有吸引力,但我并不认为它真的驳倒了怀疑论,理由如下……Y 可能会用这两种方式来回应。第一种是……然而,这一回应站不住脚,因为……Y 的第二种回应方法是……然而,这一回应也不成立,因为……综上,我认为 Y 对怀疑论的反驳不能成立。当然,我自己并不是怀疑论者。我和 Y 一样,也认为怀疑论的结论是错的。但我们要更努力地寻找怀疑论的推理究竟错在哪里。

In this article, the author spends most of his time defending the skeptic against Y’s objections, and considering possible responses that Y might give. The author’s main conclusion is that Y’s objection to the skeptic does not work. (Notice: the main conclusion isn’t that skepticism is true.)

在这篇文章中,作者花了大部分时间为怀疑论者辩护,驳斥了 Y 的反对意见,还考虑了 Y 可能给出的回应。作者的主要结论是,Y 对怀疑论者的反驳不成立。(注意:主要结论并不是「怀疑论是对的」。)

Go Back and Read the Article Carefully

When you’ve figured out what the main conclusion of an article is, and what the overall structure of the article is, go back and read the article carefully. Pay attention to how the various parts fit together.


  • Most importantly, figure out what the author’s central argument(s) are. What reasons does he offer in support of his conclusions? Where in the article does he put these reasons forward?
  • 最重要的是,弄清哪些是作者的中心论证,作者提出的支持结论的理由是什么,他在文章的什么位置提出了这些理由。

Also keep an eye out for the following:


  • Notice where the author says explicitly what he means by a certain term.
  • 注意作者明确解释某个术语的地方。
  • Notice what distinctions the author introduces or argues for.
  • 注意作者引入或者主张了什么区分。
  • Take special notice of any unargued assumptions you think the author is relying on.
  • 特别注意作者论证时依赖的隐含前提。
  • Consider various interpretations of what he says. Are there any important ambiguities that his argument fails to take account of?
  • 考虑作者观点的多种解释。作者论证中有没有忽略什么应该进一步澄清的内容?

All of these things will help you to understand the article better. And they’ll be crucial when you’re trying to evaluate the author’s argument, and deciding whether or not you should accept his conclusion.


In your notes, you might make a quick outline of the article’s major argumentative “pieces.” Draw arrows to diagram how you think those pieces fit together. If you can’t do this, then you need to go back and look at the article again to get a better understanding of what the author is up to.


You should expect to read a philosophy article more than once. I’ve been doing philosophy for more than ten years and I still have to read articles many times before I fully understand them. Intellectually digesting a philosophy article takes time, effort, and concentration. You definitely won’t understand everything in the article the first time you read it, and there may be some parts of the article you don’t understand even after reading them several times. You should ask questions about these parts of the article (in class or after class or in section, as you judge appropriate). You could say:


What is going on on p. 13? Descartes says X, but I don’t see how this fits in with his earlier claim Z. Is X supposed to follow from Z? Or is he trying here to give an argument for Z? If so, why does he think that X would be a reason in favor of Z?

第 13 页在讨论什么?笛卡尔说 X,但是我不明白这和他之前的观点 Z 是怎么联系起来的。他是说 X 可以从 Z 推导出来吗?还是他在用 X 论证 Z?如果是用 X 论证 Z,为什么 X 可以作为支持 Z 的理由?

Evaluate the Author’s Arguments

Obviously, you’re only in a position to evaluate an author’s argument when you’ve done the work of figuring out what it is he’s really saying, and how his arguments work.


When you come to that point, you can start asking questions like these: Do you agree with the author? If not, what do you think is wrong with his reasoning? Does he appeal to some premise which you think is false? (Why do you think it is false?) Is there some assumption which the author does not make explicit, but which you think is false? Does his argument equivocate or beg the question?

当你走到这一步,你可以开始问这些问题:你同意作者的观点吗?如果不同意,你觉得作者的推理错在哪儿?你认为作者的某些前提是错的吗?(为什么这些前提是错的?)有没有作者没有明确提出,但你认为是错误的假设?作者的论证有故意含糊其词 (equivocate) 或者在前提中就已经假定了结论 (beg the question) 等问题吗?

You will often feel that the debates we examine are tangled messes and you don’t know whose argument to believe. There’s no escaping this. I feel this way all the time. All I can say is, if you work hard, you will be able to make some sense of the mess. You’ll start to get a sense of how the different views relate to each other and what their pros and cons are. Eventually, you may realize that things are even messier than you thought, which will be frustrating, and you’ll have to go back to the drawing board. This can happen over and over again. You may never reach any definitive conclusion. But each time you try to make sense of the debate, you’ll find you understand the issues a little bit better. That’s the way we make progress in philosophy. It never gets easier than that.


Sometimes one philosophical issue leads into three other issues, which themselves lead into yet other issues… and you can’t possibly explore all of the relevant connections right then. So you’ll have to learn to make do without definitive answers. You may not be able to come to a settled view about whether you should accept some philosopher’s argument, because that turns on further issues P, Q, and R, which you haven’t figured out yet. That’s perfectly normal. Your philosophy professors often feel this way themselves, about many of the arguments they read.

有时一个哲学问题会引出另外三个问题,而这三个问题本身又会引出其他问题……你不可能立刻研究所有这些关联的问题。所以你必须学会妥协,接受一个问题没有明确的答案。你可能无法确定是否应该接受某个哲学家的论证,因为你还没有弄清楚的进一步的问题 P、Q 和 R。这完全正常。你们的哲学教授在阅读时也经常有这种感觉。

Other times, you may be sure that some argument is flawed, but you won’t have the time and resources to figure out, or explain and argue for, everything you think is wrong with the argument. In such cases, you may want to provisionally accept one of the argument’s premises, and move on to focus on other premises, which you think are more important or which are easier to criticize. (This is why you often hear philosophers saying, “Even if we assume such-and-such for argument’s sake, I still think X’s argument fails, because…”)

其他时候,你可能很确定某个论证是错的,但你没有时间和资源去理清、解释和争论整个论证。这时,你可能会想姑且接受某个前提,然后从其他更重要或更容易反驳的前提入手。(这就是为什么你经常听到哲学家说,「就算我们为了论证假设什么什么是对的,我仍然认为 X 的论证是失败的,因为……」)

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上周开始看 Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks 这本书,有种十年前就该学这些内容的感觉。尤其是这本书里讲的,一定要每天坚持至少十五分钟的写作,不要等,不要等,搞创作要积少成多。

Writing is to academia what sex was to nineteenth-century Vienna: everybody does it and nobody talks about it. A leading scholar of productivity found that most academics were more willing to talk about their most personal problems, including sexual dysfunction, than about problems with writing (Boice 1990, 1). The prevalent belief among academics seems to be that writing, like sex, should come naturally, and should be performed in polite privacy.

Wendy Laura Belcher. 2019. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks. p. 15

No matter how busy your life is, make a plan for writing. Successful academic writers don’t wait for inspiration. They don’t wait until the last minute. They don’t wait for big blocks of time. They make a plan for writing five days a week, and they strive to stick to it. Much of this workbook will be devoted to helping you develop writing into a habit. Short and steady sessions will win the race: “With but a few exceptions, writers who remained in a schedule requiring an hour or less a weekday of writing mastered a sequence of strategies for remaining truly productive over long periods of time” (Boice 1990, 3). As an anonymous person wisely commented online, “The only thing that improves writing is writing.”

Wendy Laura Belcher. 2019. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks. pp. 18–19





关于持续时间的问题已经有非常确定的证据,这个证据来自化妆室外走廊的监控录像。弦子在事发第二天就报了警,当年警方调取了监控,监控里的重要信息和截图都记录在当时的刑事侦察卷宗(当时是以猥亵罪开展刑事侦察的)里。所以弦子才有可能给出精确到秒的时间信息:监控拍到从弦子被同学带进化妆室,到弦子在走廊上擦嘴,这中间有 45 分钟(18:12:06—18:57:17)。

如果你看到这里觉得我提供了新的信息,那你连理想记那篇文章也没仔细看,理想记文章里明确地写了「女方弦子出现在化妆间外监控镜头的时间是 18 时 12 分 16 秒,出来后擦嘴的手势则出现在 18 时 57 分 45 秒,也就是说,两人在化妆间里共处的时间一共 45 分钟」——你认为这和被骚扰四五十分钟是同一回事吗?

再说衣服上没有检测到 DNA 的问题。看到未检出 DNA 就认为这是没有骚扰行为的证据的人,你们有一点点科学探究精神吗?你们有没有思考过,如果我摸了你的衣服,有多大概率留下我的 DNA?事后又有多大概率提取并检测到这些 DNA?不同的衣服材质有没有影响?皮肤干、油、多汗、少汗有没有影响?学界有没有做过相关实验?


《触摸痕中接触 DNA 检验概述》(《中国法医学杂志》2015 年第 30 卷第 3 期,几位作者是淄博市公安局临淄分局刑侦大队和淄博市公安局刑侦支队的法医),这篇论文里写到,影响接触 DNA 检验的因素包括干/油性皮肤的个体差异、载体表面属性、接触方式、遗留时间等。

《衣物类生物检材 DNA 检验的研究》(《中国法医学杂志》2018 年第 33 卷第 4 期,作者有 10 人,通信作者是深圳市公安局刑事科学技术研究所的主任法医师),这篇论文里写到:

在法医实际检案中,鞋袜、衣服、手套、帽子类检材作为接触类 DNA 生物物证在犯罪现场经常被发现,由于此类检材 DNA 含量较低,存在诸多 PCR 扩增抑制因素,易被外源性 DNA 污染,不易被转移提取,故检验难度大、检验成功率低。
衣物类生物检材属于接触类 DNA,所含 DNA 量接近低拷贝模板,且该类检材存在以下特点:(1) 有限的表皮细胞分布在面积较大的载体上,难以收集;(2) 脱落细胞与载体和污物结合紧密,难以洗脱;(3) 脱落细胞多为角化上皮细胞,DNA 量微或已降解;DNA 提取富集难度较大。

这些论文基本上可以说明要从 DNA 来判定有没有接触行为是非常困难的。没有检出 DNA 有各种各样的可能,根本不能用来证明没有发生过接触行为。


在 14 年我衣服 DNA 的鉴定结果中,只对裙子的三处位置做了鉴定、没有部位大小描述、没有任何人的签字,我们要求对 6 年前的衣服重新鉴定,被拒绝。









根据弦子的说法(微博链接),她和律师看到的笔录中显示,朱军 2014 年接受警方问讯时承认过当时确实对弦子说了你长得像我太太。在理想记的文章里,朱军的回应是「可能说过,这只是一句缓解气氛的玩笑,没有任何其他意思」。这算是双方都同意的一点内容。

虽然这件事没有直接证据(化妆室里没有监控),间接证据还是很多,包括 2014 年的报警记录、讯问笔录、化妆室外走廊的监控录像等等。从现有证据和弦子从 2018 年来的多次陈述来看,我没有发现什么地方让我怀疑弦子在说谎。



首先你处理性骚扰纠纷的办法是,有直接证据就报警,这一点我同意。但我说了,性骚扰就是天生缺少直接证据,如果没有监控,如果没有指纹或 DNA 检验结果(我说过检出率较低而不是大概率可以检出),就没有直接证据。



#MeToo 运动的确改变了一部分人的观念,让更多受害者更愿意站出来发声,但完全不到翻转整体环境的地步。就像你说的,西方也有很多反对者,中国当然也很多。既然有这么多反对者,现在的舆论环境就不可能对受害者特别友好。有多大比例的受害者愿意打乱自己的日常生活学习和工作去承受网上陌生人的指点甚至漫骂?








认为法院判决可以直接解决问题的回复(原文为 24 日写的想法里的评论,转到这里)


如果对方不是朱军,而是一个普通人,弦子的胜诉希望会更大一些。比如已经有很多人引用的某电子公司胡某性骚扰一案中,判决书里就以「根据正常人的行为习惯和一般常理,如胡某没有猥亵行为,赵某没有必要置自身名誉、情侣关系和社会评价不顾,且甘冒报假案被追责风险将以上事实告知家人、男朋友和公司」((2019)粤 19 民终 4806 号)为其中一条理由,在没有直接证据的情况下认定了性骚扰。那弦子不也一样吗?至于法院要怎么判,我觉得已经不影响我对这件事情的看法了。会影响我对这件事情看法的只有新出现的证据。

朱迅对朱军的印象(原文为 27 日写的想法,转到这里)

看到有人转豆瓣的贴子,说朱迅在 2018 年 5 月(在弦子公开经历之前)出的自传《阿迅》里写到过 1995 年跟朱军一次合作时的一段经历,就找来了扫描版电子书查证。大家可以看看。

背景大概是当时朱迅是日本 NHK 电视台的主持人,与中央电视台合作办 Asia Live 晚会。朱军是中方主持人,他和中方的制片一开始以为朱迅是日本人,不会中文。制片就对朱军说,抽空把朱迅「办」了吧。

从书中叙述其实不知道具体年份,只知道是 1995 年后不久。但 《现代电视技术》1995 年第 3 期有篇论文提到 1995 年 5 月 26 日日本 NHK 广播公司与中国中央电视台联合主办 ASIA LIVE 亚洲歌坛文艺晚会,那应该就是这一次了。


朱迅自传里还有一处写到 2017 年第一次主持春晚的时候,「开场曲响起,朱军突然握住我右手的腕子,像老中医似的把把脉」(书页截图)……豆瓣有网友认为这句话也是朱迅在暗讽,我一开始觉得也许是我们先入为主多心了,不算明显的证据。

后来,弦子微博贴出了朱军在 2017 年春晚后台采访现场抓着董卿的手不放,被康辉说了一句「又号脉呢」才尴尬放开的视频(微博链接)。看来朱军把脉多半在央视内部已经成了一个梗,朱迅应该也知道这个梗才会这样写。这也印证了我之前说的央视冷处理反而是单位调查认为朱军有问题的旁证。



1. DNA 检测问题

我引用的论文已经说明了 DNA 检测率低。你说《衣物类生物检材DNA检验的研究》摘要里说了「该方法对衣物类生物检材 DNA 提取纯化后进行荧光 STR 检测,可应用于法庭科学实践」,所以论文的结论可以说明没有检测到 DNA 可以在法庭上用于证明没有接触?

首先你要知道论文一般是介绍行业新进展的,不是教科书。这篇 2018 年的论文总体意思是,以前 DNA 检测成功率低,我们使用了德国的新技术,把我们实验室保存的 100 份衣物类检材中检测了一遍,其中 78 份检查到了 DNA,其中 49 份 DNA 与公安机关数据库里嫌疑人的 DNA 一致,我们觉得进步很明显。——换句话说,使用新技术之后,检测到犯罪者 DNA 的比例也只有 49%。弦子的衣物检测可是没有用这个新技术的。你觉得这篇论文是证明了检测成功率高还是低?


2. 朱军在节目组的身份

根据我查到的 2014 年 5 月 15 日艺术人生姚贝娜专辑,朱军是执行制片人,出现在片尾职员表的第一位(截图链接,YouTube 视频链接)。

《乌鲁木齐晚报》2012 年的报道里说到,「自打朱军在 2010 年成了《艺术人生》的制片人,渐渐地也开始对节目进行了一些改变」。你说朱军只是主持人嘉宾,制片人是弦子的老师,这不属实。弦子的确在 2018 年的长微博里说「电视编导课老师分配我去她作为制片人的艺术人生节目组实习」,弦子指的可能是王峥,但其实那时候王已经只是监制,执行制片人是朱军。弦子在今年的长微博里说了朱军是节目组总制片。


3. 没有证据、没有证人就知道靠鼓动舆论?

很多人可能对最近几年为什么会有越来越多的受害者出来公开发声的背景缺乏了解。没有证据、没有证人在性骚扰纠纷里不是个例,不是弦子这件事没有直接证据和证人,而是大多数性骚扰纠纷都没有直接证据和证人。就像我已经说过的,我找一个没有监控的地方,实行了性骚扰,你能留下什么证据?DNA 的问题我已经解释过了,检出率很低。在这样的背景下,你让受害者怎么办?绝大多数受害者都选择了忍气吞声。




4. 弦子的陈述前后不一?


人的记忆,特别是这种创伤式的记忆,会随着时间流逝而改变。事发几年后未必记得当年具体发生了什么,记错、记混都是常见的现象。打开任何一本普通心理学的教材,应该都会讲到这一点。2018 年弦子的说法和 2020 年的说法有细节上的出入,很可能是因为弦子在 2019 年 1 月庭前会议上重新看到了当年的笔录(微博链接),又回想起了一些细节。我觉得这些都可以理解。

至于笔录里到底怎么写的,刑事侦查卷宗不会对外公开,我们大概也没机会看见。理想记大概也没看过。理想记文章里没有上下文地说「*朱军的猥亵过程从开始到结束持续了整整 40-50 分钟(原话)」,后来又说「关于女方弦子所声称的朱军性骚扰时长,摘录其本人笔录原话~~警察:朱军开始跟你性骚扰到结束总共又多长时间?弦子:断断续续的持续了 40 到 50 分钟左右的时间。」(微博链接)。所以到底哪句是原话?理想记对什么是原话是不是要求有点低?





我一直觉得韦伯的 Entzauberung(英译一般是 disenchantment)译成「祛魅」很奇怪。「祛魅」的「魅」取的是「鬼魅」「妖魔鬼怪」的意思,但现代汉语里面看到「魅」已经很难联想到「鬼魅」了。于是译作「祛魅」不仅容易带来字面上的误解,还很容易由生僻感产生引用偏好,理解的不理解的都爱说「祛魅」。



A fur piece = A long distance

刚刚在看 Miller 的 On Literature(中译本《文学死了吗?》——现在听这句话特别像在问候全家),里面说福克纳《八月之光》的开头是:


J. Hillis Miller. 2002. On Literature | 文学死了吗. 秦立彦 译 (2007)



William Faulkner. 1932. Light in August | 八月之光. 蓝仁哲 译 (2015)


William Faulkner. 1932. Light in August | 八月之光. 霍彦京 译 (2016)

于是我翻开 Light in August 的原文,对应的原文是 a fur piece。

I have come from Alabama: a fur piece. All the way from Alabama a-walking. A fur piece.

William Faulkner. 1932. Light in August

虽然我也不知道 a fur piece 是 a long distance 的土话(后来 Google 到了),但是我大概也不敢贸然译成皮草围巾,起码我可以查一下现成的中译本吧。