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我在,故我思 I am, Therefore I Think (Excerpt)


  Philosophers answer your questions about love, nothingness and everything else…
  Logic  关于逻辑
我在,故我思 I am, Therefore I Think (Excerpt)  Is there a logical reason why most people prefer their own opinions to someone else’s?
  Louise Antony: Here’s a conceptual reason: if I “preferred” your opinion to my own, in the sense of thinking it is more likely to be true than the one I currently hold, then I presumably would change my opinion to match yours, and your opinion would become mine.
  I was loading up to go on a trip the other day and asked my dad why he was taking a lot of extra stuff and he said: “Just in case the unexpected happens.”
  So out of that comes my question: if you expect the unexpected, then doesn’t that make the unexpected expected and the expected unexpected?
  Peter Lipton: Even if you expect the unexpected, you may still be surprised. I took my Swiss Army knife along, because I expected the unexpected, but I was still surprised when I had to use it to free a 1)hedgehog that got itself locked in the 2)glove compartment of my car. People who believe that life is full of surprises are often right.


  Happiness  关于幸福
  Is it possible to measure sorrow or happiness? If so, can one person’s grief or joy be greater than another’s?
  Mark Crimmins: This is one of those questions where your first impulse is to say “Of course!” and “Impossible!” at the same time(which is of course impossible). Of course! We have little trouble 3)discerning that the suicidal depressive is less cheery than the tiny 4)tot with her eyes all 5)aglow. We’re very confident even about much subtler discriminations: for instance, that runner who has finally achieved his personal best is more 6)elated than this chef who is satisfied that her new dish will maintain the restaurant’s reputation. But, impossible! We can never get the chef’s satisfaction into the same mind as the runner’s excitement. And don’t we have to be able to do that to compare them? Couldn’t it be that the chef’s joy is far greater, and yet she reacts to that level of joy in a far more subdued way than the runner would(perhaps her baseline mood would make the runner skip and sing)?

  Love  关于爱
  Is it possible for one to be in love with the feeling of being in love, instead of with the person you believe you’re in love with?
  Alexander George: We do speak of “loving the feeling of being clean”, but surely the sense of “loving” here must be different from the sense in which one loves one’s 7)spouse. The first seems more or less synonymous with “finding very
  pleasurable”, while the latter, well, I don’t know how else to express what we mean in such cases, but I do know that we mean something different form “finding very pleasurable”. So, it’s of course quite possible that John is in love with Hilary and also finds being in that state very pleasurable.
  But that’s not your question. You’re imagining a situation in which John thinks he’s in love with Hilary, but really isn’t. And you’re further wondering whether John might experience great pleasure from this 8)faux love. If he does, then of course he’s not in love with being in love, since he’s not in love. As you put it, he’s “in love with the feeling of being in love”.
  Putting it this way does assume that love feels a particular way. This seems like a dubious assumption to me(recall that one can think one’s in love when one isn’t), but if we do assume it then your question amounts to this: could it be that John is not in love with Hilary, that John is having those experiences that regularly attend his being in love, that(perhaps as a consequence) John believes that he is in love with Hilary, and finally that John is taking great pleasure in having those experiences? I don’t see why not.


  Mind  关于思想
  What’s it like to be another person?
  Mark Crimmins: That’s a really good question. I guess the answer is: it feels normal. Because it feels normal to them, and so if you are that person, then feeling like they do feels normal to you.
  But what we really want to know is: how would it feel for me to feel what they are feeling? If I could “see” what a red apple looked like to them, would it look red to me? Or would it look green? If I could feel their sleepiness, would it feel like mine? Fortunately, philosophers have thought long and hard about this question. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured it out yet.