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  • One of the touching signs of the influence of philosophy on everyday life,

    哲學對日常生活的影響,最可以顯示在

  • is that people can sometimes be heard to complain that they're

    當我們有時聽見人們抱怨,

  • going through something what they call an Existential Crisis.

    他們正在經歷所謂的「存在主義危機」。

  • "No!"

    「不!」

  • The phrase maybe used rather casually and vaguely

    這個詞可能被用的有點隨性和模糊,

  • but it nevertheless touches on one of the major traditions of European philosophy

    但它觸及到了歐陸哲學的其中一個大支派,

  • closely associated with the ideas of five philosophers in particular.

    而這個思想和五位哲學家尤其相關。

  • Kierkegarrd, Camus, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sartre.

    齊克果、卡謬、尼采、海德格和沙特。

  • Though these thinkers disagreed on many things, it is possible via their thought

    儘管這些思想家在許多觀點上仍有分歧,我們仍可以藉由他們的觀點

  • to come to a coherent view of what an existential crisis really is,

    來統合出「存在主義危機」的完整定義,

  • and when it might therefore be helpful to refer to ourselves as going through one.

    了解它之餘,當我們真正面臨到這個危機時,我們也可以知道如何應對。

  • The crisis is marked by five distinctive features

    存在主義危機由五個獨特的元素組成:

  • Firstly, it's a period when a lot that are previously seemed like common sense or normal

    首先,這個時期會有很多原先看似是常識或正常的東西,

  • reveals its contingent, chance, uncanny and relative nature.

    揭露它本身的偶然性、隨機性、荒謬性與相關性。

  • For example, we might start to wonder "Why we live in THIS part of the world rather than ANY other?"

    例如,我們可能會開始思考,「為什麼我住在世界的『這個』部分,而不是『其他』地方呢?」

  • "Why we're doing THIS job and NOT something else?"

    「為什麼我做的是『這份』工作而『不是』其他的呢?」

  • "Why are we with THIS partner and following THIS set of social norms?"

    「為什麼我會跟『這個』人在一起,並且遵守著『這套』社會規範呢?」

  • In short, we realize rather disturbingly there are far more options beneath the surface than we normally allow ourselves to imagine.

    簡而言之,我們頗為惱人地發現,世界上存在的可能性,遠比我們想像多得多。

  • We are more freer than we thought.

    我們遠比我們想像的還要自由。

  • Secondly, this revelation is acutely anxiety inducing.

    第二,這個揭露的過程非常劇烈,而且處處充滿焦慮。

  • A recognition of our freedom doesn't bring with it calm; quite the opposite.

    意識到自我的自由並不會帶來平靜,恰恰相反。

  • We recognize we've been deluding ourselves about what HAD to be.

    我們這才意識到,一直以來我們都在試圖催眠自己去相信事情「應該」如何。

  • No one really cares quite as much as we'd thought about what we are and have chosen to do.

    沒人像我們想的那樣在乎我們是誰,以及我們選擇去做什麼。

  • We could change everything around.

    我們可以改變一切。

  • We come to a disturbing awareness that our ultimate responsibility is to ourselves, not the social world.

    我們再度惱人地意識到,我們的終極的責任是對我們自身,而不是對這個社會。

  • Thirdly, we develop a heightened awareness of death.

    第三,我們更加意識到死亡無所不在。

  • Time is short and running out, we need to re-examine our lives,

    時光飛逝而且,我們需要重新檢視我們的生命,

  • but the clock is ticking ever louder.

    但死神卻緊追在我們身後。

  • Fourthly, and crucially for all the existential philosophers,

    第四點,同時也是對所有存在主義哲學家來說很重要的一點,

  • we have many choices but are, by the nature of the human condition,

    我們雖然擁有很多選擇,但受限於人類的條件,

  • denied the information we would need to choose with ultimate wisdom or certainty.

    我們缺乏相關的資訊以明智且有把握地做決定。

  • We are forced to decide, and can never be assured that we've done so adequately.

    我們被迫做出選擇,但卻永遠無法確定我們是否已做好充足的事前準備。

  • We are steering blind,

    我們就像矇著眼睛開車,

  • and therefore we can be guaranteed to make a lot of mistakes.

    因此我們勢必會犯下許多錯誤。

  • The condition of mankind is to have to plot our course in the dark without adequate reason or insight.

    人類的境況是必須在缺乏充足理由和視野的情況下,在黑暗中替自己的未來布局。

  • This leads to another favorite word for the Existentialists:

    這裡要介紹另一個存在主義者們喜愛的字眼:

  • Anxiety.

    焦慮。

  • The human condition is to be anxious.

    人類是注定要感到焦慮的。

  • Not about "this or that" particular thing but as a basic feature of our lives.

    這個焦慮無關乎「這個或那個」這樣明確的事物,它是一個我們人生中的基本元素。

  • Because we must always choose without any security that we've chosen well and without sufficient time to explore the options,

    因為我們在做選擇之前,總是無法確定這個決定是否正確,而且我們也沒有時間去衡量所有的可能性,

  • this can call all sound perilous and dispiriting.

    這一切聽起來都相當危險且令人沮喪不已。

  • Yet the existential philosophers don't mean to depress us.

    但存在主義哲學家們無意讓我們沮喪。

  • They want to lend dignity and grandeur to dilemmas which we too often think of as ours alone,

    他們希望我們在那些太常被認為是個人的難題面前時,能有尊嚴且莊嚴地去面對,

  • and therefore feel ashamed about as some personal curse,

    因為我們太常因那些難題而感到丟臉,並將他們視為個人的詛咒;

  • when they are in fact fundamental features of the human condition

    然而,事實上他們只是人之所以為人的基本條件而已,

  • which will noble us when we considered them with sufficient depth.

    如果我們深度地去思考,這些難題反而會使我們昇華。

  • The existentialists offer us a useful corrective to a normal pernicious view that

    存在主義者們提供我們一種對普遍有害看法的修正,

  • intelligent choice might be possible and untragic in structure.

    傳統上認為,我們可以做出聰明的決定,而決定本身也不是悲劇性的。

  • An existential approach tempers the modern sentimental notion that perfection is within reach.

    存在主義的觀點調節了現代的感性認知,也就是認為完美是存在的。

  • That you suffer from the agony of choice isn't some anomaly,

    因為選擇而感到焦慮並不是甚麼不正常的事,

  • it's one of the most predictable and poignant things about being alive.

    相反地,它是生命中最可以被預測且最尖銳的事情之一。

  • This is a message we benefit from hearing quite often

    如果認知到這個事實,對我們其實相當有益,

  • because what helps with regret is the knowledge that

    因為消弭遺憾的辦法,就是意識到

  • in fact every life is burdened by it in some shape or form.

    事實上每個人的生命都多少受焦慮左右。

  • The regret-free life exists only in movies and songs.

    毫無缺憾的人生只存在於電影和歌曲中。

  • The way to diminish our anxiety and panic

    要消解焦慮和不安的方法,

  • is to alleviate the sense that one had the option to choose correctly but failed.

    就是要放下「我本來可以做出正確決定,但卻失敗了」這樣的執念。

  • A degree of disappointment is, as the existentialist philosophers so beautifully admitted,

    如同存在主義哲學家如此美麗的承認,些許的失望,

  • just simply the human condition.

    就只是人類之所以為人類的條件而已。

One of the touching signs of the influence of philosophy on everyday life,

哲學對日常生活的影響,最可以顯示在

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什麼是存在主義危機? (What is an Existential Crisis?)

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    Jacky Avocado Tao 發佈於 2016 年 07 月 15 日
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