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【阅读世界】知识与智慧

时间:2014-07-03 14:26 作者:泛扬英语 点击: 185 次

       Most people would agree that, although our age excels all previous ages in knowledge, there has been no corresponding increase in wisdom. BUT agreement cease as soon as we attempt to define “wisdom” and consider means of promoting it.

       大多数人对这一点不会有异议:尽管我们所处的时代在知识上超过了以前所有的时代,但在智慧上并没有相应地增长。然而,我们一旦尝试给“智慧”下一个定义并考虑提高智慧的方式,不同意见马上出现。
       There are several factors that contribute to wisdom. Of these I should put first a sense of proportion: the capacity to take account of all the important factors in a problem and attach to each its due weight. This has become more difficult than it used to be owing to the extent and complexity of the special knowledge required of various kinds of technicians. Suppose, for example, that you are engaged in research in scientific medicine. The work is difficult and is likely to absorb the whole of your mind. You have to time to consider the effect which your discoveries or inventions may have outside the field of medicine. You succeed (Let us say) as modern medicine has succeeded, in enormously lowering the infant death-rate, not only in Europe and America, But also in Asia and Africa. This has the entirely unintended result of making the food supply inadequate and lowering the standard of life in the parts of the world that have the greatest populations. To take an even more dramatic example, which is in everygbody’s  mind at the present time: you study the makeup of the atom from a disinterested desire for knowledge, and by chance place in the hands of a powerful mad man the means of destroying the human race.
       智慧有几个要素。其中,我认为最重要的是区别轻重缓急有能力,即把某一难题中所有的重要因素都能考虑进去的能力,以及把每一个因素的重要性都定位得恰如其分的能力。囿于各种专业技术人员所需要的专业知识的特定范围及专业本身的复杂性,做到这一点比过去更困难了,试举一例:假如你在进行医药方法的科学研究,这项工作艰难,很可能让你全心投入。你没有时间考虑你的发现或发明可能对医学以外的领域的影响。我们假设,你成功地大大降低了婴儿死亡率,不仅在欧美,而且在亚洲和非洲。现代医学已经做到了这一点。这么做结果是食品供应短缺,并降低了世界上人口最多的这些地区的生活水平,而这是完完全全未曾预料到的。再举一个更为显著的例子,现在每一个人都明了,你出于对知识的无私的渴望,研究了原子的构造,偶然当中把毁灭全人类的武器放在一个疯狂的强人手里。
       Therefore, with every increase of knowledge and skill, wisdom becomes more necessary, for every such increase augments our capacity for realizing our purposes, and therefore augments our capacity for evil, if our purposes are unwise.
       因此,随着知识和技能的每一次增长,智慧变得更加必要,因为知识和技能每增长一次,实现我们目标的能力就会增长,人们作恶的能力也会随之增长-假如我们存心不良的话。
 

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