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知识与美德

2006-07-12 13:21

  Knowledge and virtue

  Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another; good sense is not conscience, refinement is not humility, nor is largeness and justness of view faith. Philosophy, however enlightened, however profound, gives no command over the passions, no influential motives, no vivifying principles. Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life——these are the connatural qualities of a large knowledge; they are the objects of a University; I am advocating, I shall illustrate and insist upon them; but still, I repeat, they are no guarantee for sanctity or even for conscientiousness, they may attach to the man of the world, to the profligate, to the heartless, pleasant, alas, and attractive as he shows when decked out in them. Taken by themselves, they do but seem to be what they are not; they look like virtue at a distance, but they are detected by close observers, and on the long run; and hence it is that they are popularly accused of pretense and hypocrisy, not, I repeat, from their own fault, but because their professors and their admirers persist in taking them for what they are not, and are officious in arrogating for them a praise to which they have no claim. Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk,then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man.

  知识是一回事,美德是另一回事。好意并非良心,优雅并非谦让,广博与公正的观点也并非信仰。哲学,无论多么富有启迪和深奥莫测,都无法驾驭情感,不具备有影响力的动机,不具有导致生动活泼的原理。文科教育并不造就基督教徒抑或天主教徒,而是造就了绅士。造就一个绅士诚为美事。有教养的才智,优雅的情趣,正直、公正而冷静的头脑,高贵而彬彬有礼的举止——这些是与渊博的学识生来固有的品质, 它也是大学教育的目的。对此我提倡之,并将加以阐释和坚持。然而我要说的是,它们仍然不能确保圣洁,或甚至不能保证诚实。它们可以附庸于世故的俗人,附庸于玩世不恭的浪子。唉,当他们用它伪装起来时,就更增加了他们外表上的冷静、快活和魅力。就其本身而言,它们似乎已远非其本来面目,它们似乎一远看的美德,经久久细察方可探知。因此它们受到广泛的责难,指责其虚饰与伪善。我要强调,这绝非是因为其自身有什么过错,而是因为教授们和赞美者们一味地把它们弄得面目全非,并且还要殷勤地献上其本身并不希冀的赞颂。如若用剃刀就可以开采出花岗岩,用丝线即能系泊位船只,那么,也许你才能希望用人的知识和理性这样美妙而优雅的东西去与人类的情感与高傲那样的庞然大物进行抗争。

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