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马德里网上娱乐成 - TED||一顿早餐引发的哲学讨论

时间:2020-01-08 14:37:22


[摘要] 本文转自:英语口语小镇视频介绍1812年,四个人在剑桥大学共进早餐。一开始是一顿慷慨激昂的大餐,后来演变成一场新的科学革命,这些自称为“自然哲学家”的人后来创造了“科学家”一词,他们在科学探究中引入了四大原则。历史学家和哲学家劳拉·斯奈德讲述了他们有趣的故事。

马德里网上娱乐成 - TED||一顿早餐引发的哲学讨论

马德里网上娱乐成,本文转自:英语口语小镇

视频介绍

1812年,四个人在剑桥大学共进早餐。一开始是一顿慷慨激昂的大餐,后来演变成一场新的科学革命,这些自称为“自然哲学家”的人后来创造了“科学家”一词,他们在科学探究中引入了四大原则。历史学家和哲学家劳拉·斯奈德讲述了他们有趣的故事。

演讲者:jon ronson

片长:12:33

滑动查看完整双语演讲稿☟

00:12

i'd like you to come back with me for a moment to the 19th century, specifically to june 24, 1833. the british association for the advancement of science is holding its third meeting at the university of cambridge. it's the first night of the meeting, and a confrontation is about to take place that will change science forever.

00:37

an elderly, white-haired man stands up. the members of the association are shocked to realize that it's the poet samuel taylor coleridge, who hadn't even left his house in years until that day. they're even more shocked by what he says.

00:54

"you must stop calling yourselves natural philosophers."

01:00

coleridge felt that true philosophers like himself pondered the cosmos from their armchairs. they were not mucking around in the fossil pits or conducting messy experiments with electrical piles like the members of the british association.

01:15

the crowd grew angry and began to complain loudly. a young cambridge scholar named william whewell stood up and quieted the audience. he politely agreed that an appropriate name for the members of the association did not exist.

01:31

"if 'philosophers' is taken to be too wide and lofty a term," he said, "then, by analogy with 'artist,' we may form 'scientist.'" this was the first time the word scientist was uttered in public, only 179 years ago.

01:54

i first found out about this confrontation when i was in graduate school, and it kind of blew me away. i mean, how could the word scientist not have existed until 1833? what were scientists called before? what had changed to make a new name necessary precisely at that moment? prior to this meeting, those who studied the natural world were talented amateurs. think of the country clergyman or squire collecting his beetles or fossils, like charles darwin, for example, or, the hired help of a nobleman, like joseph priestley, who was the literary companion to the marquis of lansdowne when he discovered oxygen. after this, they were scientists, professionals with a particular scientific method, goals, societies and funding.

02:48

much of this revolution can be traced to four men who met at cambridge university in 1812: charles babbage, john herschel, richard jones and william whewell. these were brilliant, driven men who accomplished amazing things. charles babbage, i think known to most tedsters, invented the first mechanical calculator and the first prototype of a modern computer. john herschel mapped the stars of the southern hemisphere, and, in his spare time, co-invented photography. i'm sure we could all be that productive without facebook or twitter to take up our time. richard jones became an important economist who later influenced karl marx. and whewell not only coined the term scientist, as well as the words anode, cathode and ion, but spearheaded international big science with his global research on the tides. in the cambridge winter of 1812 and 1813, the four met for what they called philosophical breakfasts. they talked about science and the need for a new scientific revolution. they felt science had stagnated since the days of the scientific revolution that had happened in the 17th century. it was time for a new revolution, which they pledged to bring about, and what's so amazing about these guys is, not only did they have these grandiose undergraduate dreams, but they actually carried them out, even beyond their wildest dreams. and i'm going to tell you today about four major changes to science these men made.

04:29

about 200 years before, francis bacon and then, later, isaac newton, had proposed an inductive scientific method. now that's a method that starts from observations and experiments and moves to generalizations about nature called natural laws, which are always subject to revision or rejection should new evidence arise. however, in 1809, david ricardo muddied the waters by arguing that the science of economics should use a different, deductive method. the problem was that an influential group at oxford began arguing that because it worked so well in economics, this deductive method ought to be applied to the natural sciences too. the members of the philosophical breakfast club disagreed. they wrote books and articles promoting inductive method in all the sciences that were widely read by natural philosophers, university students and members of the public. reading one of herschel's books was such a watershed moment for charles darwin that he would later say, "scarcely anything in my life made so deep an impression on me. it made me wish to add my might to the accumulated store of natural knowledge." it also shaped darwin's scientific method, as well as that used by his peers. [science for the public good]

05:57

previously, it was believed that scientific knowledge ought to be used for the good of the king or queen, or for one's own personal gain. for example, ship captains needed to know information about the tides in order to safely dock at ports. harbormasters would gather this knowledge and sell it to the ship captains. the philosophical breakfast club changed that, working together. whewell's worldwide study of the tides resulted in public tide tables and tidal maps that freely provided the harbormasters' knowledge to all ship captains. herschel helped by making tidal observations off the coast of south africa, and, as he complained to whewell, he was knocked off the docks during a violent high tide for his trouble. the four men really helped each other in every way. they also relentlessly lobbied the british government for the money to build babbage's engines because they believed these engines would have a huge practical impact on society. in the days before pocket calculators, the numbers that most professionals needed -- bankers, insurance agents, ship captains, engineers — were to be found in lookup books like this, filled with tables of figures. these tables were calculated using a fixed procedure over and over by part-time workers known as -- and this is amazing -- computers, but these calculations were really difficult. i mean, this nautical almanac published the lunar differences for every month of the year. each month required 1,365 calculations, so these tables were filled with mistakes. babbage's difference engine was the first mechanical calculator devised to accurately compute any of these tables. two models of his engine were built in the last 20 years by a team from the science museum of london using his own plans. this is the one now at the computer history museum in california, and it calculates accurately. it actually works. later, babbage's analytical engine was the first mechanical computer in the modern sense. it had a separate memory and central processor. it was capable of iteration, conditional branching and parallel processing, and it was programmable using punched cards, an idea babbage took from jacquard's loom. tragically, babbage's engines never were built in his day because most people thought that non-human computers would have no usefulness for the public. [new scientific institutions]

08:38

founded in bacon's time, the royal society of london was the foremost scientific society in england and even in the rest of the world. by the 19th century, it had become a kind of gentleman's club populated mainly by antiquarians, literary men and the nobility. the members of the philosophical breakfast club helped form a number of new scientific societies, including the british association. these new societies required that members be active researchers publishing their results. they reinstated the tradition of the q&a after scientific papers were read, which had been discontinued by the royal society as being ungentlemanly. and for the first time, they gave women a foot in the door of science. members were encouraged to bring their wives, daughters and sisters to the meetings of the british association, and while the women were expected to attend only the public lectures and the social events like this one, they began to infiltrate the scientific sessions as well. the british association would later be the first of the major national science organizations in the world to admit women as full members. [external funding for science]

09:53

up to the 19th century, natural philosophers were expected to pay for their own equipment and supplies. occasionally, there were prizes, such as that given to john harrison in the 18th century, for solving the so-called longitude problem, but prizes were only given after the fact, when they were given at all. on the advice of the philosophical breakfast club, the british association began to use the extra money generated by its meetings to give grants for research in astronomy, the tides, fossil fish, shipbuilding, and many other areas. these grants not only allowed less wealthy men to conduct research, but they also encouraged thinking outside the box, rather than just trying to solve one pre-set question. eventually, the royal society and the scientific societies of other countries followed suit, and this has become -- fortunately it's become -- a major part of the scientific landscape today.

10:52

so the philosophical breakfast club helped invent the modern scientist. that's the heroic part of their story. there's a flip side as well. they did not foresee at least one consequence of their revolution. they would have been deeply dismayed by today's disjunction between science and the rest of culture. it's shocking to realize that only 28 percent of american adults have even a very basic level of science literacy, and this was tested by asking simple questions like, "did humans and dinosaurs inhabit the earth at the same time?" and "what proportion of the earth is covered in water?" once scientists became members of a professional group, they were slowly walled off from the rest of us. this is the unintended consequence of the revolution that started with our four friends.

11:52

charles darwin said, "i sometimes think that general and popular treatises are almost as important for the progress of science as original work." in fact, "origin of species" was written for a general and popular audience, and was widely read when it first appeared. darwin knew what we seem to have forgotten, that science is not only for scientists.

12:20

thank you.

00:12

我希望先带你们回到19世纪, 确切地说回到1833年6月24日。英国科学促进协会正在剑桥大学, 召开第三届大会。会议举办的第一天晚上 发生了一次大讨论 永久的影响了科学的发展。

00:37

一个白发苍苍的老者站了起来, 与会成员惊讶的意识到 他是诗人塞缪尔·泰勒·柯勒律治(samuel taylor coleridge), 而今天是他多年来的第一次公开露面。但是更让他们震惊的是他说出来的话。

00:54

“你们不应该继续自称为‘自然哲学家’了。”

01:00

柯勒律治(coleridge)认为真正的哲学家应该是像他那样 坐在自己的靠椅上思考宇宙万物的。哲学家是不应该在化石坑里面折腾的, 也不应该像英国科学促进协会的会员们那样 拿着电极做些恶心的实验。

01:15

人们变得愤怒并开始大声的抱怨。一位名叫威廉姆·胡威立(william whewell)的年轻剑桥学者 站起来让大家安静了下来。他很礼貌的承认还没有合适的名字 来描述协会成员的身份。

01:31

“如果‘哲学家’一词过于宽泛和崇高,” “那么,类比‘艺术家’与‘艺术’的叫法, 我们可以使用‘科学家’一词。” 这是‘科学家’一词首次 为公众所知, 至今不过179年。

01:54

我第一次听说这个故事的时候还在念研究生, 这个故事让我太惊讶了。我是说“科学家”这个词怎么可能是 1833年才出现的?在那之前科学家们如何称呼自己?在那个年代,创造一个新的名字 带来了什么改变?在这次会议之前,研究自然世界的人 都是一些很有天赋的爱好者。他们会是镇上的牧师或乡绅, 热衷于收集甲虫或化石标本, 比如达尔文(charles darwin), 又如发现了氧气的约瑟夫·普利斯特里(joseph priestley), 他当时是 兰斯顿侯爵(the marquis of lansdowne) 的陪读。在那之后,他们都成为了科学家, 有特定的研究方法、目标、 团体和资金支持的专业研究人员。

02:48

许多革新都可以追溯到1812年 在剑桥大学聚会的四个人:查尔斯·巴贝奇(charles babbage),约翰·赫歇尔(john herschel), 理查德·琼斯(richard jones)和威廉姆·胡威立(william whewell). 这四位领军人物都非常智慧 并且成果颇丰。我想大多数ted听众都知道查尔斯·巴贝奇(charles babbage) 他发明了第一台机械计算机 以及第一代计算机的原型。约翰·赫歇尔(john herschel)制作了南半球的星图, 并且在他的业余时间与他人共同发明了照相技术。我相信如果我们戒掉脸书(facebook)和推特(twitter), 我们也能这么高产的。理查德·琼斯(richard jones)成为了一名重要的经济学家, 日后他影响到了卡尔·马克思(karl marx)。胡威立(whewell)不仅创造了“科学家”这个词, 还创造了“阳极”、“阴极”和“离子”, 而他关于全球潮汐的研究 在国际上也有着深远的影响。在1812年至1813年冬天的剑桥, 这四个人多次参与到被称为“哲学早餐”的会面中。他们谈论科学 以及一次新的科学革命的需要。他们认为源于17世纪的 科学革命到现在已经陷入了 某种停滞。是时候来一场新革命了, 这场革命是他们要确保发生的, 而最叫人吃惊的是这些人 不仅能够有这些大胆 和美好的梦想, 而且他们真的实现了这些梦想, 甚至超越了他们自己最疯狂的梦想。接下来我就来简述一下 这四个人对于科学界的主要贡献。

04:29

大约200年前, 培根和之后的牛顿 总结了一套归纳总结的科学方法。这种方法首先基于观察 或实验得到的数据, 然后通过将这些数据一般化来得到所谓自然法则, 这些结论能够被新的证据 所支持或推翻。然而,在1809年,大卫·李嘉图(david ricardo)搅了一趟浑水, 他主张在经济学领域 应该使用另外一种方法:演绎法。问题源自牛津一个很有影响的科学团体,他们主张 既然演绎法在经济学领域如此有用, 那么也应该适用于 自然科学领域。哲学早餐俱乐部的成员们并不同意这个观点。他们写了一些书和文章来推动归纳法 在所有的科学领域中应用, 这些文字被当时的自然哲学家、 大学学生和公众广泛阅读。赫歇尔(herschel)的著作成为后来 后来改变达尔文思想的分水岭。达尔文后来写道:“好可怕,从没有一种思想 这么深刻的影响了我。这让我开始有了一种欲望 为人类的自然知识宝库添砖加瓦。” 达尔文及其同行的科学研究方法的形成 也受到了赫歇尔(herschel)的影响。[公众利益导向的科学]

05:57

以前,人们相信科学知识 应该为国王和王后 或个人的利益服务。例如,船长需要知道潮汐的规律 让自己的船能够安全的停泊在港口。港务长收集这些信息 并将其卖给船长们。哲学早餐俱乐部通过协同工作 改变了这个现状。胡威立(whewell)研究了全球的潮汐规律 做出了一张全球潮汐规律图, 将原来只有港务长才能掌握的潮汐知识 免费提供给了所有的船长。赫歇尔(herschel)帮助在南非海岸 建立了潮汐观察站, 有一次,他向胡威立(whewell)抱怨, 他有一次因为失误而在码头被一个大浪冲倒了。这四个人真的做到了相互帮助。他们不知疲倦的游说英国政府 拨款建造巴贝奇(babbage)的差分机 因为他们相信这些引擎 能够对社会产生非常大的积极影响。在没有电子计算器的年代, 很多行业需要用到数据—— 银行家、保险代理人、船长、工程师—— 都只能通过这样的大部头书中查找, 书里面是预先计算好的各种数字表格。这些表格都是由一些临时工—— 被称作“人工计算机”—— 依据固定的计算过程一遍一遍算出来的, 但是这些计算真的很复杂。例如这份航海历就计算了 一年中每个月份的月相差异。每个月都需要1365个计算结果, 所以这些表格里面错误重重。巴贝奇(babbage)的差分机是第一个能够用来 精确计算表格中任何结果的机器。二十年前,伦敦科学博物馆的 一个团队根据他的图纸建造了 两台差分机。图中这个现在位于加州计算机历史博物馆, 它现在仍可精确进行计算。它实际还是可以使用的。巴贝奇(babbage)之后提出的分析机 是第一个现代意义上的机械计算机。该机有独立的中央处理器和内存。它可以进行迭代、条件跳转, 并且可以并行处理, 可以使用穿孔卡进行编程, 这是巴贝奇(babbage)从雅卡尔(jacquard)的织布机中得到的灵感。很遗憾的是巴贝奇(babbage)的分析机没能得以实际制造出来, 因为大多数人认为 非人类的计算机对于公众利益而言 没有什么好处。[新的科学体制]

08:38

培根(bacon)时代建立的伦敦皇家学会 是英格兰, 甚至是全世界最早的科学团体。在19世纪的时候, 它变成了上层绅士们的俱乐部, 挤满了古文物学家、文学家和贵族。哲学早餐俱乐部 帮助建立一系列的科学团体, 包括英国进步科学协会在内。这些新的学会都要求他们的成员 是活跃的研究人员,并有发表研究结果。他们恢复了 针对学术论文的问答环节, 这一传统当时已经不被伦敦皇家学会采用, 理由是不够绅士。同时,他们首次让女性有机会涉足科学。英国科学进步协会鼓励会员 携带自己的妻子、女儿、姐妹参加会议, 虽然当时只是允许女性 参加一些公开报告和社交类的活动, 但是女性由此开始逐渐参与到科学领域中。英国科学进步协会也是后来 第一个接收女性成为正式会员的 主流国家学术团体。[科学基金]

09:53

上至19世纪, 自然哲学家是需要自己 支付实验设备和物资的。偶尔会有奖金, 如约翰·哈里森(john harrison)在18世纪的时候 解决了所谓的“经度问题”而获得的奖金, 但是仅仅当工作完成之后 才能获得全部的奖金。在哲学早餐俱乐部的建议下, 英国进步科学协会开始 利用举办会议时多出来的钱 赞助天文学、潮汐、鱼类化石、造船业 和其它很多领域的研究。这些基金不仅让不那么富有的人 也能参与到科学研究中来, 还鼓励人们寻找新挑战, 而不是去解决预置好的问题。最终,皇家协会和其他国家的科学团体 都开始效仿, 并且成为——很幸运的—— 今天科学研究领域的基础形式。

10:52

哲学早餐俱乐部 帮助创造了现代科学家。这是他们的英雄故事。当然凡事都有反面。至少有一件事情 是他们当时没有预见到的。如果他们看到今天科学和其他大众文化的分离, 他们或许会深深失望。你们或许会惊讶于 只有28%的美国成年人 具备基本的科学知识, 而测试用的问题都是非常简单的:例如“人类和恐龙是生活在一个时代的么?” “地球表面有多少部分覆盖着水?” 一旦科学家变成一个专业的团体, 他们就开始慢慢的跟大众脱离了。这是我们这四位朋友 开启革命时没有想到的。

11:52

达尔文说过:“我时常想到,通俗和大众的科普文章的重要性 跟科学领域的原创工作 应该是同等重要的。” 事实上,《物种起源》面向的就是 通俗和普通的读者, 并且在初次发表之后得到了广泛传阅。达尔文知道我们似乎忘记了一点:科学不仅仅是科学家的事情。

12:20

谢谢。


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