5.21.2014

正義第4-2講︰所謂兩相情願


http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lcq3hlngpm1qa6ql2o1_500.gif


課程︰《正義︰一場思辨之旅》
講者︰Michael Sandel
出版︰公視 DVD


多年前寫過一篇關於〈同性戀是否不正常?〉的文章,在多事之秋的今天看來,是別有一番感覺。在此不想在雜亂無章的討論中加上一腳,而只是在問一個更原則性的問題︰「在民主政府之下,私人空間在何等程度上應受到尊重?」

John Locke而言,民主政府即在state of nature的人為了脫離這戰爭的狀態而達成共識所成立的政府,這個政府之所以成立,其目的就是保護天賦的人權[1]。而所謂天賦的人權,明顯就是在指state of nature下人們早已擁有但不能放棄的「生命、自由與財產」。

這就與我們一般認為「我擁有我自己」的直觀有些出入,一般認為「我擁有我自己」是包括「擁有放棄生命的權利」,但若「生命」是不能放棄,則連「自殺」在道德上也都是不被允許的。

事實上,「你擁有生命但不能放棄生命」可能比較難去理解,但「你擁有自由則不能放棄自由」可能就較容易明白。你可能會說︰「我可以賣身給別人成為奴隸,或甚可以把自己困在獄中。」但是,你賣身及進入牢獄之中的決定就證明你還是自由的。[2]故此,以極端言之,一個民主政府不能投票放棄民主體制,縱使出現百分之百的投票率及同意。[3]

如果,民主政府的首要任務就是保障人權,那麼交稅、服兵役或甚至立法禁止吸煙是如何可能呢?所謂民主程序的授權,有何種界限呢?[3]

[1]嚴格來說是自然權利,但用天賦人權較容易理解。
[2]這種說法可能有點存在主義的色彩︰「自由是命定的」。
[3]除非返回state of nature,否則現階段來說,沒有其他政體比民主政府更能保障人權。

5.20.2014

正義第4-1講︰這是我的土地


http://big5.cri.cn/gate/big5/gb.cri.cn/27224/2013/10/09/3465s4277845.htm


課程︰《正義︰一場思辨之旅》
講者︰Michael Sandel
出版︰公視 DVD

由之前釣魚台到最近越南反華暴亂;由遠至烏克蘭克里米亞危機至最貼身電影竊聽風雲丁權問題,此中都有一個共通點,就是認定「這是我的土地。」

若果我的身體、我的時間、我的勞動是由「我擁有自我」這寸步不能讓的原則推論出來,那麼我所擁有的財產、我所擁有的土地也是神聖不可侵犯。那甚麼才是「我的財產」呢?哪些土地才是「我神聖不可侵犯的土地」呢?

John Locke認為在state of nature中,要把自然物化成自己的「財產」,就必須符合以下三個條件的其中之一。「1) one may only appropriate as much as one can use before it spoils. 2) one must leave “enough and as good” for others, and 3) one may only appropriate property through one's own labor.[1]

故此,在越南對出南沙礸探油田,並宣稱這是行駛中國主權的一部份,那就不是全無道理,但是state of nature亦是等同於在法律以前的戰爭狀態,在廿一世紀的國際關係而言,這又是否恰當呢?在釣魚台的問題上,中國的宣稱,又有多少實際的作用呢?烏克蘭是一個很好的借鏡,若沒有作為戰爭的心理準備,俄羅斯是不能吞併克里米亞,而美國與歐盟的軟弱,令其偽文明的侵略發生了。那就好像說,武力是使其成為公義的必要條件,歷史是由勝利者寫成的。

公義當然不是這樣,起碼在道德直覺而言。

香港的居住問題嚴重,現在大部份人工作勤勞工作一生也不能擁有自己的居所,但有些人卻可以天生就擁有自己的土地[2],這樣公平嗎?但一旦取消這個不平等,又可能涉及原居民武力悍衛「祖宗留下來神聖不可侵犯的土地」。

問題是︰「那些土地有多神聖?」亦事實上等於問︰「為甚麼要交稅?」而最終極的問題卻是在挑戰︰「你是否真的擁有自我?」

[1]http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke-political/#Pro
[2]這種說法只是粗略印象而言,不能太認真。若以一個中等月收入3萬的家庭而言,幸運地工作30年的話約有1080萬,不吃不喝的話都可以買到一間800尺的住宅;另外亦聽說擁有丁權的人數眾多,土地有限,要建成丁屋亦可能要排十幾年隊。

5.04.2014

《太空戰士六》︰第十四話 同門

(圖片來源︰wikia)


14.1

由魔導裝甲的主炮引起的爆風還未完全消散,只聽到有人在拍著手說︰「氣功炮。威力真的非同小可。」

說話的聲音似遠還近,一時三刻叫人摸不到那人的真正位置。

金髮男子一下吸氣,怒吼聲一響,居然把所有由暴風帶起的沙塵吹散:「安杜羅斯!你這個費加洛的叛徒!不但殺死自己生父達根師父,還投靠敵人!不要做縮頭烏龜!給我滾出來!」

一個銀髮男子從遠處慢慢走近,回應說:「那個貪慕虛榮的老傢伙,出賣傳統,居然把秘傳的絕技傳給你這個野王子!」

「費加洛……野王子?」艾卡像是明白了甚麼似的。

「那根本就是因為你心術不正,達根師父才把秘技傳給我。」

「因為他認為你還會有朝一日會成為費加洛的國王,為討好你,才傳給你!」銀髮男子說。

「不是這樣的!」金髮男子反駁說。

「艾卡,金髮男子是……?」洛克也聽出過中端倪,向艾卡說。

只見艾卡口中唸唸有詞,與平日一向冷靜的他有明顯不同:「馬修,馬修。」

洛克見艾卡未能克制,有打算上前與其相認。但那只會破壞原初的計劃,前功盡廢。

洛克擋在艾卡的前面,阻止他進一步行動,並說:「讓我來。」

14.2

天娜走進白色帳篷,站在被倒吊的西莉絲面前。

「誰?」西莉絲問道。

天娜不敢作出任何反應,怕會被拆穿。

西莉絲張開眼睛望著天娜。

雖然西莉絲隔著面巨,而天娜又喬裝成老兵,但與西莉絲的目光相接後,天娜覺得好像被西莉絲看穿自己的真正身份,感覺就如脫光一樣,立時有逃走的衝動。

「想不到會在這種情況與妳相遇。」然而西莉絲閉上眼睛,好像若有所思。

天娜不明所以,但卻放棄離開的念頭。

「我所擁有的魔導之力,雖以人工後天植入,與天生就擁有魔導之力的妳而言,有著天壤之別,然而兩者同質共源,引起的共嗚感,是化妝易容也掩飾不來的。」西莉絲頓了頓:「你我本就自幼就在魔導研究所中長大,但卻從未碰面。想不到史杜博士幾經辛苦才能把妳從魔導研究所救出來,卻被基卡夫搶走作他的武器。」

天娜確定西莉絲已認出她來,但聽著西莉絲訴說自己的身世,不敢打擾,只更呆呆地一動不動。

「基卡夫只會使陰謀詭計,就是誤信他的情報,我才落得如此下場。而你這洋娃娃更把波蘭多害死了,他可是與尼奧同樣硬漢子。」西莉絲說。

天娜心想:「難道西莉絲還以為我被帝國軍操控著?」

果然,西莉絲接著如此說:「 基卡夫叫你來,究竟有甚麼目的?莉莉絲!」

「我並不是莉莉絲!我的名字是天娜!」不知為何,天娜衝口而出。

14.3

一瞬間把三台魔導裝甲打倒地上的馬修,立時再成為帝國軍攻擊的對像,增援的士兵及魔導裝甲倍增。

然而見識過連主戰型魔導裝甲的主炮都不能動他分毫,帝國軍的士兵只在外面重重包圍著馬修與他對峙著的同門安杜羅斯。

眾人都在等安杜羅斯動手才一湧而上。

「你的弟弟是人來的嗎?」洛克笑道。

「那要你管?」艾卡反駁。

洛克與艾卡乘著帝國軍增援混入了包圍網中。

「達根師父其實是想把絕技傳給你的,若你肯回心轉……」馬修說。

「我不要再聽你的廢話!」安杜羅斯一擺架勢,便隔空出了一拳。拳風形成氣流,直撲馬修。

拳風雖快,但以馬修剛才的表現,眾人還以為他會輕易閃避。可是馬修不但沒有閃避,更沒有防禦,拳風中個正著。

這一下來得更突然,帝國軍沒有一個敢動。

拳風中個正著,卻沒有大礙,馬修的臉只有小許紅腫,他說:「滿意了嗎?」

然而安杜羅斯沒有領情,反而更大火了,怒道:「你敢小看我?!」立時衝向馬修,連環出了三拳。

「是連環轉身腳!」馬修暗讚一聲,不慌于忙,以手檔格。

安杜羅斯如馬修所料,並沒有停下來攻勢,緊接著使出一記高位旋風腿。

馬修一下低頭,輕易避開了旋風腿。

二人同是師兄弟的關係,對方的招數也相當熟練。現在同門相鬥,像演武多於對決,一時三刻也難分出勝負。

借著反動旋風腿的去勢,把勁力從腳傳到腰,再由腰傳到雙臂。安杜羅斯扭動並擊出雙拳,把原來擊拳的威力倍增。

「雙虎烈破!」安杜羅斯暗叫一聲。

14.4

馬修不敢硬接,以雙手護著胸前,後跳瀉力。但力度比想像中猛烈,馬修被彈到數米之外。

馬修一個後空翻受身著地,沒有大礙。

「不愧是父親大人賞識的男人!」安杜羅斯暗暗心道︰「他這樣全力採用守勢,很難找到他的破綻。」大聲說道︰「國王已死, 良禽擇木而棲,費加洛城已破,何不投入亞爾柏古,成就一番大業?」

果然,馬修登時由冷靜變得激動,震聲道︰「費加洛……哥哥是不會死的!」

馬修一下馬步,身體座下,擺出架式。

馬修運起全身力氣,一箭步,單虎掌擊出,有迅雷不及掩耳之勢。

猛虎硬爬山。

可是安杜羅斯早已看穿,使出「雲手•雙掌破」,扭著閃過虎擊,順勢在攻向馬修小掩處。

洛克早見馬修情緒突然波動,心知不妙,這刻見情況危急,二話不說飛撲出去。驟眼看來與安杜羅斯圍攻馬修,但安杜羅斯一下反技,剛好被洛克撲過正著。

「礙手礙腳!」安杜羅斯把攻勢轉向洛克,抓緊在空中的洛克衣領,一下轉身「雷震入林」把洛克拋向馬修。

馬修這時已收起「猛虎硬爬山」的勁力,打算把洛克「擋下來」。

然而洛克比馬修想像中靈活得多,在空中止著了去勢,非但沒有撞上馬修,反而順勢跳到馬修身後,以擒拿手法捉著馬修。

以馬修的力量本來可以輕易掙脫,但洛克在馬修的耳邊說︰「別動,艾卡已潛入軍中。」

馬修一呆,這時其他帝國軍一擁而上,馬修只好捒手就擒。

14.5

「天娜?不要笑死我了,這個世界上天生就擁有魔導力的只有妳一人。」西莉絲說︰「被基卡夫以操縱之輪控制著,哪會有自己的名字……難道?」

西莉絲再次睜開眼睛,望著天娜。

這次天娜不甘心示弱,與西莉絲對望。

「果然!」西莉絲說。

此時帳外傳來人聲,看守的護衛像是回來了。

天娜暗叫糟糕,不知如何是好。

「快快躲在前方角落鐵柱,等我指示。」西莉絲說。

天娜照著西莉絲的話,走到鐵柱後方躲起來。

守衛還未掲開帳門,西莉絲便高聲叫道:「基卡夫!你這個不仁不義的狗賊!快放開我,我要見皇上陛下!」

進來的衛士一下被西莉絲引開了,沒有注意到天娜的存在,走到西莉絲面前說:「想見皇上陛下?基卡夫大人才不會愚蠢到放虎歸山。先讓我倍你玩玩。」

衛士奸笑一聲,便用手中鞭子揮打西莉絲,西莉絲立刻皮開肉裂。

可是西莉絲沒有哼半點聲音,還帶點諷刺的口吻說道:「你還未吃飯嗎?與魔導研究所中的訓練相比,實在像抓痕。」頓了頓,續道:「走開!我不想見到你這小人物。」

天娜知道西莉絲向自己說話,悄悄溜到帳門前。

衛士見西莉絲小看自己,火上心頭,再揪打兩鞭。

天娜看著西莉絲因為幫自己而受皮肉之苦,一時於心不忍,停了下來。

西莉絲見天娜有所猶豫,便大聲喝罵:「還不快走?!難道要等基卡夫來嗎?」

天娜只好黯然離開。

14.6

天娜離開西莉絲的帳篷後,回到魔導裝甲的停泊處。

剛好艾卡與洛克也由哨站回來。

「以馬修的能力,雖被帝國軍捉著,應該沒有大礙。帝國軍奈他不何。」洛克安慰艾卡說:「等我們通過隧道後,就會營救馬修。」

「但願如此。」一到與馬修相關的事,艾卡便立刻少了當費加洛國王時應有的英明決斷風采。

這時,洛克也注意到,除了艾卡外,還有另一個人在悶悶不樂。

「天娜,怎麼了?」洛克説。

天娜望著洛克,一時也答不上話來。

艾卡心想也擔心不得那麼多,很快便從低谷振作起來,向洛克問道:「怎樣?」

「請也救出西莉絲吧!」天娜忽然說。

「甚麼?!」洛克與艾卡二口同聲說。

第十四話   完

3.29.2014

《太空戰士六》︰第十三話 闖陣

(FFshrine.org)


13.1

艾卡、洛克與天娜坐在剛剛捕捉的魔導裝甲之上。

三人分別穿上帝國軍的軍服,並喬裝成帝國軍。

「不愧是汪洋大盜,真懂得化妝逃過軍方的追捕。」艾卡笑說。

洛克白了艾卡一眼,說︰「是易容術。而且我是寶物獵人,不是甚麼汪洋大盜。」

「不都是一樣。」艾卡說。

天娜看著鏡子,完全認不得鏡中的自己。她套上洛克自製的人皮面具,活像一個老軍官。

「若有人向你說話,不需要回應他,只要板起臉望著我們就行。我們會為你解圍的。」洛克道。

易容後的天娜,外表是無懈可擊,但是若在言語及行為上,卻難掩女兒家的神韻。

「只要坐著別動就好。」天娜提醒自己道。

「嗯。」洛克則像一個中年身經百戰的士兵,像天娜的副手在她身旁。

「那為何要我當新兵?」艾卡駕駛著魔導裝甲,忽然抱怨起來。

「古老機械文明王國的承繼人,扮演魔導裝甲的駕駛員不是很合適嗎?」這次到洛克反擊說。

天娜聽到二人又鬥氣起來,不禁笑了。

「天娜。」洛克提示道。

「只要坐著別動就好。」天娜再提醒自己道。

「來了。」艾卡說。

天娜聽見艾卡如此說,眼看到一大隊魔導裝甲迎面而來,立刻緊張起來。

這表示就快到達帝國軍的大寨。

天娜四平八穩地坐著,艾卡把魔導裝甲停下來,與洛克一同站起身來向魔導裝甲隊伍行禮。

魔導裝甲大隊上的軍官沒有理會天娜等人,駕著魔導裝甲離開了。

天娜輕輕呼了口氣。

洛克與艾卡坐下來,繼續上路。

13.2

穿過林木區,來到剛剛從遠處看到的費加洛山脈隧道前的大寨。大寨的圍牆以附近砍伐的大樹與泥土建造,雖算臨時性質,但已有效地防止敵人潛入。

只見大寨有三數個出入口,都由二部二足型魔導裝甲及數個步兵守衛,紀律嚴謹。

「想不到守衛如此森嚴。」艾卡嘆道。

「不要只是讚賞敵人。」洛克說︰「先過這關再說。」

艾卡把魔導裝甲停在哨站前。

「通行證。」哨兵問道。

洛克立刻遞上一本皮革製作的小簿。

「你們是?」哨兵望著通行證再望望艾卡說。

「五連第一隊,巡邏完畢。」艾卡答道。

「唔。」哨兵與身邊的士兵小聲說著。

天娜擔心哨兵沒有反應,是不是出了甚麼亂子。這時的心跳得很快,不用把脈,心跳機乎隔空可聞。

「我們可以進去了嗎?」洛克見哨兵沒有反應,催促道︰「基卡夫大人等著我們的。」

哨兵聽見基卡夫的名字,立刻驚慌起來,生怕他會怪罪,立刻開閘放行。

天娜正舒了口氣之際,哨兵忽然向天娜問道︰「今晚的口令是甚麼?」

天娜一時也不能答上話來,只睜大眼睛望著洛克與艾卡,心亂如麻。幸好洛克機警,搶著道︰「天滿,落日,源國。」然後小聲向哨兵說︰「今早老傢伙無端端給基卡夫大人罵得一面是屁,心情很差,請大兵哥體諒。」

哨兵像是心同感受,說道︰「快行快行。」

艾卡二話不說便開動魔導裝甲進了大寨。

「你剛才對哨兵說了甚麼?」艾卡好奇問道。

「基卡夫的壞話。」洛克笑道。

13.3

艾卡等人進入大寨不久,正不知到哪兒報到進入隧道。

「基卡夫你這個烏龜王八蛋,你給我出來。」在剛才進來的哨站傳來某人的高聲叫罵。

「這才是真正的說壞話。」艾卡說。

帝國軍的士兵突然緊張起來,不斷有士兵前往增援。

洛克初時不以為意,但增兵速度慢慢加速,甚至有主戰型魔導裝甲加入。洛克心感不妙,捉著一名士兵問過究竟。

「有費加洛正在闖陣。」士兵回答說。

艾卡心想已指示老將軍留在星之丘待命,這一帶還有哪一個師團?轉念又想:「難道有綠洲的不聽號令?假冒費加洛軍?」

「敵方一多少人?」洛克如艾卡肚中的蟲子,知道需要更多資訊作判斷。

「只有一人。」士兵爽快地回答。

「甚麼?」洛克與艾卡異口同聲道。

13.4

艾卡與洛克把魔導裝甲停在一旁,天娜則留作看守,然後二人到哨站看過究竟。

在哨站對出,三架二足型魔導裝甲把那一個人團團圍住,較外圍的有二隊士兵準備,而二部主戰型魔導裝甲則守在大寨的門口作最後防線。

「這種規模足以輕易把一個連的費加洛步兵完全殲滅。」艾卡小聲對洛克說。

但是帝國軍只是圍著那人,卻沒有進攻的意慾。而那人雖擺著架勢,也只是等待敵人。

「他在養精蓄銳,面對一整隊帝國軍,他不會白白浪費氣力。」洛克道。

這種拉緊的氣氛,被其中一架二足型魔導裝甲所打破。它按捺不住衝上前揮拳攻擊,其餘二部像是意想不到,雖然也一擁而上,但也慢了半拍。

只見那人不慌不忙,緊緊避開魔導裝甲的鐵拳。然後跟著拳勢轉身,雙手捉著,把自己作為支點,居然把整台魔導裝甲拋上半空。

這時第二台魔導裝甲已到,那人一個閃身,魔導裝甲撲了個空,失去了平衡,倒在地上。

拋上半空的魔導裝的墮落點正是後上攻來的第三部,兩部魔導裝甲撞上後火花四濺。

只短短數秒,三台魔導裝甲便全部擊破。魔導裝甲況且如此,血肉之軀的帝國軍士兵更當然不敢接近。

艾卡與洛克看得目定口呆,難怪帝國軍會如此緊張。

那人站起身來,說:「把傷者先帶走。」

少了魔導裝甲的遮擋,艾卡與洛克較清楚看著那個人。

他束了一把長長的金髮,身上只穿了件湖水南色的背心,露出了他健碩的身材。

「很面善……」艾卡自言自語。

然而,帝國軍沒有領金髮男子的情,在後面的主戰型魔導裝甲突然發難,主炮閃出強光。

「糟糕!」艾卡忘記了自己潛伏的身份,破口而出。

的確,那個人是不是盜用費加洛的身份已無關重要,反而艾卡欣賞他的膽色與材能。

所以不自覺替他擔心起來。

但見他只吐了句「卑鄙」,便雙手在腰間作了個球狀的手勢。

說時遲,那時快,主炮的閃光直飛金髮男子,而他把雙手同時擊出,作虎咬的姿勢。光束居然給他截停了,並發生爆炸。

爆風揚起沙塵,但仍隱約可見他沒有半點受傷。

「龍珠嗎?!作者的創意去了哪兒了?」

「你說甚麼?」艾卡問洛克。

「沒甚麼。」洛克反問。

13.5

天娜留守在魔導裝甲上,照著洛克的說話,雖然聽見來自哨站的激烈戰鬥聲,但一動也不敢動。

正在趕往支援的帝國士兵經過,看見天娜沒半點反應,便生氣地說:「老人家還不快來幫手?!」

天娜無奈地走下魔導裝甲,並打算與洛克及艾卡會合。

然而經過一個全白色的大帳篷時,卻讓天娜踝足不前。

那平平無奇的帳篷,散發出一種熟悉的氣息,天娜被深深吸引著。

天娜小心冀冀走到帳篷前,左顧右盼,確認沒有人留意自己,也沒有守衛,才靜悄悄揭門而進。

一進帳篷,感覺比在外面觀看時大上一倍,在四支鐵柱落在四個角落,並用鐵鏈與中央的一支直上帳篷的頂端鎖在一起。

鐵鎖的另一端是被人倒吊在中央鐵柱,戴著鐵面巨的金髮女戰士。

「鐵面的西莉絲!」天娜暗叫一聲。

第十三話   完

3.28.2014

Why IT in education is so important in special school?

http://media.victoriaadvocate.com/img/photos/2012/01/07/kb_vine_school_01xx12_31b_163527.jpg


“Students, teachers, schools and other stakeholders will use IT effectively as a tool for enhancing the effectiveness of learning and teaching, with a view to preparing our students for the information age, turning schools into dynamic and interactive learning institutions, and fostering collaboration among schools, parents and the community.”(EMB, 2004)

In normal setting, IT is used mostly as information retrieval, and then knowledge enquiry communication, and then collaboration, and finally, very little as an analytical personal development tool.

However, the priority in special education may be different. It is because their abilities, but the most important is, when we need to satisfy the student’s special needs; we strongly need help by parents and community.

Nowadays, transdisciplinary (or collaborative) teamwork model is running in special schools. There is not only “Different perspectives lead to better decision-making; no one discipline can provide everything that a child and family needs.”(Kilgo J. L., Aldridge J., Denton B., Vogtel L., Vincent J., Burke C., & Unanue R.)

So, parents should be one of the member when we call meeting about teaching and learning for each of the student. Not only because parents have “best understanding” about the students, but also the primary role of parents is to encourage and support students to plan and achieve their educational goals. Parents also should encourage students to develop independent decision-making and self-advocacy skills.

So, as a communication tools with parents, IT can play the very important role that is everytime, everywhere connect with parents and sharing information.

Another function of IT in special education is as an analytical personal development tool. Not like normal setting, special schools have no test or very few writing assessment. How we assess our students learning progress? Mostly using observation and record whether they can finish their given tasks. So, you can imagine that the information and records just like a hill. To have better analysis the student’s development, IT would give the most help. For example, one of my student need to have toilet training, we would like to record when and how, so database is useful to analysis the progress. In short, Database can individualize the intervention to fulfill different educational needs.

“The majority of teachers expressed confident of basic IT skills, such as word processing, use of spreadsheets, presentation software and Internet usage. But they are least certain about advanced multimedia design and WebPages production.” and “…simply replacing chalk and board by multimedia presentations/animations.” (EMB, 2004). However, in special school, drawing the student’s attention to teaching and learning is the most difficult task. “Multi-media simulation” and “non-error interaction”[4] is powerful teaching and learning elements to students.

Then, I would to specify three topics to illustrate how IT in education fulfills its function by some activities.

In special education, we mostly concern how to satisfy the special educational needs of our students. To specialize and to make the discussion more realistic, I would like to introduce one of my students, KaPo. He is a 17 years old boy with moderate mentally handicap.

KaPo’s case is very typical in my school. Autism is called “Autism spectrum disorder” as its full name. As the name says, Autism has no clearly defined single syndrome (Wing, 1996) and no two children with autism have identical characteristics (Koegel, Koegel, Frea & Smith, 1996; Wong & Westwood, 2002), it covers a wide range of behaviors and abilities, and it is a matter of degree, from mild to severe. However, children with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, interactions and leisure or play activities (ASA, 2005). As the above report mentions, KaPo has behavioral and emotional problem, too. He cannot concentrate to do the given tasks. Actually, he also has some stereotyped behavior patterns to bother his learning, for example, hand flapping, clapping and always washing his hand.

Teaching self-management has been effective at improving a variety of behaviors, including appropriate vocational (McNally, Kompik & Sherman, 1984), and even generalization (Koegel, Koegel & Parks, 1996).

The model is called “teach the individual” model, in which the generalization occurs spontaneously in numerous environments and in the absence of a trained interventions provider after the person is taught a skill in a manner. So, self-management is a “pivotal” behavior (Koegel, Schreibman, Good, Cerniglia, Murphy & Koegel, 1989).

Thus, we have using the multi-media program called “FLASH” to design the so-called “social story” and then upload it on the school website. It just like e-book or karaoke that have a story about what he should do. Unlike the social story in paper, it not only has pictures and himself tells story told by teachers, it even has short film that the main character is student himself and the story, too.

For example, we want to reduce KaPo’s unwilling behavior like crying or shout when he wants to express himself unhappy. We first record the willing behavior (e.g. go to toilet to wash his face) by digital camera, and then record his reading by computer, “when KaPo unhappy, KaPo would go to toilet to wash his face.” Then input both into FLASH. When the lesson, teacher would help him to access “e-social story” to modeling and replace his unwilling behavior.

It gives very strong impression and very good to modeling the unwilling behavior. And also it may have a checklist online, when student watch one part of the social story, he should check the box to move to the next part. Teachers is helping him and teach parents to access and to use this tailor-made online software.

“In the present preliminary review, it was found that the problems and issues faced by special schools are very complex and often quite different from the mainstream schools. There are different categories of special schools catering for children with different special education needs. Use of IT in special schools includes the integration of assistive technologies, which often differ greatly across different categories of special schools. Further, the specific educational objectives often differ greatly across different special school categories to take into account the students’ special contexts. It is recommended here that a separate component of the review study be commissioned to address the specific evaluation questions, methodology and instrumentation necessary for conducting a proper review of IT implementation in special schools.”(EMB, 2004)

You can see that, all interventions for different students must be tailor-made. Assistive technologies, for example, most children with moderate mental handicap can’t use keyboard and mouse, touch-screen is needed. However, it is not enough in school, and also at home. All software and programme must be tailor-made by teachers while they can accessible. Time is very important and consumable to satisfy each students special educational needs.

Another problems so-called “Digital Divide”. Many families haven’t computer and of course can’t online at home. Their social status may be low and haven’t enough knowledge to handle their child or teach them by using IT. When the ongoing training is not stable, the effectiveness would down very quickly. For example, to changing KaPo’s unwilling behavior, social story must be told day by day, if the intervention stopped may be in the long holidays, the unwilling behavior will come again.

By the way, Multimedia and interaction elements in IT in education are used to draw the attention of the children and give them the responses directly, and it is very successful. In future, portal computer or PDA can help children with autism to express themselves (using images, sounds, even short film to communicate) and to have better self-management (give them hints or as a reminder).

Reference

1.       Autism Society of America (ASA). http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=whatisautism.
2.       EMB. (2004). Empowering Learning and Teaching with Information Technology. Hong Kong.
3.       EMB.(2004). Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Evaluation. Summary and Recommendations of the Preliminary Study, pp.201-206. http://www.emb.gov.hk/ited_eval/
4.       Information center on disabilities and gifted education (2005). http://ericec.org/digests/e598.html#top, 10/3/2005
5.       Koegel, R. L., Koegel, L. k. & Parks, D. R. (1996). “Teach the Individual” model of Generalization. In Koegel, R. L. & Koegel L. K. (Eds.) Teaching children with autism: Strategies for initiating positive interactions and improving learning opportunities (pp. 67-77). Baltimore: Brookes.
6.       Koegel, R. L., Schreibman, L., Good, A., Cerniglia, L., Murphy, C. & Koegel, K. L. (1989). How to teach pivotal behaviors to children with autism. Unpublished manuscript, university of California, Santa Barbara.
7.       McNally, R. J., Kompik, J. J. & Sherman, G. (1984). Increasing the productivity of mentally retarded workers through self-management. Analysis and Intervention in Development Disabilities. 4, 129-135.
Westwood, P. (2003), Learning and Learning Difficulties. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong.

[1] ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis (Scheuermann & Webber, 2002).
[2] PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System
[3] TEACCH stands for Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-handicapped Children (Connor, 1999).
[4] Sometimes we give wrong response to students answers, this may border students learning. But computer wouldn’t.

3.24.2014

Meeting Individual Needs: Case Studies

http://autismmythbusters.com/

Introduction

KaPo, who is a 15 years old boy also with moderate mentally handicap. Before we discuss his case, we are better to know more about his characteristics from some observation of classroom teaching. Here is the conclusion of KaPo’s academic report I wrote in last semester.

“KaPo is stubborn and crabbed; he only will to finish the tasks that he wants to do. When we don’t follow his own ‘routine’, he would be unhappy, sometimes he may cry, shout or jump. However, when he is taking drugs, he can calm down easily. So, we hope that he can keep it on and reinforce him to express feeling by using verbal language at home, too. In academic, he is good in mathematics, and he can calculate arithmetic of primary 1 level, but it is still have space to improve in application. Also he loves computer very much and enjoys the lessons.”

KaPo’s characteristics and performance in the classroom

It is obvious that he is autistic, although there is no clearly defined single syndrome (Wing 1996), and no two children with autism have identical characteristics (Koegel, Koegel, Frea & Smith, 1996; Wong & Westwood 2002), but KaPo has most of typical pattern of behavioral deficits and had been assessed in early childhood.

As the above report mentions, KaPo has behavioral and emotional problem. It makes that he cannot concentrate to do the given tasks. Actually, he also has some stereotyped behavior patterns to bother his learning, for example, hand flapping, clapping and always want to wash his hand during the lesson.

Another barriers to KaPo’s learning are that, he just repeating what you are saying and asking. It is a typical echolalia, and it seems to be immediate, because it fulfill what Laski, Charlop and Schreibman (1988) defined, “inappropriate repetitions of words and phrases” (p.394). We are not discussing which categories he should be classified, but it makes difficult to learning and teaching, application and generalization. For example, he cans calculate “12398+9872”, but cannot answers “if you bought 3 apples and then bought 2 apples, how many apples did you buy totally?”

Reflection about the school and the teacher

School: Not only in mainstream school, the curriculum in special school is also facing different types of constraints. Parents’ expectation, prevocational and vocational needs and EMB guidelines, for example, EYE programme, have determined curriculum. In KaPo’s case, if we are too focus on the training for working in shelter workshop after graduated, it narrows the whole development of student, although it is “relevant” and important to his future. Moreover, KaPo have emotional fluctuation when he feels off task. If we just follow what he wants to do, he will learn nothing. I am not challenge the learner-centered approach or the concept of “realistic” in “4R Test” (Brennan 1987), but it is really need to concern that did students really know what they are interest or benefit to themselves, especially they are moderate mentally handicap?

The emotional and behavioral problems have been “created”, when we are using the “real” situation, for example, visiting shelter workshop or practice cleaning job, because he didn’t adopt the environment and also strengthens him to have ritual behavior. Moreover, Practice about the cleaning in EYE programme or school leaver programme; it reinforces washing his hands after touching something dirty. Also, in special school setting, it is difficult to gain acceptance from classmates when the interaction between pupils are weak.

Teacher: Task analysis is usually used in teaching the working skills. It is because students can more easily to understand what the task is doing. Also, when the steps are smaller, teacher can use more simple language to teach students to finish the task. However, it has limitations as Westwood (2003, p53) said, “…a limit to how far one can go with this step-by-step reduction of learning without creating separate tasks which by themselves are meaningless.” Actually, KaPo is usually off task when he didn’t know the “meaning” of the task.

Students with moderate mentally handicap have a few responses, so, when we want to make sure that KaPo is listening and understands the instruction, we would like him to speak once again what we are asking him to do. Echolalia is reinforced. Moreover, when teacher using task analysis approach, questioning is not easy and efficient to apply in the direct-teach and demonstration. It may affect KaPo that leaning to distinguish between question and instruction.

Moreover, most of us use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to reduce the undesirable behavior. Because it is effective, and the research have also provide the evidence (Scheuermann & Webber, 2002; Waterhouse, 2000). We are using positive reinforcement, maybe allow him to play computer after lunch, to stop his problematic behavior. It works, but when he didn’t have the reward, he really depressed and off task more often than we are not using it.

Evaluation of teaching and management program for KaPo

Beside the above matter, some teaching and management program is designed for KaPo.

TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autisitc and communication-handicap Children):

Whatever it is an intervention strategy or a teaching method, even it is a curriculum and programme, evidence has proved that to be effective, it should be highly structured (Waterhouse, 2000; Smith, 2003). Structured teaching is an important priority because it fits the “culture of autism” (Mesibov, 2002).

TEACCH is respects this culture, in the other words, respects autistic child’s need for structure, routine and predictability in the daily programme in school and home, and uses such devices as a picture time table or schedule to show the child what activity he or she is to do now and what is to come later during other parts of the day (Wong & Westwood, 2002). In short, TEACCH is emphasized structured teaching, and uses a combination of cognitive, behavioral-change strategies (Connor, 1999), visual strategy and also using IEP. So, Individualization, structured learning and environmental adaptation are the defining features of TEACCH (Dempsey and Foreman, 2001).

It is true that KaPo feels more comfortable when structure and organization in the classroom or any other learning environment is provided. It helps student to alleviate or moderate the behavioral and emotional problem caused by poor communication. Moreover, when KaPo is occupied by the working task, it can reduce the time for stereotyped behavior, in long run; it can fade out the rigid behavior.

Self-Management:

Teaching self-management has been effective at improving a variety of behaviors, including appropriate vocational (McNally, Kompik & Sherman, 1984), even generalization (Koegel, Koegel & Parks, 1996).

As Koegel, Koegel & Parks (1996) stated that many of the most widely used methods of promoting generalization are based on a “teach exemplars” model, in which generalization is programmed to occur in different environments by actually teaching the individual in one environment after another. It is effective, but not practical. Not only because it is time consuming, in KaPo’s case, but also have emotional problem when adopting a new environment.

The second model is called “teach the individual” model, in which the generalization is occurs spontaneously in numerous environments and in the absence of a trained interventions provider after the person is taught a skill in a manner. So, self-management is a “pivotal” behavior (Koegel, Schreibman, Good, Cerniglia, Murphy & Koegel, 1989).

Consider the functional reinforcers, computer or IT should be used as self-management device. It is effective not only because KaPo like to play computer very much, but also because multimedia and interaction can draw him the attention and give him the responses directly. In future, portal computer or PDA can help autistic children to express themselves (using images, sounds, even short film to communicate) and to have better self-management (give them hints or as a reminder).

Conclusion

According to Snell and Brown (2000) child with intellectual disability will have experienced difficulty in making friends and gaining acceptance—particularly if he or she has some irritating or challenging behaviors. Even in the class, many students didn’t like KaPo when he cry and jump. So, to reduce or to eliminate rigid and stereotypic behaviors and maladaptive behaviors are not only for the ways that to foster further development in the child and to promote learning, but also to alleviate family distress. All interventions, teachings, programs, and IEPs are archiving this common goal.

References

1.    Brennan, W. K. (1987), Changing special education now (2nd ed). Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
2.    Connor, M. (1999). Children on the autistic spectrum: Guidelines for mainstream practice. Support for Learning, 14 (2) 80-86.
3.    Dempsey, I. & Foreman, P. (2001). A review of educational approaches for individual with autism. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 48 (1), 103-116.
4.     Koegel, R. L., Koegel, L. k., Frea, W. D. & Smith A. E. (1996). Emerging interventions for children with autism: Longitudinal and lifestyle implications. In Koegel, R. L. & Koegel L. K. (Eds.) Teaching children with autism: Strategies for initiating positive interactions and improving learning opportunities (pp. 1-15). Baltimore: Brookes.
5.     Koegel, R. L., Koegel, L. k. & Parks, D. R. (1996). “Teach the Individual” model of Generalization. In Koegel, R. L. & Koegel L. K. (Eds.) Teaching children with autism: Strategies for initiating positive interactions and improving learning opportunities (pp. 67-77). Baltimore: Brookes.
6.     Koegel, R. L., Schreibman, L., Good, A., Cerniglia, L., Murphy, C. & Koegel, K. L. (1989). How to teach pivotal behaviors to children with autism. Unpublished manuscript, university of California, Santa Barbara.
7.     Laski, K., Charlop, M., & Schreibman, L. (1988). Training parents to use the natural language paradigm to increase their autistic children’s speech. Journal of Applied Bahavior Analysis, 21, 391-400.
8.     McNally, R. J., Kompik, J. J. & Sherman, G. (1984). Increasing the productivity of mentally retarded workers through self-management. Analysis and Intervention in Development Disabilities. 4, 129-135
9.     Mesibov, G. B. (2002), TEACCH – What is TEACCH? http://www.teacch.com/aboutus.htm, 10/18/2002
10.  Scheuermann, B. & Webber, J. (2002). Autism: Teaching does make a difference. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth-Thomson.
11.   Smith, D. D. (2003). Introduction to Special Education (5th Edn). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
12.  Snell, M. E., and Brown, F. (2000). Instruction of Students with Severe Disabilities (5th edn), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
13.  Waterhouse, S. (2000). A positive approach to autism. London: Jessica Kingsley.
14.  Westwood, P. (2003), Learning and Learning Difficulties. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong
15.  Wing. L. (1996). The Autistic Spectrum, London: Constable.
16.  Wong, Y. Y. & Westwood, P. (2002). The teaching and management of children with autism. Hon Kong Special Education Forum, 5 (1), 46-72

Additional readings

17.  Horner, R. H., Junlap, G., Koegel, R. L. (Eds). (1988) Generalization and maintenance: Lifestyle changes in applied settings. Baltimore: Brookes
18.  Poon, K. F. (2002). Meeting Special Needs in Mainstream Classrooms. Hong Kong: Longman
19.  Prizant, B. M. & Rydell, P. J. (1993). Assessment and intervention considerations for unconventional verbal behavior. In Reichle, J. & Wacker, W. (Eds). Communicative approaches to the management of challenging behavior. Baltimore: Brookes
20. Quill, K.A. (1995). Teaching children with autism. Delmar.
21.  Robert, L., Koegel & Koegel, L. K. (1996). Teaching children with autism. Baltimore: Brookes
22. Rutter,M.(1985). The treatment of autistic children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 26:193-214.
23. Rydell, P. J. & Prizant, B. M. (1995). Assessment and intervention strategies for children who use echolalia. In Quill, K. A. (ed). Teaching children with autism (pp105-132). NY: Delmar.
24. Schopler, E. & Reichler, R. J. (1979). Individualized assessment and treatment for autistic and developmentally disabled children (2nd ed). Austin, TX: PRO-ED
25. Worthington, A, (1999). The Fulton special education digest. London: Fulton

2003/12/31

3.21.2014

Why do we expect pupils to go to school?

http://teaching.monster.com/benefits/articles/2073-special-education-an-introduction-for-new-teachers

Introduction: The role of the aims of education

One of the arguments, which is used to reject or to ignore discussing the aims of education among teachers, is that: we are just required to follow what the government stated in the official documents. There has no room for us to discuss. Or the aims of education is variant, different people has different points of view. There has no model answer for this question. However, the aims of education is very important for teachers, not only because it affect on our teaching, but also is a process that for reflect what is education and what we have done.

The background of the special school

I am teaching in special school, the children with moderate mental handicap. To satisfy all their diverse special needs, we use eleven methods for ten students.

They often have learning difficulties in attending to the relevant aspects of a learning situation, in storing information in long term-memory, in generalizing what they learn, and in language (Westwood, 2003). And also some of them are children with autism. Children with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, interactions and leisure or play activates (ASA, 2004).

The interventions usually are ABA[1], PECS[2], visual strategies, TEACCH[3], situation teaching and learning, Snoezelen and Interactive Process Approach, Life Application Training (生活流程教學), social stories, even mediation and psychotherapy.

These all interventions need long-term training and co-operation with parents. So, the bottleneck of their education is not only their own abilities, but also whether the parents willing to co-operate.

Taking one of my students as an example, whose name Stonely, his abilities are pretty good. He came to my school in this year, but he had already picked up the schedule of schooling. He can just only utter some sound but understands what you said. We all believe that he can learn more while he experiences more. However, his mother rejects most of the school activities. When we had taught some self-care skills, such as washing head, he couldn’t practice at home, and finally he forgot what he had learnt.

The consensus in school on the aims of education

From the above, we can see that it has a very close relationship among school, teachers, students, and parents. The co-operation is demanding. If the aims of education of each membership are different, it is very difficult to have a successful education. Now we are investigating what students, teachers, parents and school believe to be the purpose of education, see whether they believe same aim or thinking in different ways.

Talking about the students first. As we saw in Stonely’s case, students are very enjoying in school’s life. It is because unlike mainstream school, students have much fewer activities than normal students when both of them are not going to school. It may because students with special needs need much more care from parents when they are outing.

In fact, nowadays, normal students have many reasons to reject going to school. Because of Internet, information and knowledge is easily acquired. Also, the knowledge grow rapidly, it seems that teaching in school cannot follow the main trend of knowledge expand. Taking computer studies as an example, many students blame that what they learnt in school is ten years ago technology or programme, for example, Basic and Logo. They are not popular or even vanish in IT’s world.

If they want to make friends or be “socialization”, they can go to centers or join some interest group in society. If go to school for the economic reason, that is training as an employee. It seems much more effective when they are learning from doing. That means they can have on job training rather than going to school. We does not say that it is no use to go to school, but it seems it has many alternative way to achieve what students expected doing in school.

Students in my school have no such reasons, or may be they cannot achieve that level of critical thinking or reflection. But through their smiles, we can see or even feel that they enjoy the lesson, activities and school’s life. For them, it is clear that the aims of education are improving their qualities of their life.

However, parents have different thought about schooling and education. From the interviews in the parent’s day, we can see that the topics, which the parent’s most interested is where do their children go after, graduated. Of course, they also concern whether their children enjoy the school’s life, but their expectations about what children learnt in school are not very much. Taking about Stonely, why his mother rejects the outgoing activities? From the dialog with his mother, we know that she worried about the safety of the activities. It seems that emphasis is on ‘care’ more than education.

So, what is the teacher’s point of views? Although it is not a ‘model answer’ because it has labeling effect which we didn’t want, but the fact is every teachers in special education are doing the same things, that is transform students to have a normal life, to fulfill or even to expand their potential and capacity. Once we can see the improvement of the students abilities, although it has no significance to mention, we have the most successful feeling and proud for that change.

The aims of education of my school are follow the mission statement of Hong Chi Association (2003).

“Hong Chi Association is dedicated to serving people with mental handicap and their families. We believe that people with mental handicap have the same rights and freedoms as other members of the community. They should be given every opportunity to develop physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. And they should be encouraged and helped to participate fully in family and community life. All forms of discrimination against people with mental handicap are wrong. We will listen to the needs and wishes of people with mental handicap and their families, educate and train them so that they can develop to their full potential, assist them to find jobs and to live as independently as possible, and promote understanding and acceptance of people with mental handicap.”

To use categories, which learnt in lecture, it is obvious that the aims of education of my school can be classify as social and economic reconstruction. To promote understanding and acceptance of people with mental handicap, that mean the needs is here, why? It is because she thinks that the society has inequalities or misunderstanding about mental handicaps. To change it, to promote. It is a future centered. Parents care whether teaching can fulfill the requirement of future jobs; it is similar to economic and social efficiency. Of course, teachers and students can be classifying as personal enlightenment and empowerment because we concern about qualities of life. All above these are unlike official aims of education in Hong Kong in Education Commission (2000), which is include all elements, but has no focus.

From the above analysis, we can see that there has no consensus on the aims of education among government, school, teachers, students and parents.

The concept of education and the aims of the education

John Dewey (1859-1952) said that education as such has no aims; it is people involved in education, teachers, schools, governments, parents, and even students, who have aims. But people have often tried to clarify or defend their own aims by asking what are, or what should be, the aims of education.

As Haydon (1996) said that “to ask what the aims of education are—when this is a philosophical question and not an empirical question about what actual teachers and others are aiming at—is to suppose that certain aims are implicit in the concept of education. Thus, the question about the aims of education can be reducing to debate about the central features, and the boundaries, of the concept of education.

Under this background, most philosopher of education now would probably agree that the important question about the aims of education is a normative one: what should teachers (and others in related positions of influence) be aiming at? Debate around this question is effectively debate about what the aims of schooling ought to be.

So, the articulation of a concept of education may well furnish a central part of the answer. In analyzing the concept of education by Peters (1966), there have explicit three characteristics of education processes as follows:
  • That ‘education’ implies the transmission of what is worth-while to those who become committed to it;
  • That ‘education’ must involve knowledge and understanding and some kind of cognitive perspectives, which are not inert;
  • That ‘education’ at least rules out some procedures of transmission, on the ground that they lack wittingness and voluntariess.
  • Therefore, “education processes are voluntarily pursed and cognitively involved desirable changes.”

Teachers as mediators

What should teachers do? To facing the different aims of education, the tensions between individual and societal, vocational and academic, economic and democratic, stability and change, local and global, etc. And as White (1982) said that the list of aims is almost endless. As in the introduction mention, I think it is a process that reflects what is education and what we have done. To balance those tensions, to improve students qualities of life, and to involved desirable changes, that is our jobs and no cook-book to tell us how to do is the best.


Reference
  1. Autism Society of America (ASA). http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=whatisautism. 4/3/2004.
  2. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education. NY: Macmillan.
  3.  Haydon, G.. (1996). Aim of Education. In J.J. Chambliss (ed) (1996). Philosophy of Education: An Encyclopedia. NY: Garland.
  4. Hong Chi Association (2004). http://www.hongchi.org.hk/ 1/4/2004.
  5.  Peters, R. (1966). Ethics and Education. London: George Allen and Unwin
  6. Poon-McBrayer, K. F. & Lian, M. G.. J. (2002). Special Needs Education: Children with Exceptionalities. HK: The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  7. Westwood, P. (2003), Learning and Learning Difficulties. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong.
  8. White, J. (1982). The Aims of Education Restated. London: Routledge.

[1] ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis (Scheuermann & Webber, 2002).
[2] PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System
[3] TEACCH stands for Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-handicapped Children (Connor, 1999).

2004/5/29

3.17.2014

 《末日公投》(The Philosophers):外表漂亮的爛蘋果


在沒有期望下,還為甚麼可以完全失望?

 作為一個曾讀哲學的人,都自信對這們愛智慧的學問有多少認識。要把哲學搬上大銀幕,必有極多的限制,那是必然發生的。故此,這是沒有抱著甚麼期望的理由;故此,我連所謂剪得很好的宣傳短片也沒有看過。 但是沒有期望並不代表連爛蘋果也要吃下。

 哲學並不是背誦金句,甚麼莎氏「早到三小時勝過遲一分鐘」(better three hours too soon than a minute late);甚麼「柏拉圖洞穴的比喻」。不是說哲學不可以引用別人的金句,但是你必須有個解釋,而非無頭無尾的亂拋書包。

 哲學也不只是思想實驗,甚麼「電車兩難」,甚麼「會作莎氏劇目的猴子」。不是說哲學不做思想實驗,而是思想實驗是用作討論的手段,而非胡亂一通地嘩眾取竉。 就拿第二次末日來說,要在防空洞中令女角們懷孕不成功,教師提出要改變策略而進行雜交,但女角不同意,最後居然打起上來,教師受傷憤而開啓大門令所有人死亡。那根本就是亂作的故事橋段,而非思想實驗,也沒有帶出背後可能的討論,例如女角為甚麼不同意,例如為甚麼這個思想實驗是失敗的。至於第三次末日,由女高材生轉選一些看似不重要的人而最後因沒有核爆而大家齊齊生還,那不是發白日夢還是甚麼?連思想實驗也談不上了,就戲言戲,只是自圓其說地自我推翻的爛片而已。 

要說深度,最初的設定是蠻可接受的。一開始是床戲,然後是一個舒適的的環境,走到較為混亂的巿場,最後走到柚木傢俱為主的課堂,本以為可以刻畫出一種西方世界與發展中國家的對立,當然,最後原來甚麼也沒有發生,或曰,這故事在甚麼地方發生是沒所謂。至於最尾一段,教師重複走上樓梯,食三文治,走上樓梯,有槍,有槍聲,又走上樓梯,故弄玄虛,完全破壞整套戲的主題,是偽裝有深度的補鑊措施。 

論戲,把思想實驗重複三次已經令電影的橋段重複,讓人沉悶,也是編劇不智的做法,正如劇中不只一次有學生表示「又來?!」那是代表連編劇本人也可能覺得「頂唔住」。故事本身所牽涉人物不少(二十個學生與一個老師),要做得個個生動立體著實不易,更何況電影除了把那一年走到防空洞的生活只要頭要尾的陳述出來,所有角色根本無法發揮。而最後更把一切教師的所作所為都是與男學生爭囡的陰謀,作弄男同學一番的小把戲,為這戲劇性作出最無厘頭致命的一擊。 

有說把電影當作一次觀課,若這是哲學課,我是最不能接受的。因為,這是連甚麼是「邏輯」都攪得狗屁不通。教師一直強調自己最邏輯,但是,不知道編劇明白不明白,這種以人多投票作為生死唯一標準的方法,正正是教師用來質疑男同學的柏拉圖最痛狠的民粹方法。

 若果要介紹哲學給大眾,還是免費在網上睇Micheal Sandel的正義課堂好看得多。

 附註:其實這套本來可以很有發揮,很有深度的電影,無奈被攪得一塌糊塗。若是真正讀哲學的,一開始就應該挑戰故事要為人類留種的設定,與多數決的設定。而不是開頭用M.S.正義課堂中批評功利主義後,又用滿足功利主義為前提的思想實驗。

2.24.2014

價值觀與自我

http://mj1982m.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/jean-paul-sartre-a-few-thoughts-on-sartres-birthday/jean_paul_sartre_by_tormentil/
(一)

看見這個題目,我們或會聯想到這篇論文的內容大約是關於價值觀與自我的關係,或是現代人對自我的了解及他們的價值觀。雖然這些問題都是我所關心的,而本篇論文亦會對這些題目有所論及,但是本篇論文或許與原本的期望有所出入,因我們並不由此出發,甚至這並不是我們本篇論文的最終目的,因為,本篇論文必須回答此問題:這個問題與我何干?

正如這個課程的題目一樣,哲學與人生問題是不可分的。因為哲學作為人類智慧的根源,它的存在目的當然在於為人解惑,它的存在地是在生活中,這就是人生問題。哲學是解答人生問題的學問。然而,人生問題並不是一些抽象的問題,並不是抽離於「我」的問題。這個「我」,不是能從理性的想象中理解,這根本就不是想象。而這個「我」是一個活生生的,一個要真正地去考慮如何生存,在世界中存在著的。這個「我」的呼吸,並不是生物學上所講是由胸骨間的肌肉及橫隔膜的收縮令空氣進入肺部,然後放鬆令空氣呼出,這只是人的呼吸作用而已,而是要用真正氣力,吸氣,呼氣,再吸氣。這個「我」的思想,亦不是心理學所講,只是由過去的經驗所決定。真正的人生問題,就是這個「我」的問題。簡單一點說,真理就是主体性[1]。

(二)

我有什麼人生問題呢?當我在自我反省時,我發覺到我其實並沒有真正的人生問題,我亦發覺,大部份的所謂問題其實都只是「聽回來」的。這論文遲交了那麼久會不會扣分?這次考試的成績如何?畢業後如何找工作?畢業後怎樣生活?這些當然都是問題,但是對我來說並不是真正重要的問題。如此,我覺得不安,直覺覺得沒有人生問題是有問題的。或許會有人認為,沒有人生問題不是很好嗎,這不就表是這個人生是很幸福,很美好的嗎。但是,這種人生真的是幸福,真的是美好嗎?用一個吊詭的說法,現在我的人生問題是沒有人生問題。

面對著這樣一個困惑,究竟如何去解決呢?當然,我們先了解這個問題是什麼意思。既然我對沒有人生問題感到不安,則什麼是人生問題呢?正如在前所言,我們知道人生問題的對象是「我」,但是這只是形式而已。我們知道,對於衣食住行問題,這些日常都會發生的問題是什麼意思,例如食的問題,在饑餓的地方,通常都是如何吃得飽,在比較富裕的地方,則是如何吃得更好。但是對於人生問題,是不是如衣食住行的問題一樣,或是如何成就好的人生呢?我們現時還不能下一定論,但是,就我們的直覺覺得,人生問題似乎並不止於此。

但是,我們可以從衣食住行的問題當中,我們隱約可以看到,每一個問題之所以為問題,必須要放在某一特定的處境下才能夠成立,例如在富裕的地方,食的問題不會是如何吃得飽。為什麼會這樣呢?其實這就表示,一個問題之所以出現是因為問為這樣一個境況與我們的期望不同所引致,我們不會覺得要吃得飽在富裕的地方構成一個問題是因為我們對於富裕的地方有一個期望,認為在那種環境下人人都吃得飽,所以要吃得飽在富裕的地方不構成一個問題,反而如果有某一個人認為在富裕的地方要吃得飽構成一個嚴重的問題時,我們會覺得那個人會有一點兒問題,至少我們不會立刻相信他。

經過這樣的反省後,我們至少可以肯定,人生問題的出現是源於人對人生有某種期望,但事實上又與這期望有相違背而產生。而所謂對人生期望,其實就是我認為怎樣是最好的人生是一樣的,亦即是人生的目標。而有沒有可能有人生目標而沒有人生問題呢?我恐怕答案是否定的。因為所謂有人生目標,亦即對於現實世界,對於現實中的「我」有不滿,這樣才要定下一目標,立下一方向,要自己去實現。這樣,有人生目標與現實世界中的我則立刻構成人期望與現實對立的關係,從而出現所謂人生問題。至於我們一開始所談到的困惑,「為什麼沒有人生問題?」的意思就是,因為我們都覺得人生應該有目標,但此一期望與現實上我們相違背,所以我覺得不安,覺得這是一個問題。其實,這是典型處於虛無下的問題。

(三)

我們不難發現,現在的人,喜歡追求刺激,但是越是追求,就越覺得空虛;同樣的,他們會覺得金錢在這社會中是最重要的,而我們亦不難想像,當這些人擁有千萬家財之後,心靈是如何空虛。這亦是典型處於虛無的表現。這樣就表示,「為什麼沒有人生問題?」並不只是我的問題,或許是現代社會的問題。

為什麼沒有人生問題呢?根據之前我們的反省,這是由於我們沒有人生目標。但是為什麼我們沒有人生目標?其實這就等於問我們的人生目標何處來。我們問什麼是我的人生目標,亦即是在問「怎麼樣的人生我會認為是最好的」一樣。怎麼樣的人生我會認為是最好?在以前我們或會覺得一個君子的人生是最好的,我們的人生問題就只剩下「如何成為一個君子」或直接點說,如何成德的問題。在西方,則或許是如何獲得救贖的問題。在中國,人生的目標由儒家來;在西方,人生目標由宗教來。人生目標是十分明確的。現在呢?我們則不敢說誰的人生是最好的,亦不可能說。為什麼會這樣呢?現在的人認為,價值應該是多元的,什麼是好的人生是主觀的價值,並沒有客觀的根據,並不能向自己以外推的,所以社會應該容忍不同的價值系統的存在。這就是典型的價值主觀主義的想法。而價值的主觀主義在把客觀的共同價值取消後,把價值的範圍收縮為個人的私有財產,亦即是麥爾泰(Alasdair MacIntyre)所謂價值的私有化(privatization of good)[2],這所造成的結果就是連人們為自己的人生目標也不能下一定斷。為什麼價值的主觀主義使得人們不能為自己的人生目標下一定斷呢?這是因為如果所有人生目標都不能有一合理的判斷,當個人選擇自己的人生目標時,依據什麼來作決定呢?這時候就只有根據自己的個人的喜好來下判斷。

但是所謂以自己的個人喜好來下判斷是什麼意思呢?我們以現在的中國人,尤其是香港人作例子,究竟他們會否選擇儒家作人生目標呢?我們在上面已經提到,現代的社會,尤其是指已接受了多元價值的社會,在這種社會下,以內在價值作為說服別人成為自己人生目標的理由,例如成為君子本身的好處,因被視為沒有客觀的根據的主觀的價值而不成立,意即我們不可以以內在價值作為理由的根據而支持自己的人生目標。在這種情況下,人們選擇自己的人生目標時唯一要問的是實行了這種人生目標之後,會為自己帶來什麼外在好處,例如金錢這些依附於某一些行為而又被社會中視為價值的代表的東西,但這種依附並沒有必然性,它是可替代的,亦即是可擁有的,但擁有之後又可失去的。如果沒有外在的好處,人們當然不選擇它,那麼,香港人會選擇成為君子作為自己的人生目標嗎?就算他們認為成為君子為他們帶來外在的好處,他們選擇它,但是他們這就能夠叫做君子嗎?明顯的以外在好處作為選擇人生目標的根據是不能擁有真正的人生目標的,正如以能夠上天堂作為選擇成為基督徒的根據是永不能成為真正的基督徒一樣。

那麼人可不可以沒有人生目標呢?我恐嚇不能。如果沒有人生目標,則無法回答為什麼而生存的問題。如果無法回答這問題,亦即是沒有理由生存,則與不生存是沒有多大分別的。既然沒有分別,如果又覺得生存是一種負擔的話,例如覺得要工作糊口是一種負擔,則沒有理由生存下去,那為什麼不自殺呢?生存是生命的本能,但沒有人生目標,亦失去了生存的意義,而不是那麼多人有自殺的勇氣。那麼怎樣才能生存下去呢?我想只有把問題忘記,所以人們變得喜歡追求刺激,追尋新鮮的事物,為了的就是把問題忘了。但是,存在的問題是與自己是不能分開的。有「我」就有「為什麼而生存」的這個存在的問題。要忘記存在的問題,就只要先忘記自己。但是要忘記自己是非常之困難的,當我們每一個行動,其中都牽涉到「我」,一牽涉到「我」,存在的問題自己就會呈現於「我」的面前,而生存是不能離開行動的,存在的問題亦永不能忘記。人要逃避存在的問題,暫時忘記它而行動,就只有把自己的行動當作是抽象的群眾的行動,換言之,把自己的主体性消容在群眾之中。以傳統﹐潮流作為行動之根據,作為選擇之根據,其骨子裏就是要逃避存在的問題。但是這真的能成功嗎?人隨著傳統,潮流的不斷變換,驚覺到自己的行動並不是群眾的行動,他再次發現了自己,並為著存在的問題而苦惱。

(四)

我們一方面知道人的生存是不可能沒有人生目標,但又失去了選擇人生目標的能力,那麼這個困境如何解決呢?現在所剩下來的線索就只有知道人生目標是「我」的人生目標。既然人生目標是「我」的人生目標,那麼要解決這問題,必然由對「我」有一定的了解開始。在之前我們提到「我」是不能從理性的想象中把握,但是為什麼呢?

在未指出自我的內容前,我們先了解一些對自我的界定的要求。第一,我們所要求的是一個在時間上同一性的「我」,意即是這個「我」並不是會隨者時間而改變。我們並不會接受在十五分鐘前是我,十五分鐘後又是另一個我這一個結論。第二,在現實上,能明確的分別到你我,亦即要求一特殊性。在我們的構想當中,有沒有東西符合這些條件呢?身体﹐記憶﹐心靈……這些我們一般人對於自我的了解都不能滿足「我」的條件,這表示要麼是如休姆所言,自我只是由一束感觀知覺及記憶所構成的一種習慣,其實並沒有自我的存在;要麼是我們對「我」的條件是一種錯誤的理解。

我們當然不能放棄「我」,但是我們又覺得對「我」的理解是沒有不合理的地方。在這裏,我們又碰到另一個困境。

(五)

沙特:「存在先於本質。」[3]

面對這樣一個困境,應該可以知道為什麼沙特會令我覺得如此震撼。沙特的意念或許為我們的問題找到新的出路。那麼先讓我們了解沙特的哲學對「存在先於本質」的意思。

沙特認為假設有人要製造一件品,例如一把剪紙刀,在這把剪紙刀還沒有被製造出來以前,我們知道,製造它的工匠的心中,必先存在這把剪紙刀是什麼形狀的﹐有什麼性質的﹐可以作什麼用途的,等等的概念。於是我們就說,剪紙刀的本質(概念)先於它的存在。而所謂人是由上帝創造,人性等等概念,即為本質先於存在的想法。沙特認為,如果上帝不存在,至少有一樣東西的存在是存在先於本質,這就是人。他說:「人首先存在,首先碰到各種際遇,首先活動於這世界——然後,開始界定他自己。」[4]人之所以為未被界定者,是由於開始時他本來就一無所有,稍後他才會成為某樣東西:他把自己塑造成為什麼即成為什麼。因此沙特說:「人除了自我塑造之外,什麼也不是。這是存在主義的第一個原則。」[5]

這是一個很新鮮的想法,在這種想法之下,對於我們一向所理解的自由﹐責任﹐焦慮﹐捨棄甚至絕望都有不同的理解。在這裏當然不打算把這些概念一一分析闡述,而是要進一步問,沙特這樣地理解人,究竟能否解決我們現在的問題。

既然人就是自我塑造外,什麼也不是,則沙特所要求的人生目標是什麼呢?沙特認為每一個人都是自由的,他的自由表現在人有選擇的能力上,人有無限的可能性,可以不受過去﹐現在所影響,人的將來是最重要的。換言之,人就是他不是現在的他,而是將來的他;不「是」他,而是他「所是」。這種對自由的理解,把自由看成可能性,把自由看成選擇,但是那樣的人如何選擇呢?他所根據什麼來選擇呢?這真的是自由嗎?

首先,對沙特而言,每一個人都有一個「基本的人生計劃」,這個計劃絕對由是由自己選擇的,故我們並不能推御責任,但是我們根據什麼選擇呢?沙特以為我們不可能根據什麼,因為作出選擇的是我們。如果我們去請教沙特我應該去打仗,還是留在母親身邊,沙特以為這時我己經作出了選擇,選擇了沙特的意見[6]。嚴格來說,我們是四無傍依,吊在空中的,所以我們才會焦慮。但算做什麼回答?我們仍然是依我們自己的喜好行事而已。

第二,沙特把自由作成可能性,那究竟是什麼意思呢?沙特一定不會把可能性看成科學上所言的可能性,科學上的可能性是概然性,概然性是受著過去的經驗所限定的,肯定並是沙特所言的自由。如果不是概然性的話,那麼會是什麼呢?我想,大概只有邏輯上的可能性,亦即只要人能想象得到,就有可能。但是這種自由有什麼用?我不知道我在被人用嚴刑拷問時講邏輯上的可能性有什麼用。

而沙特所言的負責任亦是如此。本來,就我個人認為,沙特所言自由與責任的關係的部份在沙特的哲學中是最為精彩的部份。它使我意識到原來我們日常所掛在口邊的自由只是不負責任的空談,而真的自由,真正的選擇是要負責任,是沒有籍口可言的。所以人其實時常逃避自由,害怕焦慮。但是,沙特所謂負責又是什麼一回事呢?。如果負責任的意思是承擔後果的話,則第一,承擔後果又是什麼意思呢?人是如何承擔後果呢?如果承擔後果的意思是負法律責任的話,則沙特所說的並沒有什麼特別之處。第二,如果只是承認這是我所做的,則這種承擔又有什麼用?沙特所說承受後果肯定不是負法律負任,因為沙特會認為所有行動都是自己的自由選擇,所有道德規條都不能束縛人的選擇。而且沙特如果認為人是命定地自由,而這種自由又是不受過去所限制的話,則人如何負責任?所有要負責任的事情都是過去的事情。例如,照沙特所言,如果殺人犯,縱使他是為了親人報仇,他認為自己沒有做錯,在這情況下,他是否應該自首呢?還是不被過去的束縛,選擇逃亡呢?沙特面對此情況有什麼可能的回答呢?要麼是認為他要自首,但這樣則只表示他的自由的概念是有問題的。要麼是認為他逃亡,但是這就表是負責任的概念是空的概念,沒有什麼用。要麼認為他任何的選擇都是他自己的選擇,則這就根本沒有回答一樣。

(六)

從現代多元社會到沙特的哲學思想,我們都不難發現,他們對自我的看法雖有不同處,但都可以說是一種選擇的自我。這種自我的最大毛病是,雖然要求人要有自己的人生目標,但是同時又把選擇人生目標的能力偷去,結果都可能淪為空談。

來到最後我們始終要回答一個問題:價值觀與自我有什麼關係?其實,本篇論文是想以現代價值多元主義的社會及沙特的哲學作為一個實例,在這些價值觀底下對自我的想法有什麼關係。所謂一個價值觀,其所指的是一個信念系統,在這個信念系統下,安置著不同的信念,為言些信念安排它們的位置。例如沙特的哲學,它會認為自由與人的可能性是同一的而又與責任連上關係;而多元社會則認為自由就是人的權利,例如言論自由這些權利,如果行使這些權利時沒有傷害他人的時候,行使者是不需要負出任何東西的,即不需要負責任。而這些價值觀的存在目的,當然是為了為人的行動作一根據而存在。而價值觀所首要解決的問題,毫無疑問就是人為了什麼而存在的問題,亦即是什麼是好的人生目標。由上面我們的分析指出,「我」﹐人生目標及價值觀三者其實是不可分的。但是,正如文初所說,這都不是本篇論文所關心的。本篇論文所關心的,面對多元價值並存的事實,我們由不能不作出一選擇的時候,我們有什麼根據去選擇自己的人生目標?可是,到現在我們所討論的都似乎不能解決這個問題,難道人生目標真的是要用人生的時間尋找?人的人生目標就是找尋人的人生目標?

--------------------------
[1] Kierkegarrd, Concluding unscientific postscript, p.169. 在這裏要補充的是:這裏當然並不完全是祈克果的意思,而只是借他的對主体的重視的想法而已。
[2]Alasdair MacIntyre, The Privatization of Good: An Inaugural Lecture.(C. F. Deleney, ed., The Liberalism-communitarianism debate, Lanbam, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 1994),
[3] Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialism & humanism, (translation and introduction by Philip Mairet), p.27
[4] 同上,pp.26-28
[5] 同上,p.28
[6] 同上,p.35

1998/8/6

2.21.2014

周易與現代世界

http://news.wayi.com.tw/spidernews/news/9172/13

(一)

為什麼這世界會如此如此的存在?

在小學六年級,發生了令世界震撼的六四事件,不論真相到底如何,誰對誰錯,這件事對我來說肯定是在人生裏不能磨滅的。當時,是我第一次認真的思考問題:為什麼這世界會如此荒謬?

我本來就不是一個聰明的人,在中學時,我的成績不好,時常受到責罵。有時我會問自己,為什麼我會這麼愚蠢,有什麼理由我會比別人愚蠢呢,為什麼會如此不公平呢?

我相信不少人會有這種經驗,起碼我有不少的朋友都有,在等待巴士時,你想乘坐的巴士總是最遲來的,為什麼世事總是事與願違?

讀了一些歷史書後,有時我亦會想,為什麼我會生於這一個年代而不是,譬如說,富國強兵的唐代,又或者是擁有英雄希臘神話時代,而是在積弱百多年的中國後,由英國統冶下的香港?

難道這世界並沒有理由可言,沒有秩序可言,沒有公平可言?

(二)

言論自由﹐新聞自由﹐消費權利等人權是現代的人,尤其是近年香港人最關心的幾個題目之一,但是所謂自由﹐民主﹐人權等等,究竟又是什麼意思呢?

其實這些我們現在覺得是理所當然﹐天經地義﹐至死不渝所追求的權利,所謂「人權」,我們以為是世界最好的東西,是宇宙的真正秩序,其實它背後所假定的是一個無法無天,混亂不堪的世界,人人為了並且只為了自己的利益作事的世界。十七世紀的英國哲學家洛克,是現代自由民主的先驅者,他所描述這世界的真相,人類在建立社會之先,人的自然狀態(state of nature),世界正是在這樣的一個狀態。政府之所以存在正因為人的自然狀態,人在此狀態下所獲得的比在有政府時為大,所以人才放棄在自然狀態下運用武力解決問題,遵守道德﹑法律,但是這真的能建立秩序嗎?人如果有一天,他的利益在自然狀態下比在有政府時更大,那麼他為什麼還要遵守道德﹐遵守法律呢?這其實是西方哲學把上帝趕走後,把意義趕出世界後,英國哲學家休姆有名的把「應然與實然的區分」(is ought distinction)後的世界,所面對其中一個最大的問題之一:這就是「我為何要道德?」(why should I be moral?)。

在意義世界消失後,人的秩序回歸到人的手中建立,而世界的秩序則走到科學那裏去。這時人所面對的世界是一個怎樣的世界呢?人這時所面對的就是一個純綷由機械構成的世界。每一件事每一件物件都由因果律所控制,都落入因果網絡之中,人也不例外,故有心理學的出理,人自己也變的認為自己並沒有自由意志,自由意志變成是自欺欺人的空話。沒有自由意志,就談不上有道德可言,因為人不能為不是自己所做的事負責任。人的價值蕩然無存。這樣的一個世界,雖有因果的自然秩序,但人在這世界中失蹤了。之後所發展的科學,著重科學方法的使用,所謂科學方法,即是歸納法(induction),用可能性與機率(possibility and probability)描述世界。人的自由意志,雖然沒有否定它的存在,只是把它當作形上學的假設存而不論。這樣的一個世界,雖有機率的秩序,但人在這世界中消失了。

(三)

中國幾千年以來的智慧,因為某些歷史事件而被忘記了。人的存在價值為何,在這情況我該怎麼辦,怎樣才是最美好的人生等等西方文明現正面臨的幾個重大問題的答案,都可在中國的古典中找出端倪來。

而易經所描寫的世界究竟是怎樣的一個世界呢?

「天尊地卑,乾坤定矣。卑高以陳,貴賤位矣。動靜有常,剛柔斷矣。方以類聚,物以群分,吉凶生矣。在天成象,在地成形,變化現矣。」

首先,易經所描寫的世界是一個有位分的世界。所謂「天尊地卑,乾坤定矣」,即是天地都有他們的位份,亦即是指這個世界從一開始就它的秩序,故謂「卑高以陳,貴賤位矣」。而乾坤,在周易六十四卦中的第一及第二卦,即表現了「天地」,其實即世界中所有事物的總原則,故云「乾坤定矣」。而其中的「矣」字,即表是打從世界一開始,天地尊卑的關係﹐乾坤作為表現這種關係的關係就已經存在了。但是,我們日常的生活經驗中,很少能体會到天地的秩序是如此這般。可是這種秩序,在超驗界,則為「象」,例如,動靜﹐剛柔等,但亦會落到現象界,而為「形」,人當然就能體會到「變化」,故云「在天成象,在地成形,變化現矣」。而聖人就著天道乾坤的變化,設卦觀象,乾坤固然是其中一種卦代表天地,而其他則有震﹑坎﹑艮﹑巽﹑離﹑兌則代表其他現象。既然聖人能設卦觀象,此即立刻肯定了人能上達於天,肯定了人的超越性。

「乾道成男,坤道成女。乾知大始,坤作成物。乾以易知,坤以簡能。」

乾坤既然是六十四卦象之首,又代表了天地,它們們的重要性立刻不言而喻。所謂「乾知大始,坤作成物」,就是指乾是世界的創生原則,而坤則是成全完則。而乾道就好像男性,而坤道則是女性。正如上面所言,他們是有位分的,乾象天,坤象地,而天尊則地卑,則地從天,坤從乾,女從男。但是或有女權主義者,或昔日中國大陸的學者會指責這是傳統男女不平等的古老思想或是古時掌權階級用來壓制被統治者的手段,可是事實是如此嗎? 既然乾是世界的創生原則,而坤則是成全完則,它們創造世界必有先後次序之分,否則如乾從坤,則坤有何物可成全?而這種先後次序即表示易經的世界是一個有秩序的世界,如此則天下時事物亦有它們的位分,它們的秩序。則女從男,是就原則上言之女從男亦不代表男權剝削女性,而是大家互相合作,互補不足,從而創造事物。縱使就現實經驗言之,今的女性縱有不少有才能者,而能獨當一面,但是她們所處身之位置大都是一些不需要創造的職務,就例如到一間公司的總經理吧,這就是成全一件事物的發生。則從根本上就不存有女權主義或昔日中國大陸學者的指責。再者,以創生原則與創生原則作為天地萬物的總原則,則易經之世界實是一個生生不息的世界,而不是一個機械的冷冰冰的只因果關係的世界,而是一個有情有理的世界。

而在六十四卦中的每一卦裏的爻辭,多表示一些人事上的變動,例如乾卦九三:「君子終日乾乾,夕愓若。厲,旡咎。」由此觀之,易經所關心的不只是世界中的因果關係,世界中事物的變化的關係,而是關心人生在世,生活上種種的問題,從而當下指點,當機說法。所以易經之智慧不單在於對世界的變化作一表現,而是体現人生的道理,解決價值的問題。

從易經之中,我体會得最深的是世界中的事物,必定是物極必反的。易經中每一個卦的最後一個爻,如果這個卦是表現出好的事象,這個爻必定是表現出不吉利的徵兆,反之亦然。例如乾卦,上九:「亢龍,有悔。」這正表現出物極必反。而我的很多經驗是,很多意外,都是樂極忘形,樂極生悲,好像我小時候就是因為太好性,在玩足迷藏時太投入,結果撞破了自己的眼眉,頭破血流,不旦受皮肉之苦,更要令家人擔心。故自此之後,我時常在最高興的時候提醒自己,不可樂極忘形。而想不到在幾千年前的中國,已有這種大智慧,而且能成就為一系統,把握著世界的變化,與此共存而活。

(四)

現代的人對周易存有誤解,例如會問「周易是有什麼根據?」,「有情有理的世界?可不可以拿給我看?」,總是認為這是不可信。可是易是一門實踐的學問。實踐的學問要靠使用者的功力。使用者功力越好當然越可靠。而且,就算不談占卜問卦之事,易經之義理亦仍是博大精深,對人生極有指導的作用。但是,易經所對我最大的啟發是,在面對世界的荒謬性時,人亦對世界仍然有一秩序的要求,不論這種要求出來的結果是否真實,是不是世界的真相,但只要有這種自我的要求,人就有超越性,這便是人的真正本性。

1998/8/6