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Unit 1 Text A Love and logic: The story of a fallacy翻译,原文和录音

[2018年11月6日] 来源:新视野大学英语Unit 1 编辑:给力英语网   字号 [] [] []  

Love and logic: The story of a fallacy

1 I had my first date with Polly after I made the trade with my roommate Rob. That year every guy on campus had a leather jacket and Rob couldn't stand the idea of being the only football player who didn't so he made a pact that he'd give me his girl in exchange for my jacket. He wasn't the brightest guy. Polly wasn't too shrewd either.

2 But she was pretty well-off didn't dye her hair strange colors or wear too much makeup. She had the right background to be the girlfriend of a dogged brilliant lawyer. If I could show the elite law firms I applied to that I had a radiant well-spoken counterpart by my side I just might edge past the competition.

3 "Radiant" she was already. I could dispense her enough pearls of wisdom to make her "well-spoken".

4 After a banner day out I drove until we were situated under a big old oak tree on a hill off the expressway. What I had in mind was a little eccentric. I thought the venue with a perfect view of the luminous city would lighten the mood. We stayed in the car and I turned down the stereo and took my foot off the brake pedal. "What are we going to talk about?" she asked.

5 "Logic."

6 "Cool" she said over her gum.

7 "The doctrine of logic" I said "is a staple of clear thinking. Failures in logic distort the truth and some of them are well known. First let's look at the fallacy Dicto Simpliciter."

8 "Great" she agreed.

9 "Dicto Simpliciter means an unqualified generalization. For example: Exercise is good. Therefore everybody should exercise."

10 She nodded in agreement.

11 I could see she was stumped. "Polly" I explained "it's too simple a generalization. If you have say heart disease or extreme obesity exercise is bad not good. Therefore you must say exercise is good for most people."

12 "Next is Hasty Generalization. Self-explanatory right? Listen carefully: You can't speak French. Rob can't speak French. Looks like nobody at this school can speak French."

13 "Really?" said Polly amazed. "Nobody?"

14 "This is also a fallacy" I said. "The generalization is reached too hastily. Too few instances support such a conclusion."

15 She seemed to have a good time. I could safely say my plan was underway. I took her home and set a date for another conversation.

16 Seated under the oak the next evening I said "Our first fallacy tonight is called Ad Misericordiam."

17 She nodded with delight.

18 "Listen closely" I said. "A man applies for a job. When the boss asks him what his qualifications are he says he has six children to feed."

19 "Oh this is awful awful" she whispered in a choked voice.

20 "Yes it's awful" I agreed "but it's no argument. The man never answered the boss's question. Instead he appealed to the boss's sympathy  Ad Misericordiam."

21 She blinked still trying hard to keep back her tears.

22 "Next" I said carefully "we will discuss False Analogy. An example students should be allowed to look at their textbooks during exams because surgeons have X-rays to guide them during surgery."

23 "I like that idea" she said.

24 "Polly" I groaned "don't derail the discussion. The inference is wrong. Doctors aren't taking a test to see how much they have learned but students are. The situations are altogether different. You can't make an analogy between them."

25 "I still think it's a good idea" said Polly.

26 With five nights of diligent work I actually made a logician out of Polly. She was an analytical thinker at last. The time had come for the conversion of our relationship from academic to romantic.

27 "Polly" I said when next we sat under our oak "tonight we won't discuss fallacies."

28 "Oh?" she said a little disappointed.

29 Favoring her with a grin I said "We have now spent five evenings together. We get along pretty well. We make a pretty good couple."

30 "Hasty Generalization" said Polly brightly. "Or as a normal person might say that's a little premature don't you think?"

31 I laughed with amusement. She'd learned her lessons well far surpassing my expectations. "Sweetheart" I said patting her hand in a tolerant manner "five dates is plenty. After all you don't have to eat a whole cake to know it's good."

32 "False Analogy" said Polly promptly. "Your premise is that dating is like eating. But you're not a cake. You're a boy."

33 I laughed with somewhat less amusement hiding my dread that she'd learned her lessons too well. A few more false steps would be my doom. I decided to change tactics and try flattery instead.

34 "Polly I love you. Please say you'll go out with me. I'm nothing without you."

35 "Ad Misericordiam" she said.

36 "You certainly can discern a fallacy when you see it" I said my hopes starting to crumble. "But don't take them so literally. I mean this is all academic. You know the things you learn in school don't have anything to do with real life."

37 "Dicto Simpliciter" she said. "Besides you really should practice what you preach."

38 I leaped to my feet my temper flaring up. "Will you or will you not go out with me?"

39 "No to your proposition" she replied.

40 "Why?" I demanded.

41 "I'm more interested in a different petitioner  Rob and I are back together."

42 With great effort I said calmly "How could you give me the axe over Rob? Look at me an ingenious student a tremendous intellectual a man with an assured future. Look at Rob a muscular idiot a guy who'll never know where his next meal is coming from. Can you give me one good reason why you should be with him?"

43 "Wow what presumption! I'll put it in a way someone as brilliant as you can understand" retorted Polly her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Full disclosure  I like Rob in leather. I told him to say yes to you so he could have your jacket!" 

爱情与逻辑:谬误的故事

在我和室友罗伯的交易成功之后,我和波莉有了第一次约会。那一年校园里每个人都有件皮夹克,而罗伯是校足球队员中唯一一个没有皮夹克的,他一想到这个就受不了,于是他和我达成了一项协议,用他的女友换取我的夹克。他可不那么聪明,而他的女友波莉也不太精明。

但她漂亮而且富有,也没有把头发染成奇怪的颜色或是化很浓的妆。她拥有合适的家庭背景,足以胜任一名坚忍而睿智的律师的女友。如果我能够让我所申请的顶尖律师事务所看到我身边伴随着一位光彩照人、谈吐优雅的另一半,我就很有可能在竞聘中以微弱优势获胜。

“光彩照人”,她已经是了。而我也能施予她足够多的“智慧之珠”,让她变得“谈吐优雅”。

在一起外出度过了美好的一天之后,我驱车来到了高速公路旁一座小山上一棵古老的大橡树下。我的想法有些怪异。而这个地方能够俯瞰灯火灿烂的城区,我觉得它会使人的心情变轻松。我们呆在车子里,我调低了音响并把脚从刹车上挪开。“我们要谈些什么?”她问道。

“逻辑学。”

“好酷啊,”她一边嚼着口香糖一边说。

“逻辑学的原理,”我说道,“即清晰思考的主要原则。逻辑上出现的问题会歪曲事实,其中有些还很普遍。我们先来看看一种叫做‘绝对判断’的逻辑谬误。”

“好啊,”她表示同意。

“‘绝对判断’是指在证据不足的情况下所作出的推断。比方说:运动是有益的,所以每个人都应该运动。”

她点头表示赞同。

我看得出她没弄明白。“波莉,”我解释说,“这个推断太过简单化了。如果你有心脏病或者超级肥胖症什么的,运动就变得有害而不是有益。所以你应该说,运动对大多数人来说是有益的。”

“接下来是‘草率结论’。这似乎不言自明,对吧?仔细听好了:你不会说法语,罗伯也不会说法语,那么这所学校里好像是没有人会说法语。”

“是吗?”波莉吃惊地说。“没有人吗?”

“这也是一种逻辑谬误,”我说,“这一结论太草率了,因为能够支持这一结论的例证太少了。”

她似乎学得很开心,而我也可以放心地说我的计划正在稳步推进中。我把她送回家,并且定下了下一次约会交谈的日子。

第二天晚上,坐在那棵橡树下,我说:“今天晚上我们要谈的第一个逻辑谬误叫‘文不对题’。”

她高兴地点了点头。

“听好了,”我说,“有个人去申请工作,当老板问他有什么应聘资格时,他说他有六个孩子要抚养。”

“哇,这太可怕了,太可怕了,”她哽咽着轻声说道。

“对,是挺可怕的,”我表示赞同地说,“但这不是理由。这个人根本没有回答老板的问题,而只是在博取老板的同情,这就是‘文不对题’。”

她眨着眼睛,仍在竭力地忍住眼泪。

“接下来”,我小心地说,“我们来讨论‘错误类比’。举个例子:学生考试时应该允许看课本,因为外科医生在做手术时可以看X光片。”

“我喜欢这个主意,”她说。

“波莉,”我抱怨道,“别打岔,这一推论是错误的。医生们不是在参加考试以检查他们学到了多少,而学生却是。他们的情况完全不同,你不能将他们作类比。”

“我仍然认为这是一个好主意,”波莉说。

经过五个夜晚的辛勤努力,我竟然真的将波莉打造成了一个逻辑行家,她总算能够分析思考了。现在应该是时候让我们的关系从学术向浪漫发展了。

“波莉,”当我们又一次坐在那棵橡树下的时候我对她说,“今晚我们不讨论逻辑谬误了。”

“哦?”她回答说,有一点失望。

我赞许地对她笑了笑,说:“我们在一起已经度过了五个晚上,相互之间挺合得来,我们是蛮相配的一对。”

“草率结论,”波莉伶俐地说,“或者是按一般人的说法,这个结论有些不成熟,你不这样认为吗?”

我被逗得笑了起来,她功课还真学得不错,大大超过了我的预期。“亲爱的,”我开口说,同时宽容地拍了拍她的手,“五次约会已经够多了,毕竟你不需要吃掉整个蛋糕才知道它是不是好吃。”

“错误类比,”波莉立即回应。“你的前提是约会就如同吃东西。可你不是蛋糕,你是个男孩。”

我又笑了笑,不过不觉得那么有趣了,同时还不能表露出我害怕她学得太好了。再错几步我可就无法挽回了。我决定改变策略,转而尝试奉承她的办法。

“波莉,我爱你。请答应做我的女朋友,没有你我什么也不是。”

“文不对题,”她说。

“你还真是能在遇到逻辑谬误时一一辨别它们了,”我说,心里的希望已经开始动摇。“不过不要对它们太死板,我是说这都是些学术的东西。你知道,学校里学的东西和实际生活根本没有什么联系。”

“绝对判断,”她说道,“而且,你自己教的东西应该自己身体力行。”

我一下跳了起来,怒火中烧,“你到底愿不愿意做我的女朋友?”

“我不愿意,”她答道。

“为什么?”我追问道。

“我对另一位求爱者更感兴趣——罗伯和我重归于好了。”

我极力地保持着平静,说道:“你怎么会甩了我而选择罗伯?看看我,一个聪明过人的学生,一个不同凡响的学者,一个前途无量的人。再看看罗伯,一个肌肉发达的蠢材,一个有了上顿没下顿的家伙。你是否能给我一个充足的理由,为什么要选择跟他?”

“喔,这是什么假设啊!为了让像你这样聪明的人能够明白,我这么说吧,”波莉反驳道,声音里充满了讽刺,“事情的真相是——我喜欢罗伯穿皮衣。是我让他同意你们的协议的,这样他就能拥有你的夹克!”