Dean Rohrer

发条化学

牛津——

在安东尼·伯吉斯的中篇小说(以及斯坦利·库布里克的电影)《发条橙》中,亚历克斯心理变态、耽于暴力、死不悔改,因而被人强迫睁大眼睛观看暴力影像,像巴甫洛夫的狗一样接受训练,最终对暴力色情极度厌恶。这一幕直到今天依然令人震惊,然而就像大部分科幻作品一样,这种情节的新意早已丧失。其背后的理论依据,即行为主义心理学,同样风头不再;而担心科学会成为(迫)使人向善的工具的这类说法如今听来业已老套。

然而,看似老套的科幻作品却往往有着深远的影响力。在过去的十年中,有一批心理学家、神经科学家和进化生物学家始终致力于证明所谓神经“发条”是人类道德的基础。他们的研究包括:寻找移情等亲社会情绪(pro-social sentiments)在进化史上的根源,发现哪些基因决定了个体会做出毫无意义的暴力行为还是种种利他主义的善举,探索人类大脑是通过怎样的途径做出道德决定。而对一事物运作模式的了解也有助于我们找到修正甚至控制其过程,在此也不例外。

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