新人性主義

(English below)

新人性主義, 作者: David Brooks, March 7, 2011
在我的職涯中,我經歷了一些政策上的失誤。當蘇聯解體時,我們派了一群群的經濟學家,忘了考慮到摧殘這國家已久的低度社會信賴感。當入侵伊拉克時,國家領導人們也未對當地的複雜文化與世貿中心恐怖攻擊後的恐懼餘波做好準備。

過去(在美國)我們的金融體制是建立在銀行家是不會集體做出不理智行為的理性動物的前提之下。過去30年內我們嘗試過許多種不同的方式改造我們的教育體制—嘗試過大型學校、小型學校,私立學校、學券制,多年來卻忽略了核心議題: 師生之間的互動關係。

我相信這些失敗都是源自於一種失敗:只依賴單一過度簡化的人性觀點。我們社會的主流觀點是我們是個別獨立的個體,不只在政策與制度面,在各方面亦然。值得大家信任的理性和常被質疑的情緒是分離的。社會發展到了理性壓抑熱情的程度。

這也在我們的文化中造成了一種扭曲。我們強調理性與合理性,卻沒有充分表達與探討他們背後更深層的部分。我們擅長於談論物質面的事物,卻拙於表達情緒。

當我們養育下一代時,我們著重於分數與大學入學考試的成績。關於最重要的事,如:人格特質、如何建立人際關係等,我們都不重視。我們許多的公共政策都是由只在乎數據、適當性與能否量化卻忽略所有其他層面的專家所提出的。

然而當我們陷在這不完整的人性觀時,一個更充實與深層的看法又回到我們眼前。這些洞見是來自神經學、心理學、社會學和行為學等各領域的研究專家們。

這越來越多且廣泛的研究內容提醒了我們一些重要的觀點

首先,心智中潛意識佔了大部分,也是大多數最令人讚嘆的思維發跡之處。
第二,情緒並非與理性相對立,我們對外在事物的價值判定是先由情緒來決定的,因而左右我們對事物的合理化思考。
最後,我們不是組成人際關係的個體。我們是人際關係當中深深彼此相互連結的社會型動物。

這項研究內容認為法國人在人性上的論點(即高度強調個人主義與合理性)是錯誤的。而英國人的論點,強調社會性的感情連結,才是比較接近事實的。它認為我們不是分別的個體。我們並非只依賴理性來主導內心熱情。當我們培植情緒發展的同時我們表現得更好!

當你綜合這些研究,將對所有事情,商業、家庭到政治獲得不同的新觀點。你會降低你對人們如何分析這個世界的關注,進而關注人們心中如何認知與組織這世界一切的發生。你會降低在個人特質的注意力,而更關心人際關係的品質。

舉例而言,你會在人力資本上有不同的觀點。在過去幾十年來,我們在人力資本上的定義很狹隘,強調智商、學歷與專業技能。當然這些都很重要,但卻將一些橫跨理性與情緒之間更深層的才能屏除在外,還把這兩樣搞得一團亂。

點化: 能進入他人心思的能力,並了解自己能奉獻甚麼。

平衡: 嚴格監控自己心思變化的能力,並糾正偏見與缺點。

Metis: 洞察世界上已存或新模式的能力,並從複雜的情境中推導出一個要點。

同理心: 能與週遭的人”彈同調”並在團體中發光的能力。

深戀感: 這比較像是動機,而非才能。意識心追求金錢與成功,而無意識心則追求不再侷限於頭腦的那種超脫時刻,我們迷失於追求愛、成就一件事的挑戰或神性的追求。有些擁有這樣經歷的人比起他別人則擁有更強大的驅動力。

現今無數的研究學者不斷提出針對人類研究更精確的觀點。這些都具高度的科學性,但也引領我們進入一個新人性主義的階段,同時也開始讓大家了解到情緒與理智是相互交織運作的。

我揣測他們的結果將為人類文化帶來很大的影響。它將改變我們如何看待自己。誰知道,也許有一天,它也能改變我們的政策制定者如何看待我們這個世界。

The New Humanism, By David Brooks, March 7, 2011
Over the course of my career, I’ve covered a number of policy failures. When the Soviet Union fell, we sent in teams of economists, oblivious to the lack of social trust that marred that society. While invading Iraq, the nation’s leaders were unprepared for the cultural complexities of the place and the psychological aftershocks of Saddam’s terror.

We had a financial regime (in the US) based on the notion that bankers are rational creatures who wouldn’t do anything stupid en masse. For the past 30 years we’ve tried many different ways to restructure our educational system — trying big schools and little schools, charters and vouchers — that, for years, skirted the core issue: the relationship between a teacher and a student.

I’ve come to believe that these failures spring from a single failure: reliance on an overly simplistic view of human nature. We have a prevailing view in our society — not only in the policy world, but in many spheres — that we are divided creatures. Reason, which is trustworthy, is separate from the emotions, which are suspect. Society progresses to the extent that reason can suppress the passions.

This has created a distortion in our culture. We emphasize things that are rational and conscious and are inarticulate about the processes down below. We are really good at talking about material things but bad at talking about emotion.

When we raise our kids, we focus on the traits measured by grades and SAT scores (standardized test for college admissions in the US). But when it comes to the most important things like character and how to build relationships, we often have nothing to say. Many of our public policies are proposed by experts who are comfortable only with correlations that can be measured, appropriated and quantified, and ignore everything else.

Yet while we are trapped within this amputated view of human nature, a richer and deeper view is coming back into view. It is being brought to us by researchers across an array of diverse fields: neuroscience, psychology, sociology, behavioral economics and so on.

This growing, dispersed body of research reminds us of a few key insights.
First, the unconscious parts of the mind are most of the mind, where many of the most impressive feats of thinking take place.
Second, emotion is not opposed to reason; our emotions assign value to things and are the basis of reason.
Finally, we are not individuals who form relationships. We are social animals, deeply interpenetrated with one another, who emerge out of relationships.

This body of research suggests the French enlightenment view of human nature, which emphasized individualism and reason, was wrong. The British enlightenment, which emphasized social sentiments, was more accurate about who we are. It suggests we are not divided creatures. We don’t only progress as reason dominates the passions. We also thrive as we educate our emotions.

When you synthesize this research, you get different perspectives on everything from business to family to politics. You pay less attention to how people analyze the world but more to how they perceive and organize it in their minds. You pay a bit less attention to individual traits and more to the quality of relationships between people.

You get a different view of, say, human capital. Over the past few decades, we have tended to define human capital in the narrow way, emphasizing I.Q., degrees, and professional skills. Those are all important, obviously, but this research illuminates a range of deeper talents, which span reason and emotion and make a hash of both categories:

Attunement: the ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer.

Equipoise: the ability to serenely monitor the movements of one’s own mind and correct for biases and shortcomings.

Metis: the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations.

Sympathy: the ability to fall into a rhythm with those around you and thrive in groups.

Limerence: This isn’t a talent as much as a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for money and success, but the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God. Some people seem to experience this drive more powerfully than others.

When Sigmund Freud came up with his view of the unconscious, it had a huge effect on society and literature. Now hundreds of thousands of researchers are coming up with a more accurate view of who we are. Their work is scientific, but it directs our attention toward a new humanism. It’s beginning to show how the emotional and the rational are intertwined.

I suspect their work will have a giant effect on the culture. It’ll change how we see ourselves. Who knows, it may even someday transform the way our policy makers see the world.

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2011在ICA的提昇個人領導力的機會
Opportunities for Growing Your Leadership Capacities in 2011 at ICA

14-15 May Group Facilitation Methods-1 Course (focused conversation method)
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25-26 June Group Facilitation Methods-2 Course (workshop method)
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