We use the term “surrogate activity” to designate an activity that is directed toward an artificial goal that people set up for themselves merely in order to have some goal to work toward, or let us say, merely for the sake of the “fulfillment” that they get from pursuing the goal. Here is a rule of thumb for the identification of surrogate activities. Given a person who devotes much time and energy to the pursuit of goal X, ask yourself this: If he had to devote most of his time and energy to satisfying his biological needs, and if that effort required him to use his physical and mental faculties in a varied and interesting way, would he feel seriously deprived because he did not attain goal X? If the answer is no, then the person’s pursuit of goal X is a surrogate activity. Hirohito’s studies in marine biology clearly constituted a surrogate activity, since it is pretty certain that if Hirohito had had to spend his time working at interesting non-scientific tasks in order to obtain the necessities of life, he would not have felt deprived because he didn’t know all about the anatomy and life-cycles of marine animals. On the other hand the pursuit of sex and love (for example) is not a surrogate activity, because most people, even if their existence were otherwise satisfactory, would feel deprived if they passed their lives without ever having a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. (But pursuit of an excessive amount of sex, more than one really needs, can be a surrogate activity.)


我們使用「替代性活動」這個詞來代指一種被引向人造目標的活動。人們為自己設立人造目標僅為了有可以努力的目標,或者說僅僅為了追求目標所得到的「成就感」。這裡有個經驗法則來辨認替代性活動。假設有個人投入大量時間和精力追求目標 X,不妨自問:如果他得投入他大部分的時間和精力以滿足其生物需求,且如果這樣的努力需要他以許多不同且有趣的方式使用他的體能與智能,他還會對沒有達到目標 X 有嚴重的被剝奪感嗎?若答案是否定的,則這個人對目標 X 的追求就是替代性活動。裕仁的海洋生物學研究很明顯是替代性活動,因為可以很肯定假如裕仁需要花費他的時間在一個為了獲取生活必需品的有趣非科學工作上,他不會感到被剝奪,因為他對海洋生物的解剖學和生命週期一無所知。另一方面對性和愛(舉例來說)就不是替代性活動,因為大多數人,即使生活的其它方面都很滿意,若終其一生從未和異性建立關係仍會感到匱乏。(但追求過度性生活,超出一個人所需,可以是替代性活動。)