义 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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yì 义

Righteousness

“义”的基本含义是合理、恰当,引申而有两重含义:其一,指人行事的合理依据与标准;其二,指在道德意识的判断与引导下,调节言行使之符合一定的标准,以获得合理的安处。宋代学者用“理”或“天理”的概念来解释“义”,认为“义”就是“天理”所规定的合理的标准,同时要求言行符合“天理”。

The basic meaning of yi (义) is “reasonable” and “proper.” It has two extended meanings. One is the proper basis and standard for people’s actions. The other is to adjust one’s words or deeds to meet certain standards, under the guidance of moral judgments. Scholars in the Song Dynasty used li (理) or “principles of heaven” to interpret yi, and considered yi to be the reasonable standard defined by the “principles of heaven,” and hoped that people’s words and deeds would fall in line with the “principles of heaven.”

引例 Citations:

◎君子喻于义。(《论语·里仁》)

(君子知晓并遵循义。)

Junzi (a man of virtue) understands things and acts in accordance with righteousness. (The Analects)

◎义者,心之制,事之宜也。(朱熹《孟子集注》)

(义就是约束自己的内心,使事情合宜。)

Righteousness means exercising self-restraint in order to do everything properly. (Zhu Xi: Mencius Variorum)

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