伦理 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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lúnlǐ 伦理

Ethics

本义指事物的条理,引申指人伦道德之理,即人与人之间的关系以及处理这些关系的基本道理、原则和规范。中国人自古注重人与人之间关系的处理,儒家认为人伦规范是人之所以为人的主要根据,因而伦理思想十分发达。此为中华传统思想文化一大特点。近代以降,“伦理”被确定为ethics的译词,事物条理之义隐去,专指人和人相处的各种道德准则。

Originally, the term referred to the natural order of things. Gradually its meaning was transformed into ethical principles, i.e., relationships between human beings, and fundamental rules, principles and norms regulating such relationships. Since ancient times, the Chinese people have continuously valued highly proper relationships between people. The Confucian School believed that ethical norms served as basic guidelines for being a man. So, in Confucius’ times, such a philosophy prevailed. It has been one of the major features of Chinese culture. In modern times, it is translated into the English term “ethics” and the original meaning of “order of things” has died out.

引例 Citations:

◎凡音者,生于人心者也。乐者,通伦理者也。(《礼记·乐记》)

(凡是音乐,都是从人的内心产生。音乐与事物的条理相通。)

All music generates from the inner world of people. Musical notes, like the order of things, have their own way of order. (The Book of Rites)

◎夫乱骨肉,犯亲戚,无上下之序者,禽兽之性,则乱不知伦理。(王充《论衡·书虚篇》)

(在骨肉亲戚间发生乱伦,没有上下尊卑的秩序,本质上这是禽兽之性,而禽兽是行为混乱而不懂得道德人伦的。)

Sex between direct relatives and disregard of the order of relations between senior and junior, in essence, fall into the nature of beasts. Beasts act without scruples and know nothing about ethics. (Wang Chong: A Comparative Study of Different Schools of Learning)

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