称情立文 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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chēngqíng-lìwén 称情立文

Establish Moral Standards in Keeping with Human Feelings

依据情感而制定礼的规范。称:权衡。出自《礼记》和《荀子》。儒家认识到,人的情感是自然生发的,需要获得适当的抒发与表达。这种情感诉求也对人的言行乃至人伦秩序有着不可回避的影响。要实现有序而稳定的人伦生活,需要对个体的情感做出适当的安顿,而不是一味地加以抑制。因此,礼对于人伦生活的规范,要以情感的合理诉求为依据。

This concept originated in The Book of Rites and Xunzi. The Confucian view is that human emotions arise naturally and need to be properly expressed. They have an inescapable influence on people’s conduct and their moral behavior. To maintain an orderly and stable moral order, it is important that the emotions of people are properly expressed and not indiscriminately suppressed. Therefore, moral standards should be based on people’s reasonable desire.

引例 Citation:

◎三年之丧,何也?曰:称情而立文,因以饰群,别亲疏贵贱之节,而弗可损益也。(《礼记·三年问》)

(三年之丧是根据什么而定的呢?回答道:依据人的哀戚之情而订立的礼仪,由此来规范人伦的秩序,区别人与人之间亲疏贵贱的关系,是不可以随便减损或增益的。)

Why should the mourning period for one’s parents last for three years? The answer is that it is based on the degree of the mourner’s grief. Such a rule, which determines the order of human relations and differentiates the closeness between people and their social positions, should not be altered by cutting it short or extending it longer at will. (The Book of Rites)

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