经世致用 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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jīnɡshì-zhìyònɡ 经世致用

Study of Ancient Classics Should Meet Present Needs.

学术要对国家和社会的治理发挥实际效用。“经世”即治理国家和社会事务,“致用”即发挥实际效用。17世纪初思想家顾炎武、王夫之、黄宗羲、李颙等人倡导学术研究要关注现实,通过解释古代典籍,阐发自己的社会政治见解,解决社会实际问题,以增进国家治理、民生安定、社会改良。这一思想强调知识的政治价值和知识分子的现实担当,体现了中国传统知识分子讲求功效、务实的思想特点和“以天下为己任”的情怀。

Learning should contribute to good governance. Jingshi (经世) means governance of the country and society, and zhiyong (致用) refers to meeting practical needs. In the early 17th century, thinkers such as Gu Yanwu, Wang Fuzhi, Huang Zongxi, and Li Yong argued that scholarly studies should be geared to meet current needs. They held that while interpreting ancient classics, scholars should expound their views on the social and political issues of their day, solve practical problems, enhance governance of the country, improve people’s livelihood, and promote social reform. This view stressed the practical value of knowledge and the practical responsibilities of intellectuals. It reflects the pragmatic character of traditional Chinese intellectuals as well as their concern for the well-being of the people and eagerness to shoulder responsibility for the whole nation.

引例 Citations:

◎凡文之不关于“六经”之指当世之务者,一切不为。(顾炎武《与人书·三》)

(凡是与“六经”本旨、当世要务无关的文章,一概不做。)

No articles should be written except those that are concerned with what the Six Classics teach us about the current state affairs. (Gu Yanwu: Letters to a Friend)

◎学人贵识时务,奏议皆识一时之务者也。……道不虚谈,学贵实效。学而不足以开物成务,康济时艰,真拥衾之妇女耳,亦可羞已!(李颙《二曲集》卷七)

(学者贵在通晓时务,凡臣子向皇上奏事的文章都是通晓当时时务的。……道是不可以空谈的,学问贵在讲求实效。学问如果不足以揭示事物真相,确定处理事务的方法,有助于解救时局艰难,那不过是如同拥被自覆的妇女罢了,实在是可羞愧的呀!)

Scholars should value knowledge of current affairs. Memorials to the throne should be about such affairs… There should be no empty talk on abstract theories. The value of knowledge lies in dealing with practical matters. Scholars whose studies do not reveal the essence of things or put forward ways of coping with difficult situations should feel ashamed as an uneducated woman! (Li Yong: Collected Works of Li Yong)

◎[先君]益自奋励,自理学及经世致用书,靡不究览。(崔述《先府君行述》)

([先父]更加发奋努力,从理学到经世致用的书籍,全都详细研读。)

My late father was very diligent. He read a wide range of works, from Neo-Confucian theories to books on dealing with practical matters. There was nothing he did not study in depth. (Cui Shu: An Account of My Late Father)

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