为己之学 – Chinese philosophy and culture

wèi jǐ zhī xué 为己之学

Learning for Self-improvement

以自我修养为目的的学问。儒家将“学”作为一种成就道德生命的方式。学者通过对经典和礼法的学习以及对圣贤的效法,不断培养自身的德性,以成就理想的人格。因此,“学”是一个自我修养的过程,是“为己”的。“学”并不是为了向他人展示自己的学问或德行,以获取外在的利益。

The term refers to learning for the purpose of self-cultivation. Confucian scholars view learning as a means of improving our moral life. By studying the classics and rules of etiquette, and by learning from the sages, we may constantly improve our morality in order to develop an ideal character. Therefore, learning is a process for self-cultivation and is practiced for our own good. The pursuit of learning is not to make a show of our knowledge or virtuous conduct in return for benefit.

引例 Citations:

◎子曰:“古之学者为己,今之学者为人。”(《论语·宪问》)

(孔子说:“古时的学者是为了自身的道德修养而学习,现在的学者是为了向他人展示学问。)

Confucius said: “People in ancient times learned to cultivate their own moral character. People today learn to impress others.” (The Analects)

◎大抵为己之学,于他人无一毫干预。圣贤千言万语,只是使人反其固有而复其性耳。(《朱子语类》卷八)

(一般而言,为己之学不受他人的任何影响。圣人、贤人所说的千言万语,归根结底是令人回归其固有的本性。)

Generally speaking, learning for self-improvement has nothing to do with others. Everything the sages said, in the final analysis, was meant to help people restore their original inherent nature. (Classified Conversations of Master Zhu Xi)

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