事势之流,相激使然 – Chinese philosophy and culture

shì shì zhī liú, xiāng jī shǐ rán 事势之流,相激使然

The Flow of Events Is Caused by Interactions.

世事的变化趋势或态势是各种因素、力量相互碰撞、激发的结果。这是古代著名史家司马迁(前145或前135?—?)提出的历史命题。“事势”即世间之事的基本趋势和态势;“流”本指水流、河流,比喻事物的演变过程。司马迁认为,历史是人的故事,但并不以某个人、某些人的意志为转移;世事流转,最终呈现出什么样态,根本上取决于参与这一过程的各种因素或力量的相互碰撞或激发。其中蕴含有历史合力论的思想。

Changes in trends or situations arise from the clashes and stimuli of factors and forces. This was an explanation of history proposed by the famous ancient Chinese historian Sima Qian (145 or 135?-? BC). “Events” were the basic trends or situations in the world; their “flow” was how they changed over time like flowing rivers. Sima Qian felt that while history was composed of the stories of people, it could not be changed by the will of any one person or persons. Rather, the outcome of the flow of events was basically determined by the clash or stimulus of various factors and forces involved in the process. This embodies ideas of the convergence and interaction of historical forces.

引例 Citations:

◎事势之流,相激使然,曷足怪焉?(《史记·平准书》)

(世事的变化趋势或态势,是各种因素、力量相互碰撞、激发的结果,有什么好奇怪的呢?)

Changes in trends or situations are the result of the clashes and interactions between various factors and forces. What is so strange about that? (Records of the Historian)

◎事势在天,无以众寡为意。(《周书·杨忠传》)

(事物的变化趋势或态势是由上天决定的,不要在意人数的多少。)

Changes in trends or situations are determined by heaven, not by the numbers of people. (The History of Zhou of the Northern Dynasties)

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