以义制事 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yǐ yì zhì shì 以义制事

Handle Matters According to Morality and Justice

按照道义做事,即遵循道义、正义的原则处理政治、军事等重大事务。在中国古代政治话语中,没有权力可以任性一说;相反,要求权力的产生必须有正当性依据,权力的行使也必须遵循道义,这一点历来为古人所注重。道义、正义高于权力、规制权力,这是中国古人所推崇的政治生态。

To act based on morality and justice, that is, to manage major political and military matters according to the principles of morality and justice. In ancient Chinese political discourse, it was never right to suggest that power could be exercised arbitrarily. On the contrary, it was expected that there should be a legitimate basis for the creation of power, and that power would be exercised according to moral precepts. The ancient Chinese always attached great importance to this point. Morality and justice overrode and regulated power – such was the political ecology they highly esteemed.

引例 Citation:

◎王懋(mào)昭大德,建中于民,以义制事,以礼制心,垂裕后昆。(《尚书·仲虺之诰》)

(大王要努力显扬崇高的德行,在人民中间树立中正之道,按照道义裁断国家事务,按照礼制管理人心,使丰厚的功业能传给后人。)

The ruler must work hard to promote high moral standards and advocate the correct path among the people; he should handle affairs of state according to moral precepts and guide people’s thinking to accord with the rules of etiquette, so as to leave a rich legacy to those who come after him. (The Book of History)

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