体用 – Chinese philosophy and culture

tǐyòng 体用

Ti and Yong

“体用”有三种不同含义:其一,形体、实体为“体”,形体、实体的功能、作用为“用”。其二,事物的本体为“体”,本体的显现、运用为“用”。其三,行事、行为的根本原则为“体”,根本原则的具体施用为“用”。在“体用”对待的关系中,“体”是基础,“用”是依赖于“体”的。

Ti (体) and yong (用) can be understood in three different ways: 1) a physical thing and its functions or roles; 2) the ontological existence of a thing and its expression and application; and 3) the fundamental code of conduct, and its observance. In any tiyong relationship, ti provides the basis on which yong depends.

引例 Citations:

◎天者定体之名,乾者体用之称。(《周易·乾》孔颖达正义)

(“天”是确定实体的名称,“乾”是表现实体之功用的名称。)

Tian (天) means heaven in the physical sense, while qian (乾) means its functions and significance. (Kong Yingda: Correct Meaning of The Book of Changes)

◎至微者理也,至著者象也。体用一源,显微无间。(程颐《程氏易传》)

(最隐微的是理,最显著的是象。作为本体的理和作为现象的象出自同一来源,显著与隐微之间没有差别。)

What is most subtle is li (理), while what is most conspicuous is xiang (象). Li as the ontological existence and xiang as its manifestation are of the same origin; there is no difference between them. (Cheng Yi: Cheng Yi’s Commentary on The Book of Changes)

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