地理 – Chinese philosophy and culture

dìlǐ 地理

The Laws Determining the Physical Features of the Land / Geography

大地、山川的分布、运行及其规则。“地理”一词出自《周易》。地形的起伏交错、山川的分布走势,呈现出某种恒常的法则,就是“地理”。古人认为,人伦生活与天地万物遵循着相通的法则。因此,人们可以通过对“地理”的观察与效法,确立人伦生活的秩序。后世又将与自然环境相应的物产、交通、居住等经济生活及其受自然环境影响的规律纳入“地理”的范畴。

This term means the laws that determine the physical features of plains, mountains and rivers. The term is from The Book of Changes, and it means that the uneven topography of the land, and the direction of rivers and mountains are all determined by certain constant laws. The ancient Chinese believed that both human relationships and all things in the universe are governed by the same laws, and so by observing and following these laws, people can establish social order. In later ages, the term came to cover production, transportation, human settlement and the economic activities affected by the natural environment.

引例 Citation:

◎《易》与天地准,故能弥纶天地之道。仰以观于天文,俯以察于地理,是故知幽明之故。(《周易·系辞上》)

(《周易》与天地齐等,因此能够普遍包含天地的法则。仰视以观察天文,俯视以观察地理,就能知晓幽隐和显明的事理。)

The Book of Changes describes the laws of heaven and earth. By looking at the stars above and the earth below, one can see what is implied and what is obvious. (The Book of Changes)

◎三光,天文也;山川,地理也。(《汉书·郊祀志下》)

(日月星辰的运行法则,是天文;山川的分布走势,是地理。)

The movement of the sun, the moon, and stars is tianwen, or the laws governing the movement of the constellations and the change of weather; the distribution and layout of mountains and rivers is dili, or the laws that determine the physical features of plains, mountains and rivers. (The History of the Han Dynasty)

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