慎独 – Chinese philosophy and culture

shèndú 慎独

Shendu

儒家提出的一种道德修养方法。“慎独”有两种不同含义:其一,将“独”理解为闲居独处。人们在独处时,没有他人的监督,最容易放纵行事。“慎独”即要求在独处时谨慎对待自己的行为,自觉遵守道德、礼法的要求。其二,将“独”理解为内心的真实状态。人们可以在言行上表现出符合道德、礼法的要求,但心中却没有对道德、礼法的认同与追求。“慎独”则要求在心上做工夫,使内心与道德、礼法所要求的言行相符。

A kind of ethical self-cultivation advanced by the Confucian school of thought, the term has two different meanings: First, du (独) is understood as at leisure and alone. When people are alone, without someone else’s supervision, they easily act in an undisciplined and immoral way. Shendu (慎独) requires being careful with one’s conduct when being alone, consciously following morality and the requirements of etiquette. Second, du is understood as an inner true state. People may in their words and actions manifest what is in accord with morality and the requirements of etiquette, but in their heart they do not accept or pursue any morality or etiquette. Shendu requires that one makes efforts in one’s heart, so that one’s inner world is in agreement with the words and actions required by morality and etiquette.

引例 Citations:

◎是故君子戒慎乎其所不睹,恐惧乎其所不闻。莫见乎隐,莫显乎微,故君子慎其独也。(《礼记·中庸》)

(因此君子在没有人看见时也是谨慎的,在没有人听到时也是有所恐惧的。没有比隐蔽的地方更容易表现的了,没有比隐微的地方更容易显明的了,因此君子应“慎独”。)

A man of virtue is cautious when he is not being watched by others and apprehensive when what he says is not being heard. There is nothing more visible than in what is secret, and nothing more obvious than in what is vague and minute. Therefore, a man of virtue is watchful when he is at leisure and alone. (The Book of Rites)

◎此谓诚于中,形于外,故君子必慎其独也。(《礼记·大学》)

(这是说实存于内心的东西,会表现在外,因此君子必须“慎独”。)

This means what one truly believes in his heart and mind will find expression in the open. That is why a man of virtue must be cautious when he is at leisure and alone. (The Book of Rites)

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