成人 – Chinese philosophy and culture

chéngrén 成人

Complete Man

具备了健全德性与全面技能的人。在古人看来,“成人”的标志并不是年龄的增长所带来的身体的成熟,而是通过学习、修养获得了健全的德性和全面的技能。“成人”需要具备智慧、勇气,能够节制自己的欲望,并掌握各种技能,从而恰当地应对、处理生活中的各种事务,使自己的言行始终合于道义。

A complete man refers to a person of sound moral integrity who also has command of various skills that in ancient times were needed to deal with social life. In the view of the ancient Chinese, a complete man did not just mean that a man reached adulthood. It also meant that a person had acquired sound morals and the skills required to adapt to society. A complete man needed to have wisdom, courage, and self-restraint and also to have mastered the skills necessary to appropriately deal with all types of matters in life, so that his words and deeds met the requirements of moral principles and justice.

引例 Citations:

◎子路问成人。子曰:“若臧武仲之知,公绰之不欲,卞庄子之勇,冉求之艺,文之以礼乐,亦可以为成人矣。”曰:“今之成人者何必然?见利思义,见危授命,久要不忘平生之言,亦可以为成人矣。”(《论语·宪问》)

(子路请教何谓“成人”。孔子说:“像臧武仲那样有智慧,像孟公绰那样寡欲,像卞庄子那样勇敢,像冉求那样有才艺,再用礼乐加以修饰,也就可以称为‘成人’了。”又说:“现在所说的‘成人’何必一定这样?看到利益考虑是否正当,遇到危险肯付出生命,长久处于穷困仍不忘记平日的诺言,也可以说是‘成人’了。”)

Zilu asked what qualities a complete man needed to have. Confucius said, “If someone has the wisdom of Zang Wuzhong, is free from covetousness as Meng Gongchuo is, has the courage of Bian Zhuangzi and the versatile skills of Ran Qiu, and is versed in rites and music, he can then be considered a complete man.” Confucius then continued, “Now, what is the necessity of a complete man having all of these virtues? When faced with the temptation of self-interest, he thinks of the principle of justice. When at danger, he is ready to put his life at risk if necessary. When long in dire straits, he never forgets his past promises. Such a person can be said to be a complete man!” (The Analects)

◎德操然后能定,能定然后能应,能定能应,夫是之谓成人。(《荀子·劝学》)

(有道德操守然后能够志行坚定,志行坚定然后能够应对外物变化。能坚定,能应变,就可以称作“成人”了。)

With moral integrity, one can have strong willpower and are resolute in action; and with strong willpower and being resolute in action, one can respond to all changes with ease. Such a person can be called a complete man. (Xunzi)

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