格物致知 – Chinese philosophy and culture

ɡéwù-zhìzhī 格物致知

Study Things to Acquire Knowledge

在与事物的接触中体认人伦日用之道。“格物”“致知”出自《礼记·大学》,与诚意、正心、修身、齐家、治国、平天下并称“八条目”。“致知”在于“格物”,二者密切相关,故有时并称“格致”。历代学者对“格物致知”的含义有多种不同的理解:或强调在对事物的接触中穷究其“理”;或强调亲自实践以掌握各种德行、技艺;或以心意所在为“物”,进而以内心的修正为“格物”。

The term means to understand how we should conduct ourselves through our contact with things. “Studying things to acquire knowledge” comes from The Book of Rites. Together with “making one’s purpose sincere,” “correcting one’s thoughts,” “self-cultivation,” “running one’s family well,” “governing the state properly,” and “bringing peace to all under heaven,” they are collectively known as the “eight essential principles.” Knowledge is acquired through the study of things. Since the two are closely related, they are sometimes together called “study and acquire.” Throughout history scholars have had varied understandings of the meaning of the term. Some emphasize a thorough inquiry of principles in contact with things. Others stress personal practice in order to master all kinds of moral conduct and skills. Still others consider their intentions as things, thus reforming their innermost thoughts as studying things.

引例 Citations:

◎事皆有理,至其理,乃格物也。(《二程外书》卷二)

(事物皆有其理,穷究其理,就是“格物”。)

All things have their own principles. An exhaustive inquiry into the principles means the study of things. (More Writings of the Cheng Brothers)

◎格物如《孟子》“大人格君心”之“格”。(《传习录》卷上)

(“格物”就如同《孟子》中所言“大人格正君主之心”之格正之义。)

Gewu (格物) means setting things right, just like what is said in Mencius: A great man may rectify a ruler’s mind. (Records of Great Learning)

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