知先行后 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhīxiān-xínɡhòu 知先行后

First Knowledge, Then Action

对“知”“行”关系的一种认识。程颐、朱熹等人在“知”“行”关系问题上主张“知先行后”。他们并不否认,对人伦日用之道的体认与践行是相互关联的,二者不可偏废。但若就先后而言,应以“知”为先。“知”是“行”的基础,“行”是在“知”的指导下实现的。只有先认识了人伦日用之道,才能使自己的言行符合道的要求。

The term represents one interpretation of the relationship between “knowledge” and “action.” Regarding the relationship between “knowledge” and “action,” scholars like Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi argued that “knowledge precedes action.” They did not deny that an understanding of the principles underlying human relations in everyday life is interrelated with the application of these principles, nor did they feel that either of the two should be overlooked. However, in terms of sequence, they argued that “knowledge” came first, that it was the basis of “action,” and that “action” took place through the guidance of “knowledge.” Only by first understanding the principles underlying human relations in everyday life can we make our words and deeds follow the rules which govern human activities.

引例 Citations:

◎须是识在所行之先,譬如行路须得光照。(《二程遗书》卷三)

(必须是认识在行动之前,如同行路必须有光亮照明。)

Knowledge must be present before it can be acted upon, just as light must illuminate the path to be followed. (Writings of the Cheng Brothers)

◎知行常相须,如目无足不行,足无目不见。论先后,知为先;论轻重,行为重。(《朱子语类》卷九)

(知与行始终是相互依存的,如同眼睛没有足的功用不能前行,足没有眼睛的功用则不能视路。若说二者先后,知在行先;若说二者轻重,行更重要。)

Knowledge and action are interdependent, just as eyes cannot walk without the feet, and feet cannot see without the eyes. In terms of sequence, knowledge comes first; in terms of importance, action is more important. (Classified Conversations of Master Zhu Xi)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *