知行合一 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhīxínɡ-héyī 知行合一

Unity of Knowledge and Action

对“知”“行”关系的一种认识。王守仁基于心学“心外无理”的主张,提出了“知行合一”说。他认为,对人伦日用之道的体认与践行不能割裂,二者是一体的两面。心中有所“知”必然会付诸行动,“行”是“知”的自然运用。若不“行”,便不是真正的“知”。另一方面,“行”也必然会带来深刻切实的认知。若没有“知”,仅仅是不自觉的或迫不得已的行为,便不能实现端正之“行”。

This is one interpretation of the relationship between “knowledge” and “action.” Based on the concept in philosophy of the mind that “there are no li (理), or principles, outside the mind,” Wang Shouren made the argument that “there is unity of knowledge and action.” He felt that it was impossible to separate an understanding of the principles underlying human relations in everyday life from the application of these principles, that these were two sides of the same thing. If there was “knowledge” in the mind, it would surely be put into practice, as “action” was the natural use of “knowledge.” If it was not applied, it could not be true “knowledge.” On the other hand, “action” would also bring about deeper knowledge. Without “knowledge,” mere unconscious or forced behavior would not constitute proper “action.”

引例 Citations:

◎外心以求理,此知行之所以二也;求理于吾心,此圣门知行合一之教。(《传习录》卷中)

(在心外寻求理,这是将知行分别为两件事的原因;在心中寻求理,这是圣门“知行合一”的教法。)

Searching for principles outside the mind is the reason why people separate knowledge from action; searching for principles within one’s mind is how sages teach about the unity of knowledge and action. (Records of Great Learning)

◎知之真切笃实处,即是行;行之明觉精察处,即是知。知行工夫本不可离,只为后世学者分作两截用功,失却知行本体,故有合一并进之说。(《传习录》卷中)

(认知达到真切笃实的境地,便是“行”;践行达到明确的自觉和精微的省察,便是“知”。“知”与“行”的工夫原本不能割裂,只是因为后世的学者将二者作为两件事分别去用功,背离了“知”“行”本来的状态,因此有知行合一并进之说。)

When knowledge is genuine and substantive, it becomes action; when actions bring about self-awareness and keen perceptions, they become knowledge.”Knowledge” and “action” were indivisible to begin with, and it was only because scholars later treated them as two separate things, contrary to their original nature, that there was a theory of their being united and developing together. (Records of Great Learning)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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