论说 – Chinese philosophy and culture

lùnshuō 论说

Writings of Argument and Persuasion

古代文体名称,泛指古代各种论说文体。“论”是就某一理论问题进行深入研讨的文章,“说”指让人接受某一道理、主张的口头或书面说辞。南朝刘勰(465?—520)主张,论说文不要依傍前人成说立论,而应有自己的独立见解,须围绕一种理论、一个主题,依据经典和相关材料,综合概括各家见解,周密、深入地思考分析,得出严谨可靠、圆满通达的结论。而对于以说服人为目的的说辞,则要充满诚意,阐明正理和大义,要善于运用典型事例和美好言辞,增强其说服力与感染力,但不能虚假迎合、欺骗诱导。他还指出,论说者要以独立思考去抵达真理,做到师法自心、有创见,笔锋锐利,持论精密。这些见解成为衡量文章优劣的基本标准和文章写作的重要法则。

This term refers to writings of argument and persuasion in ancient times. An essay of argument and persuasion was written to explore a theoretical issue in an in-depth way (lun) and make an argument about it to persuade people (shuo). According to Liu Xie (465?-520) of the Southern Dynasties, in writing an essay of argument and persuasion, one should not blindly copy theories developed by earlier scholars. Instead, one should have his independent views. One should draw his own persuasive conclusion on a theory or a subject by way of reasoning on the basis of numerous facts. He should find support in classics and other relevant sources, draw on previous scholarly reflection and explore an issue comprehensively and elaborately. The wording of such an essay, whose aim is to convince its readers, should be candid and sincere; such an essay should expound truths and uphold the cardinal principle of righteousness. It should increase its persuasive power and emotional appeal by using rhetorical devices and citing concrete examples. But such an essay should not be written to please the readers against one’s own will, nor should it be designed to mislead them. One who writes an essay of argument and persuasion should, as Liu Xie pointed out, arrive at a truth through independent thinking, basing his judgment on his own views and conscience. He should be both incisive in wording and elaborate in argument. All these views have become essential criteria for judging the merit of essays and important rules governing their writing.

引例 Citations:

◎圣哲彝训曰经,述经叙理曰论。(刘勰《文心雕龙·论说》)

(圣哲讲述永恒道理的著作叫做“经”,解释经典、说明恒常道理的著作叫做“论”。)

The truths articulated by sages are called classics (jing). The interpretations of classics which explain permanent truths are called writings of argument (lun). (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

◎原夫论之为体,所以辨正然否,穷于有数,追于无形,钻坚求通,钩深取极。(刘勰《文心雕龙·论说》)

(考察“论”这种文体,是为了辨析是非正误,由穷究具体问题,追溯到抽象的道理,突破难题以求贯通,深入钻研直到获取最终道理。)

Writings of argument aim to distinguish right from wrong, explore concrete issues to arrive at an abstract principle, solve a difficult problem in an in-depth way, and make an exhaustive study to attain an ultimate truth. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

◎凡说之枢要,必使时利而义贞,进有契于成务,退无阻于荣身。自非谲敌,则唯忠与信。(刘勰《文心雕龙·论说》)

(对人说理的关键,是一定要抓住有利时机而且道理正当,这样被采纳则有助于成事,不被采纳也无损于自己的声誉。说理不是为了欺骗敌人,因此需要讲求忠实诚信。)

The key to making a convincing argument is to seize an opportune moment and ensure that one’s argument is justified. If an argument thus made is accepted, it will enhance one’s credibility. If not, it will not harm one’s reputation. To reason things out is not to fool one’s opponents. Therefore, in making an argument, one should be truthful and credible. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

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