Eleventh and twelfth century China was a period of great intellectual and social transformations. Scholars in this period began to systematically question previously held standards, which led to a rethinking about the natural world, Confucian scholarship, and the basic principles of governance. The new ways in which people understood the natural world and human values, that grew out of this critical climate, also changed people’s understanding of and attitude towards language and texts. In particular, scholars who were more interested in metaphysical explorations and moral self-cultivation seriously questioned the value of language and turned away from linguistic analyses and literary practices. Yet, others sought to reaffirm the value of language by analyzing Chinese characters in terms of their moral and cosmological meanings. These scholars, represented especially by the Wang Anshi 王安石 (1021–1086) and his followers, found in the Chinese script a graphic system that reveals, in a concise manner, the normative patterns of nature. For them, philology became an essential tool for cultivating knowledge, promoting moral values, and building a system of socio-political order. In this talk, I will discuss this philological method based on Lu Dian’s 陸佃 (1042–1102) Erya xinyi 爾雅新義, in which he transforms the Erya 爾雅 from a philological text that glosses the meaning of words in the Confucian classics to a text on morality and cosmology.
11至12世紀的中國正處於思想與社會的大變革時期。彼時的學者開始系統地質疑前賢的準則，從而導致了對自然世界、儒家經典和政治法則的再思考。在這種疑古思潮影響之下，對天地萬物和道德修養的理解之重構，亦影響了當世學者對文字的理解。部分學者由於對形而上學的探索和道德自我修養的重視，從而輕視文字的價值，與文字分析和文學實踐割席。然而，另有學者經由分析文字的道德和義理內涵重新確立了文字的價值。這些學者的典型代表，即王安石及其後學。他們將文字視為一個符號學系統，將道德寄寓其中，從而使文字學成為培養知識、提升道德感和建立社會政治秩序的重要工具。在本次講座中，作者將以王安石後學陸佃所著《爾雅新義》為中心，討論其書的道德化訓詁學方法，並分析陸佃是如何以此方法，將《爾雅》由一部基於訓釋儒家經典文義的訓詁學經典轉變為了關於道德和宇宙觀的文本。 [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]
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