儒家“学以成人”之“学”的意义
来源: | 作者:陈来 | 发布时间: 2018-08-25 | 638 次浏览 | 分享到:

传统观念的自我批判不过是传统观念的自我“招魂术”。


本文围绕“学”的观念,以孔子为主来说明儒家的“好学”理想;指出孔子的理念不仅重视知识的“学文”,更强调德性的“学道”;指出“圣人可学”的观念对理解儒家学以成人思想特色的意义。

在西方,古代希腊以“爱智”(the love of wisdom)为哲学(philosophy)的精神特色。古代中国哲学当然不强调以爱智为特色,而 “好学”则在孔子思想中具有核心意义,成为基础性观念,不仅在他的教育思想,也在他的整个思想中占有特别重要的地位。孔子是把“好学”看成与“伦理德性”有别的重要品质和活动。在这一点上,好学也可以说是“非道德的德行”。


而“学”的目标是学为君子,这是全部《论语》的宗旨。从学的方面说,“学道”是第一位的。孔子主张君子要“学道”,普通人也要学道。学道与学文相对。从政治上说,君子学道为了成为好的领导者,普通人学道是为了成为好的人民。 所谓学文是学道的余事,道的追求始终是君子之学的目标。


关于事实的知识是可以教授的,但关于德性、人格的知识则有所不同。儒家通过“圣人可学”的观念,肯定了“德可学”,即是肯定了德性与教育的联系。圣可学的观念是肯定通过学习获得德性的发展,而君子是孔子特别用来作为理想人格的概念。从整个孔子思想体系来看,最重要的是,“学”的目标是学为君子,以君子的人格态度来从事“学”。在孔子以前“君子”一词是指统治阶级,在孔子则将之改变为理想人格的名称,这是孔子对古代人文主义教育的根本性贡献。


圣可学的人文理念和儒家主流的人性论相关。这种人性论认为,人的本性不论其社会等级、职业差别、教育程度,都是本善的。善表示人与动物的根本不同,也是人能自我教育和自我发展的内在根据。一个人为不善,并不是他的本性所决定的,而是社会环境和习惯造成的。人性光辉的信念使得儒家教育思想对于人不是抱着不信任的态度,而是最大限度地相信人的自我教育和发展的的能力,因此,引导人的行为向善,不是依靠严刑酷法,而是依靠人的本性的自觉,去冲破社会污染的迷失。这是最根本地肯定人的尊严的思想。


不论是士还是君子,儒家的“学”就是学为一种高尚的人格、完整的人格、具有多方面优秀品质的人格。培养一种追求高尚人格的人,以德性教育为中心的整全人格的塑造,是儒家的教育目标和理想,也是两千多年来儒家教育的历史实践。中国古代的教育理念是“做人”,学做君子,学至圣人,体现了“作什么样人格的人”是儒家人论的根本问题。孔子和孔子以后的儒家都把人的最高理想界定为使学习者成为圣贤。古代教育与学习,最重要的是设立道德的榜样,而这在人文主义文化中只能通过圣人的形象来达到。在中国道德榜样虽然可以是具体人格形象的,如古代圣王的系谱,但更多的是儒家文化中对的“君子人格”“君子品质”的崇尚和表达,以此造成对人的一种道德的感召,使得人们努力学习成为这样的人格。


总结起来,儒家的人文理念“学”,重视经典的人文教养,以君子的榜样为学习的模范,以德行优于知识,以圣人人格为学习的培养目标,强调成人或全人的人格理念,突出“学”作为修身过程的意义,着眼在把人变成全面发展的高尚的人。儒家的学的思想不仅仅是对狭义的教育的认知,而且包含其对“做哲学”的理解,也蕴含着整个古典时代对“人”的理解。

Revolving around the concept of “learning”, this article takes Confucius as the main character to elaborate the “love of learning” ideal of Confucianism, pointing out that Confucius’s philosophy not only attaches importance to the “knowledge acquisition” but also thinks highly of “study of virtue”, and indicating that the concept of “sages can be learned” is of great importance of understanding Confucianism with the characteristics of “Learning to be an Noble Adult”.

In the west, ancient Greece regarded “the love of wisdom” as a spiritual feature of philosophy. Indeed, traditional Chinese philosophy didn’t emphasize on the characteristics of “the love of wisdom”, while “love of learning” occupied the entire core in his philosophy becoming the basic concept, which played the significant role not only in his education thoughts, but also in his whole thoughts. Confucius regards “love of learning” as an important quality and activity that differs from “ethics and virtue”. In this regard, “love of learning” can also be considered as “non-moral virtue”. 


The goal of “learning” is to learn to be a gentleman, which is also the objective of “The Analects of Confucius”. Considering the learning, “study of virtue” shall be the priority. Confucius advocated that the gentleman should learn virtue as well as the ordinary people. “Knowledge acquisition” is relative to “study of virtue”. Politically speaking, a gentleman learns virtue so as to be a good leader, and the ordinary people learn virtue in order to be better people.  Knowledge acquisition is the last thing behind the virtue study, while the pursuit of virtue is always the goal for gentleman’s study.


Knowledge of facts could be taught, but the knowledge of virtue and personality differs. Confucianism affirms “virtue can be learned” through the concept “sages can be learned”, namely, affirms the relationship between virtue and education. The concept “sages can be learned” is also the affirmation of virtue that development should be gained through learning, while the gentlemen is particularly a concept used for ideal personality.  From the perspective of the whole Confucius’ ideology, the most important goal of learning is to be a gentleman and to engage in “learning” with the attitude of a gentleman’s personality. Before Confucius, the term “gentleman” referred to the ruling class, and Confucius changed its meaning into the symbol of ideal personality, which is the fundamental contribution of Confucius to ancient humanism education.


The humanistic idea “sages can be learned” is related to Confucian mainstream “The theory of Human nature”, which holds that human nature is good regardless of its social rank, occupational differences and education level. Good represents the fundamental difference between men and animals and is also the inner basis of people’s self-education and self-development. A human being is not good, which is caused by the social environment and habits instead of by its nature. The glorious belief “human nature is good” makes the Confucian education thoughts do not show distrust attitude towards people, while, on the contrary, firmly believe the ability of people to realize self-education and self-development. Hence regulating the people does not rely on tortures and harsh laws but bank on the consciousness of human nature to break through the loss of social pollution, which shall be the most fundamental affirmation of human dignity.


Whether a knowledgeable man or a gentleman, Confucian “learning” is to learn the personalities which are noble, complete and blessed with excellent character in many aspects. To cultivate a person who pursues noble personality and to shape its whole personality with virtue education as the focus is the goal and ideal of Confucian education, and also the historical practice of Confucian education over 2000 years. In ancient China, the education philosophy is “to be a man” “to learn to be a gentleman” and “to learn to be a sage” which manifests the fundamental question of Confucianism “what kind of personality should we possess”. Both Confucius and the following Confucianists all defined the highest ideal of people is to become sages. The most important thing of ancient education and learning is to set a moral example, which can only be achieved through the image of sages in the humanistic culture. In China, although the moral model can be a specific personality image, such as the pedigree of the ancient emperors, more is the advocacy and expression for “gentleman’s personality” and “gentleman’s character” so as to create a moral appeal or inspiration for people making people to become a person blessed with such personality.


In summary, the Confucian humanistic concept “learning” lays emphasis on humanistic education of the classic, takes the example of the gentleman as a model of learning, sets the cultivating goal as “virtue is superior to the knowledge” “learn from the sages’ personality”, emphasizes the personality philosophy of the adult or the whole person, highlights the meaning of “learning” in the process of self-cultivation and focuses on cultivating the person blessed with noble and all-round development characters. The thought “learning” of Confucian not only is the cognition of the narrow sense of education, but also embraces the understanding of “doing philosophy” of Confucius and of “people” throughout the whole classical era. (2018世界哲学大会)