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對曰：「明主之國，令者，言最貴者也；法者，事最適者也。言無二貴， 法不兩適，故言行而不軌於法令者必禁。若其無法令而可以接詐、應變、生利、揣事者， 上必采其言而責其實。言當，則有大利；不當，則有重罪。是以愚者畏罪而不敢言，智者無以訟。 此所以無辯之故也。
夫言行者，以功用為之的彀者也。 夫砥礪殺矢而以妄發，其端未嘗不中秋毫也，然而不可謂善射者，無常儀的也。設五寸之的， 引十步之遠，非羿、逄蒙不能必中者，有常〔儀的〕也。故有常，則羿、逄蒙以〔中〕五寸的為巧； 無常，則以妄發之中秋毫為拙。今聽言觀行，不以功用為之的彀，言雖至察，行雖至堅，則妄發之說也。
是以亂世之聽言也，以難知為察，以博文為辯；其觀行也，以離群為賢，以犯上為抗。人主者說辯察之言， 尊賢抗之行，故夫作法術之人，立取舍之行，別辭爭之論，而莫為之正。是以儒服、帶劍者眾， 而耕戰之士寡，堅白無厚之詞章，而憲令之法息。故曰：上不明，則辯生焉。」
Chapter XLI. Inquiring into the Origin of Dialectic
1Somebody asked: "How does dialectic originate?"
The reply was: "It originates from the superior's lack of enlightenment."
The inquirer asked: "How can the superior's lack of enlightenment produce dialectic?"
The reply was: "In the state of an enlightened sovereign, his orders are the most precious among the words of men and his laws are the most appropriate rules to affairs. Two different words cannot be equally precious nor can two different laws be equally appropriate. Therefore, words and deeds not conforming to laws and decrees must be forbidden. If anybody, not authorized by laws and orders, attempts to cope with foreign intrigues, guard against civil disturbances, produce public benefit, or manage state affairs, his superior should heed his word and hold it accountable for an equivalent fact. If the word turns out true, he should receive a big reward: if not true, he should suffer a heavy penalty. Therefore, stupid persons fear punishment and dare not speak, and intelligent persons find nothing to dispute. Such is the reason why in the state of an enlightened sovereign there is neither dispute nor controversy. 2
"The same is not true in a chaotic age. The sovereign issues orders, but the subjects by means of their cultural learning derogate them; official bureaux promulgate laws, but 3 the people through their conduct alter them. The lord of men, while seeing the violation 4 of his laws and orders, honours the wisdom and conduct of the learned men. Such is the reason why the world has so many men of letters.
"Indeed, words and deeds should take function and utility as mark and target. To be sure, if someone sharpens an arrow and shoots it at random, then though its pointed head may by chance hit the tip of an autumn spikelet, he cannot be called a skilful archer. For he has no constant aim and mark. Now, if the target were five inches in diameter and the arrow were shot from a distance of one hundred steps, 5 then nobody other than Hou Yi and P`ang Mêng could with certainty hit the mark every time. For there would then be a constant aim and mark. Therefore, in the presence of a constant aim and mark the straight hit by Hou Yi and P`ang Mêng at a target five inches in diameter is regarded as skilful; whereas in the absence of a constant aim and mark the wild hit at the tip of an autumn spikelet is regarded as awkward. Now, when adopting words and observing deeds, if someone does not take function and utility for mark and target, he will be doing the same as wild shooting, however profound the words may be and however thorough the deeds may be.
"For this reason, in a chaotic age, people, when listening to speeches, regard unintelligible wordings as profound and far-fetched discussions as eloquent; and, when observing deeds, regard deviations from group creeds as worthy and offences against superiors as noble. Even the lord of men likes eloquent and profound speeches, and honours worthy and noble deeds. In consequence, though upholders of law and craft establish the standards of acceptance and rejection and differentiate between the principles of diction and contention, neither ruler nor people are thereby rectified. For this reason, men wearing the robes of the literati and girding the swords of the cavaliers are many, but men devoted to tilling and fighting are few; discussions on "Hard and White" 6 and "The Merciless" 7 prevail, but mandates and decrees come to a standstill. Hence the saying: `Wherever the sovereign lacks enlightenment, there originates dialectic.' "
1. 問辯. The Chinese word pien 辯 connotes both "dispute" and "controversy" in English. Therefore in the translation of this work sometimes both are simultaneously used for difference in emphasis.
2. Most probably because of his methodological differences, Derk Bodde made a very different rendering of this paragraph (v. Fung, op. cit., p. 323).
3. With Wang Hsien-shen 而 should be supplied above 民.
4. With Kao Hêng 漸 above 其法令 means 姦.
5. Wang Hsien-shen proposed 百步 for 十步.
6. By Kung-sun Lung. See supra, p. 116.
7. By Têng Hsi Tzŭ. In place
of Têng Hsi, Bodde put Hui Shih (Fung, op. cit., p. 323, f.1), which is
wrong. In his essay on "The Merciless" Têng Hsi enumerated certain challenging
ideas as follows:—
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|Published by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia|