Jianyu Wang – Mencius (孟子 Mengzi)

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Jianyu Wang – Master in Management 2021. IE Business School.

Reading:

Fragment from the works of Chinese philosopher Mencius (孟子 Mengzi), (372–289 BC or 385–303 or 302 BC)

 

Mencius: Fish Is Something That I Desire Fish, I desire it; bear’s paw, I also desire it. If I cannot have them both, I will give up the fish in favor of the bear’s paw. Life, I desire it, virtue, I also desire it. If I cannot have them both, I will give up life in favor of virtue. Life is something that I desire, but I have a greater desire for something other than life, so I will not betray my principles. Death is something that I loathe, but I have a greater loathing for something other than death, so when faced with death I will not always flee. If a person does not have a desire that is greater than the desire for life, what prevents one from using any means to survive? If a person does not have a loathing that is greater than the loathing of death, what prevents one from using any means to flee death? There are ways to survive, but some do not use them; there are ways to avoid death, but some will not do that. This is because they have things that they desire more than life, they have things that they loathe more than death. Worthy people are not the only ones who have those values, all people have them, but only the worthy ones managed to act without losing those values

鱼,我所欲也;熊掌,亦我所欲也。二者不可得兼,舍鱼而取熊掌者也。生,亦我所欲也;义,亦我所欲也。二者不可得兼,舍生而取义者也。生亦我所欲,所欲有甚于生者,故不为苟得也。 死亦我所恶,所恶有甚于死者,故患有所不辟也。如使人之所欲莫甚于生,则凡可以得生者何不用也?使人之所恶莫甚于死者,则凡可以辟患者何不为也?由是则生而有不用也,由是则可以避患而有不为也。是故所欲有甚于生者,所恶有甚于死者。非独贤者有是心也,人皆有之,贤者能勿丧耳。

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