La traducción del gran sinólogo Alfred Forke
THE CHINESE SOPHISTS par Alfred FORKE (1867-1944) Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, XXXIV, Changhai, 1901, p. 1 100.
KUNG SUN LUNG TSE 1901
CAP. I Investigations - Chi-fu
[Kung Sun Lung was a dialectician of the time of the Six Kingdoms . Dissatisfied with the divergence and the confusion between words and their real objects, he used his peculiar talent to discuss the alleged inseparability of whiteness. Pointing out analogies in other objects, he argued on this theme of whiteness.]
(1) He said, — A white horse is no true horse. That means, the word ‘white’ serves to designate a colour, and the word ‘horse’ to designate a shape. Colour is not shape, and shape not colour. Therefore in speaking of colour one must not adjoin shape, and in speaking of shape one must not add colour. Now, to make one object out of the combination of both is not correct.
(2) If you look for a white horse in a stable, and there are none but black-coloured ones, they cannot satisfy your demand for a white horse. Since they cannot satisfy that p.62 demand, the horse sought for is not at hand. Because it is not at hand, a white horse is indeed no horse.
An extension of this method of discrimination would set words and objects right, and thereby change the aspect of the whole world . Kung Sun Lung met with Kung Chuan in the house of the prince of P‘ing-yuan in Chao . Kung Chuan said,
— I always heard that you were a very reasonable man, and for a long time already wished to become your pupil. Only I cannot accept your doctrine that a white horse is no true horse. Please discard this theory, and I will be very glad to become your pupil. Kung Sun Lung replied,
— What you say there, Sir, is preposterous. The disputation on the white horse is just what makes my fame. Now, if you bid me to give it up, I would have nothing to teach. Besides, he who wishes to learn, is, as a rule, in knowledge and wisdom inferior to the teacher. Your request would be nothing else than that you teach me first, before you learn from me. To teach the same man first, from whom you are going to learn afterwards, is illogical.
(3) Moreover, even Confucius accepts my view, that a white horse is no horse . I have heard that the king of Chu drew his bow, and put on arrows to shoot snakes and rhinoceroses in the Yün-mêng Park. But he lost his bow. p.63 His attendants wished to search for it, but the king stopped them, saying,
— The king of Chu has lost the bow, and a man of Chu will get it, what need to search for it ? When Confucius heard of this, he said,
— The king of Chu is good and kind, but not quite perfect. And he went on saying,
— When a man gets rid of his bow, and another man finds it, it is all right. But why must it be a man of Chu ? Confucius thus makes a difference between a man of Chu, and what is called a man . Therefore, it is wrong to impugn my distinction between a white horse and what is called a horse. You, Sir, are versed in the teachings of the literati, but reject what is admitted by Confucius. You are desirous to learn, but would fain induce me to discard what I might teach. Under such conditions men a hundred times as clever as I would not be able to undertake the task. Kung Chuan could say nothing against this.
(4) [Kung Sun Lung was the guest of the prince of P‘ing-yuan in Chao. Kung Chuan was a descendant of Confucius. When both met, Kung Chuan said to Kung Sun Lung :
— While living on the borders of Lu, I heard of you. p.64 I greatly admired you for your wisdom, and was much pleased with your conduct. To receive your instructions has been my desire for a long time. Now, at last, I have the pleasure of meeting you. There is only one thing, which I cannot accept , that is your theory of a white horse not being a true horse. I beseech you to drop this doctrine, and I am willing to become your disciple. Kung Sun Ling rejoined,
— What you say there, Sir, is preposterous. My system is based on the thesis, that a white horse is no true horse. If you deprive me of that, I have nothing to impart. To learn from me when I have nothing to teach, would be unreasonable. Moreover, only he could wish to learn from me, whose knowledge and wisdom is not equal to mine. Now, to demand that I should give up my view, that a white horse is no true horse, would be first to teach me and afterwards to learn from me. First to instruct me, and then to use me as a teacher would not be admissible. What you ask of me is like what the king of Chi said to Yin Wên .
(5) The king of Chi spoke to Yin Wên as follows,
— I am very fond of accomplished men, how is it that in Chi there are none ?
Yin Wên replied,
— I should like to know what Your Majesty understands by an accomplished man. The king of Chi could not say. Yin Wên went on,
— Let us suppose that here we have a man, who serves his sovereign loyally and his parents filially, who is faithful to his friends, and at peace with his fellow-citizens. Endowed with those four qualities, can he be styled an accomplished man ? The king of Chi rejoined,
— Exactly, that is just what I call an accomplished man. Yin Wên said,
— If you had such a man, would you employ him in an official capacity ? The king replied,
— I would be only too glad, but I cannot find such a man. All that time the king of Chi set high store upon courage. Therefore Yin Wên asked him saying,
— Supposing such a man was insulted in open court amidst a crowd of people, but did not dare to fight, would you use him as an official ?
(6) — If a great lord, quoth the king, does not avenge an insult with his sword, he is dishonoured. A dishonoured man I would not like to have in my employ.
Yin Wên remarked,
— However, he who, when insulted, does not draw his sword, does not lose thereby the four above-mentioned qualities. Not having lost these, he is still a gentleman. But Your Majesty would first take him into your service, and afterwards not. Is then a gentleman, as described before, no gentleman ? The king could not answer. Yin Wên said,
— Now, there is a prince, who wishes to govern his State. If anyone is guilty, he condemns him, and if he is not, he condemns him nevertheless. If a man has distinguished himself, he rewards him, and if he has no special deserts, he rewards him also. Yet he complains of his people not being well behaved. Can he rightly do that ?
The king of Chi answered in the negative. Yin Wên observed,
— It appears to me that your officials in governing Chi used this method. The king said,
— I believe that my administration is as you say. Therefore, although my people are not well regulated, I dare not complain. Is it that my mind has not thought deeply enough ?
Yin Wên said,
— If you admit it, why should I not be outspoken ? Your commands state, that whoever kills a man, must die, and who injures him, has to suffer bodily punishment. People in awe of your commands, do not venture to fight when insulted, thus upholding the royal commands. But the king himself says that, whoever does not resent an affront with his sword, is dishonoured, which word means a censure. You disgrace him, although he is not to be blamed, and accordingly would strike his name from the official lists. Not to use him any more as an official is a punishment. Thus somebody not guilty is punished by Your Majesty. And in case you disgrace a man, who dares not fight, you must honour him, who does. The distinctions conferred upon him are marks of approval. Approving of him, you will give him an official post, which means a reward. You reward the undeserving. Those rewarded by you are the same whom your officials put to death. What the sovereign approves of, is condemned by the law . Thus rewards and punishments, approval and condemnation, are confounded one with the other. Under these circumstances, even a man ten times as able as Huang Ti could not keep order.
The king of Chi did not know what to answer. I regard your words as like those of the king of Chi. You object to the white horse being no horse, but cannot give satisfactory reasons for doing so, therein acting in a way similar to the king of Chi, who could express his partiality for accomplished men, but was unable to distinguish between gentlemen and no gentlemen.
CAP. II On the white horse - Pai-ma
Question. — Is it possible that a white horse is no horse ? Answer. — Yes . Question. — How ? Answer. — A horse denotes a shape, white a colour. Describing a colour, one does not describe a shape, therefore I say that a white horse is no horse . Question. — There being a white horse, one cannot say that there is no horse. If one cannot say that there is no horse, can the existence of the horse be denied ? There being a white horse, one must admit that there is a horse, how can whiteness bring about the non-existence of a horse ? Answer. — When a horse is required, yellow and black ones can all be brought, but when a white horse is wanted, there is no room for yellow and black ones. Now, let a white horse be a horse . It is but one kind of those required. Then one of those required, a white horse, would not be different from a horse. Those required do not differ. Would then yellow and black ones meet the requirement or not ? In so far as they would meet the requirement or not, they evidently exclude each other. Yellow as well as black horses are each one kind, they correspond to a call for a horse, but not to a call for a white horse. Hence it results that a white horse cannot be a horse. Question. — A horse having colour is considered no horse. But there are no colourless horses on earth ! Are there therefore no horses on earth. Answer. — Horses of course have colour, therefore there are white horses. If horses had no colour, there would be merely horses. But how can we single out white horses, for whiteness is no horse ? A white horse is a horse and whiteness. Such being the case I hold that a white horse is no horse . Question. — A horse not yet connected with whiteness, is a horse, and whiteness not yet connected with p.69 a horse, is whiteness. When horse and whiteness are combined, one speaks of a white horse, which means that they are united. If they were not, one could not give them such a name. Ergo it is not right to say that a white horse is no horse. Counter-question (Kung Sun Lung). — If we regard a white horse as being a horse, can it be said that a white horse is a yellow horse ? Answer. — No. Answer (Kung Sun Lung). — The idea of a horse being different from that of a yellow horse, there must be a difference between a yellow horse and a horse. A yellow horse being different from a horse, a yellow horse cannot be a horse. If a yellow horse is no horse, to hold that a white horse is a horse, would be like flying in a lake or placing the inner and the outer coffins in different places . This would be very illogical reasoning and random talk. Question. — If there is a white horse, one cannot say that there is no horse, viz. without white colour. In case the idea of a white horse is eliminated, then indeed one cannot speak of a horse. Should, therefore, only a horse correspond to the idea of a horse, and should a white horse not be accounted a horse, then, when we believe, that there is a horse, we could not say that this horse is a horse. Answer. — If with white things whiteness is not emphasized but forgotten, all is right. If in reference p.70 to a white horse one speaks of whiteness, and emphasizes it, it is no whiteness . The idea of a horse neither excludes nor includes any colour. Therefore, yellow and black ones are all welcome. The idea of a white horse excludes and includes colour . Yellow and black ones are all excluded owing to their colour. White horses alone correspond. If there is nothing that excludes, none are excluded. Ergo a white horse is no horse.
CAP. III On definitions - Chih wu
Thesis. — There are no things which are not defined, but those definitions are no definitions.
Antithesis. — So far as there are no definitions on earth, things cannot be called things. If what is on earth, is not defined, can things be said to be defined ?
Thesis. — Definitions there are none on earth , things there are on earth. It is impossible to maintain that, what exists on earth, is the same with what does not exist.
Antithesis. — If there are no definitions on earth, things cannot be said to be defined. If they cannot be said to be defined, they are not defined.
Thesis. — Things though not defined are nevertheless not undefined. There are no definitions on earth, and things cannot be said to be defined, but that does not mean that they are not defined. It does not mean that they are not defined, for there are none but defined things. There being none but defined things, definitions are not definitions.
Antithesis. — There being no definitions on earth, all that is produced from things, though having its proper name, is not to be considered as defined. To call things defined, which are not considered defined, would lead to the co-existence of definiteness and indefiniteness. It is impossible to assert that, what is thought not to be defined, is not undefined. Definitions, moreover, are connected with the world.
Thesis. — Because there are no definitions on earth, one must not pretend that things are not defined. Since they cannot be said to be not defined, there are none not defined. There being none undefined, all things are defined. A definition is not no definition, but a definition referred to an object is no definition.
Antithesis. — Supposing there are no definitions of objects in the world, who would boldly say that there are no definitions ? And if there are no objects, who could boldly say that there are definitions ?
Thesis. — There are definitions in this world, but no definitions of objects. Who would flatly assert that they are not definitions, contending that without objects there are no definitions ? Besides, definitions are of themselves not definitions, they do not become definitions, when they have been referred to an object.
CAP. IV On accommodation - Tung-pien
(1) Question. — Does two contain one ? Answer . — Two does not contain one . Question. — Does two contain right ? Answer. — Two has no right. Question. — Does two contain left ? Answer. — Two has no left. Question. — Can right be called two ? Answer. — No. Question. — Can left be called two ? Answer. — No. Question. — Can right and left together be called two ? Answer. — Yes. Question. — Is it allowed to say that a change is not no change ? Answer. — Yes. Question. — Can one speak of a change, if one part is right ? Answer. — Certainly. Question. — If you interchange one part of a pair [which part is affected thereby ?] Answer. — The right. Question. — When the right has been changed, how can you still call it right ? And, if it has not been changed, how can you speak of a change ? Answer. — If two [as you say] has no right nor left, how is it, that right and left are two ?
(2) [Thesis . — A ram and an ox joined are not a horse. An ox and a ram are not a fowl. [Question. — How so ? [Answer. — A ram is only different from an ox. A ram has upper front-teeth, an ox not. Yet this alone does not entitle us to say, that an ox is not a ram, and a ram not an ox. They might not both have those particular teeth, and still belong to the same species. A ram has horns, and an ox has horns. Yet one cannot say, therefore, that an ox is a ram, or a ram an ox. They might both have horns, and yet belong to quite different classes. Rams and oxen have both horns, horses not, whereas horses have long tails, of which rams and oxen are destitute. Therefore, I say that a ram and an ox joined are not a horse. That means that there is no horse. Consequently, a ram is not two, and an ox is not two, but a ram and an ox are two, that shows that a ram and an ox are not a horse . If they were considered to be, then such statement would be made with regard to two animals belonging to two quite different classes like right and left. [A ram has wool, and a fowl has feathers. One can certainly say that a fowl has one leg. Its legs are two. Two and one make three. One may also contend, that an ox and a ram have each one leg. Their legs number four. Four and one make five. Thus oxen and fowls have five feet each, and fowls three . Therefore I hold that an ox and a ram do not make up a fowl. Because there is no fowl, they are no fowl . Between a horse and a fowl it is better to decide in favour of the well-gifted horse . It is evident that the non-gifted animal cannot belong to the same category. To place it there would cause a confusion of words and be a senseless undertaking.
(3) [Question. — Take some other objects to discuss. [Thesis. — Green with white is not yellow , white with green not jade-colour . [Question. — How so ? [Answer. — Green and white do not mix together . When mixed they keep aloof from one another. They do not approach each other. When brought together, neither loses its position. Not losing its respective position each stands apart, keeping its own place. Right and left are not blended. Thus they do not become one in green, nor one in white. How then should they become yellow ? [Yellow is the right colour . It is the right thing. It means that in a state there are a prince and his ministers , and that therefore there will be power and longevity. [Furthermore, if green is blended with white, white does not overpower it, which it would, if it could. Since it does not triumph, wood injures metal . Wood injuring metal, jade-colour is produced, which is not the proper thing. [Green and white do not mix. When mixed, they do not overcome one another, and consequently are both in evidence. If they fight for being seen, the colour becomes like jade. [Better than jade-colour is yellow. The horse is yellow. Could it be classed together with jade-colour ? The fowl has jade-colour. Could the fowl be said to be opposed to jade colour ? [When there is tyranny, prince and minister quarrel, and both wish to shine. Both wishing to shine, there is darkness. When there is no light, the government is not properly conducted. In default of proper conduct, words and their objects do not correspond, and a mixed colour prevails. Therefore, I say that both shine. When both shine, and the way is lost, it is hardly possible to find it again.]
CAP. V - On the hard and white - Chien pai
(1) Question. — Are hard, white and stone three ?
Answer . — No.
Question. — Are they two ?
Answer. — Yes.
Question. — How ?
Answer. — There being no hardness, one finds whiteness, which process gives two, and there being no whiteness, one finds hardness, which gives two likewise .
Question. — Upon finding whiteness one cannot say that there is no whiteness, and on finding hardness one cannot say that there is no hardness. A stone being thus conditioned, are there not three things ?
Answer. — When seeing, one does not perceive hardness ; perceiving whiteness, one finds no hardness. When touching, one does not perceive whiteness, but hardness. In perceiving hardness one does not find whiteness .
(2) Question. — If there were no whiteness on earth, one could not see a stone, and if there were no hardness on earth, one could not speak of a stone. The hard, the white and the stone do not exclude one another, how could the third be hidden ? Answer. — It hides itself, not influenced by any alien agent .
Question. — Whiteness and hardness are indispensable constituents of a stone pervading each other. How do they hide themselves spontaneously ?
Answer. — One perceives whiteness, and one perceives hardness, but seeing and not seeing separate . The not seeing separates. The two do not pervade each other there being separation. That which separates, hides .
Question. — The whiteness of a stone and the hardness of a stone, seeing and not seeing are two things, and together with a stone three things. They permeate one another like width and length. And how should they not be in evidence ?
Answer. — When a thing is white, its whiteness is something indefinable, and when it is hard, its hardness is indefinable . If something unknown and indefinable is added, it cannot be inherent in the stone.
Question. — If round about the stone there is not that quality of hardness, there is no stone, and without a stone, one cannot speak of its whiteness. Those qualities which cannot be separated from the stone must have real existence, and cannot perish.
Answer. — A stone is one, hard and white are two, but as far as they are in the stone, they are either tangible or intangible, visible or invisible. The intangible separates from the tangible, the invisible hides from the visible. Who will say, that hiding is not the same as separation ?
(3) Question. — Because the eye cannot behold hardness nor the hand grasp whiteness, one cannot urge that there is no hardness or whiteness. Their organs of perception are not the same, and cannot be interchanged. Hard and white have different spheres in the stone, how shall they separate ?
Answer. — Hardness is hardness, not through its connexion with the stone or with any other thing. That which does not own its hardness to any combination with something else, must be hard of itself. It does not harden stones, etc. but is hard. Whenever such hardness cannot be found on earth, it is hidden .
If whiteness is really not white of itself, how could it whiten stones, etc. ? If whiteness is necessarily white, it is so without causing things to be white. With yellow and black colour it is the same. As long as a stone is not provided with whiteness , one cannot speak of a hard and white stone. Hence whiteness ceases. Cessation means that it usually adheres to the objects. It is much better to follow this natural course than to connect these qualities with their objects by force in order to find out their nature. Furthermore, when whiteness is beheld by the eye, it is seen by means of light. When it cannot be seen by light, both light and eye do not give a vision. Then the mind might still see it. But when the mind does not see it either, vision ceases.
Hardness is perceived with the hand, which knocks against something. Thus knowledge is derived through the hand and knocking. In default of such knowledge the mind does not know either. In such a case one speaks of absence of the mind. When the mind is absent, the world is left alone, and all is right
CAP. VI Words and reality - Ming-shih
Heaven and earth together with their productions are things. If they are treated as things, and nothing more, there is reality. If what is real is treated as real without any wild speculation, there is order. By getting out of order you fall into disorder. By observing order one obtains correctness.
By calling right, what is not right, you cast suspicion on what is right. If you call right what is real, in doing so you give it a correct name.
When the name is correct, it responds to this and that. If you call it by this name, but this thing does not respond, then this denomination is a mistaken one. If you call it by that name, but that thing does not respond, then that denomination is a mistaken one. If you represent what disagrees as what agrees, you will have disagreement and confusion.
If that is called that, and agrees with that, it responds to that, and name and object are that. If this is called this, and agrees with this, it responds to this, and name and object are this. Thus we make that agree which agrees. Making that agree which agrees, is correct.
Calling that that, we confine ourselves to that, and calling this this, we confine ourselves to this, which is right. Making this that, one has that and this, and making that this, one has this and that, which is wrong.
A word ought to correspond to its object. Knowing that this is not this, one knows that this is not in this, and therefore does not call it so. Knowing that that is not that, one knows that that is not in that, and consequently one does not give it that name. That is the highest aim ! The sage emperors of old would thoroughly examine words, and their real objects, and be careful in what they said.
Excellent, indeed, those sage old emperors !