嚴復對西方經典之詮釋: 價值取向與歷史意義

Translated title of the contribution: Yen Fu's Interpretation of Western Classics: Prespectives and Historical Significance

麥勁生

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

本文從詮釋學的角度探討嚴復譯著的總體精神。以詮釋者的 生命世界和被詮釋作品的內涵兩者的互動關係為出發點,本 文嘗試指出嚴復的早年經歷和所受的傳統教育、留英時期的 所學所見、回國後所遇的種種挫折和中國當時面對的危局, 如何催生他那種追尋自由、格物窮理和明道救世的理想。這 個理想亦成為他在1896至1909年間翻譯赫胥黎、亞當·史 密斯、穆勒及孟德斯鳩等人作品的導引。整體來看,嚴復的 譯著顯出以自由解放為經,格致求知為緯的內在關連。然而, 嚴復為中國追求富強之道,但同時維護儒家禮教的熱心,使 他在翻譯討論亞當·史密斯、穆勒及孟德斯鳩的作品時,明 顯地突出自由、進步與秩序的關係。他對格物窮理的堅持, 亦一再呈現在他的譯著《群學肄言》和《穆勒名學》之中。 嚴復的譯著其實早已融和了他的境界及被翻譯作品的內涵, 因此無可避免地偏離原作者的原意。但嚴復譯著的重大歷史 意義並不因此有所減損。

This article applies concepts drawn from Western hermeneutics to examine Yen Fu's interpretation of Western liberal classics. Taking the relationship between the interpreter's lifeworld and the text's limitless content as the point of departure, the article explores how various factors — including Yen Fu's early life, the orthodox education he received, the knowledge of Western science, technology, and social systems he acquired during his stay in England, the frustrations he experienced after returning to China, and the crisis in China during the last decade of the nineteenth century — interacted to create his worldview, and how this worldview affected his understanding of Thomas Huxley, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Montesquieu's masterpieces. The main body of the article strives to demonstrate that the ideas of freedom and of empirical science were the key concepts in Yen Fu's works. However, since Yen Fu endeavored on the one hand to find a way to make China a powerful and wealthy nation, and on the other hand to preserve the Chinese traditional order, his translations of Smith's The Wealth of Nations, Mill's On Liberty, and Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws succinctly expressed his concern about the relations between freedom, progress, and social order. At the same time, his belief that empirical science was the most effective way to real knowledge was revealed in his translation of Spencer's The Study of Sociology and Mill's Logic. The article concludes that although Yen Fu's translations, which were in fact the fusion of his horizons and the contents of these texts, inevitably distorted the intended meaning of these great Western minds, their historical significance is not overshadowed by these distortions.
Translated title of the contributionYen Fu's Interpretation of Western Classics: Prespectives and Historical Significance
Original languageChinese (Traditional)
Pages (from-to)119-150
Number of pages32
Journal臺大歷史學報
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000

User-Defined Keywords

  • 嚴復
  • 詮釋學
  • 詮釋
  • 西方經典
  • 自由主義
  • 自由
  • 科學
  • Yen Fu
  • Hermenutics
  • Interpretation
  • Liberalism
  • Freedom
  • Western classics
  • Empirical science

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