(Translation) 2019 鄭人買履

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Original Script

鄭人有且置履者,先自度其足而置之其坐,至之市而忘操之。已得履,乃曰:“吾忘持度,反歸取之。”及反,市罷,遂不得履。人曰:“何不試之以足?”曰:“寧信度,無自信也。” 《韓非子外儲說左上》


Student Translation : Emma Bass

Among the Zheng people there was one who was about to buy shoes. First, by himself he measured his foot and placed it on his seat. When he was going to the market he forgot to take it. Having obtained his shoes, he said: "I forgot to take the measurement, I will turn around to go get it." By the time he returned the market was finished, therefor he did not get his shoes. Other people said: "Why don't you try it with your foot?" He said: "I would rather believe my measurement, I do not trust myself."

  • Discussion Questions:

What is the significance of the binary he has created between his physical body (trying the shoes on his feet) and his thinking-self (his measurement of his foot)? What is the lesson to be learned from this text?