“Affairs” and Human Existence

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.7, 2019


“Affairs” and Human Existence



Yang Guorong


As human activities in the broad sense, “human affairs” not only unfold throughout the whole course of human existence, but also are inherent in all its aspects. Humans create new worlds through their affairs and thus reshape their existence. “Human affairs” are not only related to actions, but also embody essentially human strengths and are related to human feelings as well. The imprint of action and involvement of affection mean that human affairs attain a diverse character while they sublate the original nature of material things and endow it with reality. Affairs not only change the object on which they act, but also affect people themselves; in the course of “carrying out the execution of affairs”, people “perfect their virtue.” The process of carrying out affairs functions through things, but is also concerned with people. Underlying the interaction between people and things is the relationship between one person and another; the unfolding of human affairs is based on this interaction between people, and constitutes the source of reality formed by the relationship of human interaction. Human existence cannot be separated from value concerns and the pursuit of meaning. As human activities, human affairs also have value connotations and are associated with the pursuit of meaning.