View Full Version : genri or gensoku?

22nd September 2002, 22:57
Hello everyone!

Which term is proper for "principles" and how do they differ?

Erin O'Neill

22nd September 2002, 23:33
You need to supply a context or noone here can answer that question. Look in any dictionary and you'll find those two Japanese words (and maybe others), but they have different usages.

Genri (??j-universally applicable THEORIES or IDEAS to explain some phenomenon or object within nature or society. Remember that one of religion's roles is/was to explain what our modern scientists cuurently are charged with explaining (without the scientific method or other tools), which is why religious tenets fall in here.
EXAMPLES: the fundamental PRINCIPLES/TENETS of a religion (there
is only one God; all stems from the Dao),
the PRINCIPLES of economics/LAWS of nature

Gensoku?i?j-a principle/fundamental rule or custom based on a firm belief. Whereas genri represents those natural and societal phenomenon that scientists wish to unravel and shed light on using objective methods (and religious leaders, as well, wish to interpret), gensoku are highly subective, manmade principles and rules devoid of testing and generally held as fact/truth among society.
Examples: "Harvard University prides itself on instilling the leaders
of tomorrow with only the highest principles."
"I will not compromise my principles for anyone."
"I seek to embody the principles set forth by the founding
fathers as set forth in the Constitution."