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Confucius
0551 - 0479

Chinese philosopher, teacher, and preacher. Living in the second half of the Zhou (Chou) dynasty, when feudalism degenerated in China and intrigue and vice were rampant, Confucius deplored the contemporary disorder and lack of moral standards. He taught forgotten classical moralists and philosophers, and gathered a large following before his death. Author (through his disciples) of Analects.

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The Analects
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If a country is just, one speaks independently and acts independently. If a country is unjust, one acts independently but speaks conventionally.

from Analects 14.4
Learn a lot, eliminate the doubtful, and speak discreetly about the rest; then there will be little blame. See a lot, eliminate the perilous, act prudently on the rest; then there will be little regret. When your words are seldom blamed and your actions seldom regretted, employment will be there.

from Analects 2.18
Few lose out on account of prudence.

from Analects 4.23
Virtue is never isolated; it always has neighbours.

from Analects 4.25
Can an ignoble man serve the government? No. He worries about getting something, and once he has got it he worries about losing it. As long as he worries about losing, there's no telling what he might do.

from Analects 17.15
If they are directed by government policy and made orderly by punishment, the people will try to get off scot-free and feel no shame about it. If they are guided by charisma and unified by courtesy, they will be concientious and upright of character.

from Analects 2.3
Cultivated people are ashamed to say more than they can do.

from Analects 14.29
If you act on the basis of profit you will be much resented.

from Analects 4.12
I will have nothing to do with those who are free but not honest, childlike but not sincere, straightforward but not trustworthy.

from Analects 8.16
To see justice but not do it is to lack courage.

from Analects 2.24
To be extravagant is presumptuous; to be frugal is stiffness. It is better to be stiff than presumptuous.

from Analects 7.35
Cultivated people seek from themselves; small people seek from others.

from Analects 15.17
Enliven the ancient and also know what is new; then you can be a teacher.

from Analects 2.11
Study without thinking and you are blind; think without studying and you are in danger.

from Analects 2.16
Cultivated people foster what is good in others, not what is bad. Petty people do the opposite.

from Analects 12.16
Ideal people do not deviate from humaneness at any time; they are at it even when in a rush, they are at it even in the midst of turmoil.

from Analects 4.5
Those who have virtue have something to say, but those who have something to say do not necessarily have virtue.

from Analects 14.5
Exemplary people concern themselves with virtue, small people concern themselves with territory.

from Analects 4.11
Be respectful at home, serious at work, faithful in human relations. Even if you go to uncivilized areas, these virtues are not to be abandoned.

from Analects 13.8
If leaders are courteous, their people will not dare to be disrespectful. If leaders are just, people will not dare to be intractable. If leaders are trustworthy, people will not dare to be dishonest.

from Analects 13:4
People who do not think far enough ahead inevitably have worries near at hand.

from Analects 15.12
Rotten wood cannot be sculpted.

from Analects 5.10
Promote the honest over the crooked, and the people will obey. Promote the crooked over the honest, and the people will not obey.

from Analects 2.19
By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.

To be able to judge of others by what is nigh in ourselves - this may be called the art of virtue.

from Analects
The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

Only the wisest and the stupidest of men never change.

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.

When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it: this is knowledge.

from Analects
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.

Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.

from Analects
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.

from Analects