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440 Inspiring Quotes by Confucius

  • Last updated Jun 28 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Confucius.

Wikipedia Summary for Confucius

Confucius ( kən-FEW-shəs; Chinese: 孔夫子; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; 551–479 BCE) was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period who was traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. Widely considered one of the most important and influential individuals in human history, Confucius's teachings and philosophy formed the basis of East Asian culture and society, and remain influential today.

The philosophy of Confucius—Confucianism—emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. Confucianism was part of the Chinese social fabric and way of life; to Confucians, everyday life was the arena of religion. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction in the new government. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Confucianism developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later New Confucianism.

Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts, including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.

Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. With filial piety, he championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule. He is also a traditional deity in Daoism.

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Longer Version:

The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this. In a position of wealth and honor, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position.


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Longer Version:

Study the past if you would define the future. I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.



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Longer Version:

Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few. See much and get rid of what is dangerous and be careful in acting on the rest and your causes for regret will be few. Speaking without fault, acting without causing regret: 'upgrading' consists in this.


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Longer Version:

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.


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Longer Version:

To be fond of learning is to draw close to wisdom. To practice with vigor is to draw close to benevolence. To know the sense of shame is to draw close to courage. He who knows these three things knows how to cultivate his own character. Knowing how to cultivate his own character, he knows how to govern other men. Knowing how to govern other men, he knows how to govern the world, its states, and its families.


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Longer Version:

It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
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This is a major problem in America, where greed, power, and money are the highest value. This creates a paranoia atmosphere.I mention this all the time, but first time I have ever seen it.


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