Home > Knowledge Management (KM), Relevant & Profound Quotations > Confucius Quotes on Knowledge and Philosophy

Confucius Quotes on Knowledge and Philosophy

This is one of a series of Knowledge Compass articles that present quotations of important authors and thinkers that have influenced culture, business and world events over the years in both modern and ancient times.

This article includes Confucius quotes that focus on knowledge and philosophy.  

Confucius Profile:

Confucius was a teacher, scholar and political official whose observations on Chinese literary classics developed into a pragmatic philosophy. The teachings of Confucius presented a utilitarian approach to social harmony and defined moral obligations between people and social enironment.

Quotations;

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

“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.”

“You cannot open a book without learning something.”

“Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.”

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”

“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”

“If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”

“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”

“Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself.”

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.”

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