TRANSLATIONS: Analects of Confucius BOOK II Chapters 10-18


1. The Master said, “See what a man does.

2. “Mark his motives.

3. “Examine in what things he rests.

4. “How can a man conceal his character?”


The Master said, “If a man keeps cherishing his old knowledge, so as continually to be acquiring new, he may be a teacher of others.”


The Master said, “The accomplished scholar is not a utensil.”


Tsze-kung asked what constituted the superior man. The Master said, “He acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.”


The Master said, “The superior man is catholic and not a partisan. The mean man is partisan and not catholic.”


The Master said, “Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.”


The Master said, “The study of strange doctrines is injurious indeed!”


The Master said, “Yu, shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you don’t know a thing, to allow that you do not know it: this is knowledge.”


1. Tsze-chang was learning with a view to official emolument.

2. The Master said, “Hear much and put aside the points of which you stand in doubt, while you speak cautiously at the same time of the others: then you will afford few occasions for blame. See much and put aside the things which seem perilous, while you are cautious at the same time in carrying the others into practice: then you will have few occasions for repentance. When one gives few occasions for blame in his words, and few occasions for repentance in his conduct, he is in the way to get emolument.”



Sorry for taking this long to post this, guys! My bummed finger didn’t really cooperate with me and it ended up taking me this long to type and proof-read the whole post. Well, I hope that you gained something from this post.

In my case, Chapter 15 is a personal favorite. It’s so important to think about what and why we are learning something! But the problem is that most of us end up not doing that…

Chapter 17 is also a very good example of what being humble is. It shows that we’ve got to be down-to-earth no matter how much knowledge we’ve got: because that’s TRUE knowledge.


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