“To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.” Confucius

Table of Contents

Famous Chinese Quotes, Meaning and Origin

Origin of the quote: Chapter II, Analects, an ancient Chinese book composed of a collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his followers.


To study and not think is a waste.
To think and not study is dangerous.

The Chinese title (論語, Lúnyǔ) literally means discussion on the words [of Confucius].

Written during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring Kingdoms Period (ca. 479 BC – 221 BC), the Analects is considered among the most representative works of Confucian thought, and still have a great influence on Chinese culture and East Asia.

Meaning: If you read a book without thinking, you will be led by the book and you will lose your opinion. If you don’t want to do real learning and research, then you will build a tower on the sand. Learning and thinking are complementary and indispensable. Only by combining learning and thinking we can learn a practical and useful truth.

Topic: famous Chinese quote, Confucius quote, Chinese proverb about learning

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