Scholar or pedant?


Confucius said to Zixia: “Be a refined scholar, not a common pedant.”

Although the character 儒 () subsequently came to be very closely associated with Confucianism itself, during Confucius’s time it referred to scholars who specialized in teaching the traditional Zhou Dynasty rites.

Confucius is believed to have given this advice to Zixia when he was thinking about setting up his own school. His point is that Zixia should adopt a broad holistic approach with his teaching rather than get bogged down in too much narrow detail.

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