Only the wisest and the stupidest never change.

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [Lun Yü], 17.3 (6th C. BC) [ed. Lao-Tse; tr. Leys (1997)]

Alt trans.:
  • "Only the supremely wise and the abysmally ignorant do not change."
  • "It is only the supremely wise or the deeply ignorant who never alter." [In Sir Gilbert Parker, The Weavers (1907)]
  • "There are only the wise of the highest class, and the stupid of the lowest class, who cannot be changed." [tr. Legge (1930)]
  • "There are two classes that never change: the supremely wise and the profoundly stupid."
  • "Only the supremely wise and the most deeply ignorant do not alter." [Source]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 22-Jun-20
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