Confucius distinguishes four types or levels of man:
- The highest embraces the saints, those who possess knowledge from birth. Confucius never saw a saint but he has no douht that they existed in antiquity.
- The second level comprises those who must acquire knowledge by learning; they can become “superior men.”
- The men of the third level find it hard to learn, but they do not let this discourage them.
- Those of the fourth level find it hard and make no effort.
The two middle types are on the way; they progress though they may fail. Confucius writes, “Only the highest wise men and the lowest fools are unchangeable.”