Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

China: Philosophers sparked good science

Peng Gong misrepresents the thoughts of Chinese philosophers Confucius and Zhuang Zhou by suggesting that they hinder scientific advancement in modern China (Nature 481, 411; 2012).

Confucius encouraged curiosity and practice in teaching and learning. His thoughts are universal and timeless, and have influenced many other Asian countries — including Japan, where sound science thrives.

Zhuang advocated harmony so that we could fulfil our essential connection with nature. This view is pertinent in today's China, where the environment and human health are being damaged by explosive and unbalanced development.

Moreover, Confucius, Zhuang and other ancient Chinese philosophers made significant advances in science, technology, medicine, mathematics, astronomy and architecture, with inventions such as paper and the compass having a large impact on civilization.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jianxin Su.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Su, J., Lu, C. China: Philosophers sparked good science. Nature 483, 407 (2012).

Download citation


Quick links