‘Philosophers’, in the original sense of the term, refers to those who love wisdom. Though man is born with desires, he may not necessarily be born as a lover of truth. In the world there are too many clever people, but too few brains that are born wise. Love and wisdom cannot be surely nurtured, but it is sure that no pains will lead to no gains of them. The basis of learning is thinking, which is a potential each and every one is endowed with, and is to be promoted through learning. Also, thinking always enriches one's mind, and no wisdom can be acquired without thinking. Chao Yuezhi thinks of thinking as the basis of learning, which in turn contributes to profound and creative thought. Confucius once said, "Learning without thought will surely be fruitless and thought without learning will surely be perilous." So learning and thinking are of equal importance. Another famous scholar, Wang Chuanshan also said, rather than impeding thought, the more one is learnt, the profounder is his thought, and the more one feels confused in his pursuit of knowledge, the harder he will work. Confucius also said, "Knowledge is not as good as curiosity, and curiosity is not as good as the life-long pursuit of truth." In this sense, philosophy, love for wisdom, means for one to study hard so as to think more, and to think more so as to become more learned, thus taking delight in a virtuous circle and never feeling tired of it. So, a philosopher is one who never ceases his efforts in the pursuit of truth.
Socrates has a famous saying that the unexamined life is not worth living. The ancient politicians, though earnest to follow the wiser, failed to conduct self-examination, thus feeling shame in the face of the philosopher. Zengzi also said, "I examine myself three times a day." In this world, a man will be led astray if he fails to focus, above all, on the understanding of his true self. To benefit from true learning, one must have a thorough understanding of human nature, or "To know thyself", as the Western philosophers put it.