Confucius (551–479 BC) was a Chinese philosopher and politician. His philosophy, also known as Confucianism, emphasised personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, sincerity and the cultivation of knowledge. One of his deepest teachings may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behaviour. His moral teachings emphasised self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules. Confucius is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in shaping human history. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and remains influential today.