Zhi (智), originally written as zhi (知 a different Chinese character representing knowing), means intelligence. It suggests clear cognition and good judgment of right and wrong, advantage and disadvantage. Intelligence shows both one’s awareness of other people and events as well as one’s ability to conduct introspection. Confucianism believes that people should have intelligence so as not to be confused by complexities of life and be able to act in conformity with ethical and ritual standards. However, excessive use of intelligence may lead to deception and fraud. Therefore, Daoists tend to view intelligence with suspicion and disapproval.
Compassion gives rise to benevolence; detestation leads to righteousness; deference fosters propriety, and good judgment of right and wrong creates intelligence. (Mencius)
He who governs with overuse of intelligence brings peril to the country; he who governs without overuse of intelligence brings prosperity to it. (Laozi)