Phm nguyn dus influential text humble comments on the analects (lun ng ngu n) is an outstanding example of a vietnamese adaptation and reworking of an east asian intellectual tradition. In organizing his work, phm departed from convention by rearranging the extant chapters of the analects into four books: sage (thnh), learning (hc), official (s), and politics (chnh). Moreover, phm placed particular emphasis on the learning book, and thus underscored his contention that the classic text was especially relevant and meaningful to eighteenth-century vietnam. This paper attempts to read phms work in the contexts of both confucian tradition and contemporary education. First, it examines phms composition of the humble comments based on jack mezirows theory of transformative learning. Phms writing process in this work presents a fascinating case of transformative learning, in which the author questions received assumptions about the world and himself, puts forward new propositions, and elaborates these via an original reading of a classic. Through the analysis of phm nguyn dus life and his preface to the humble comments, one can also gain a better view of the vietnamese reception of zhu xis neo-confucianism, and more particularly, of zhus dictum of learning for the sake of ones self (weiji zhi xue). Lastly, this dictum will be reappraised to show its validity in contemporary educational contexts. 2017, Ljubljana university press. All rights reserved.