Trenchant, sophisticated, and cynical, Han Feizi has been read in every age and is still of interest today when people are more than ever concerned with the. Read the full-text online edition of Han Feizi: Basic Writings (). from the hand of Han Feizi himself, but it illustrates the fond- ness of the Legalists for elucidating their pronouncements by concrete examples from history.

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Han Feizi: Basic Writings by Han Fei

Learn more about Amazon Prime. Return to Book Page. Women in Imperial China. Alan rated it really liked writijgs Jul 24, You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices: Punishment confirms his sovereignty; law eliminates anyone who oversteps his boundary, regardless writiings intention.

It might not have mattered anyway, but Han ignored his advice and fell to the neighboring king of Qin, who became the first Emperor of a unified China in B. Han Fei, De, Welfare. The People Feozi Made a Civilization. Feizi was told to take poison, which he did.

The relative power of various rulers may also be partly determined by the relative effectiveness with which they are able to punish ministers or subjects who do not comply their authority.

He carried out gigantic projects including building most of the Great Wall of Hsn, a national road system, digging the Lingqu canal, deploying s of workers of which tens of thousands died. As in all things Legalistic, consistency is key: The Theory and Practice of the Mandala.

So why set aside a weekend to the study of a primary Legalist text now? Open Preview See a Problem? His successor, his 18th son, Hu Hai, was an extremely incompetent emperor, revolutions soon started and the state collapsed and was succeeded by the Han dynasty. Goldin, Persistent Misconceptions about Chinese Legalism. Legalist would work for third world countries for a while.

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Shang Yang was largely unconcerned with the organization of the bureaucracy apart from this. That is why Deng Xiaoping considered he had no other choice but to remove all feiai the students from Tiananmen Square with force in Han Feizi emphasizes that a ruler should not administer undeserved rewards or punishments to ministers and subjects if he wants to retain their faithfulness and loyalty.

Performance can only be judged by results achieved. He received the PEN translation prize in Han Fei’s “brilliant ruler” “orders names to name themselves and affairs to settle themselves. Translated by Burton Watson. Trenchant, sophisticated, and cynical, Han Feizi has been read in every age and is still of interest today when people are more than ever concerned with the nature and use of power. Discipline requires laws and standards of suitable behavior.

Facing a World in Crisis. Moreover, if punishments are not sufficiently severe, then those individuals who are caught and punished for disobeying the ruler may not be sufficiently discouraged from committing further acts of disobedience.

Corin Suta rated it liked it Feb 12, If writingd ruler rewards undeserving individuals, then he will not be able to reward deserving individuals as effectively. Ironically, the ruler most influenced by Han Dritings, the king of Qin, eventually sent Han Feizi to prison, where he later committed suicide. He excoriates benevolence and mercy as being the seeds of evil. If individuals who disobey the ruler are not caught and are not forced to submit to punishment, then they may commit wriings offenses.

Thus when a farmer wants to plant a luxury crop that sells for a lot but doesn’t meet the food consumption needs of the state or a soldier wants to engage in combat that doesn’t contribute to the security of the country, the minister has to convince them to live in strict compliance with law by pointing out how pursuing these deviant interests will bring ruin.

Burton Watson, Han Feizi: Basic Writings – PhilPapers

Parallel to this, he believed that an ideal ruler made laws, like an inevitable force of nature, that the people could not resist. This early Dritings maxim deviated from the Confucian norm that individuals ought to be content with their status in society and only seek advancement if the circumstances dictated.


Han Feizi has a very low opinion of the people, and dismisses any notion that the ruler needs to shape his policies to gain their trust. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. It is based on far more experience of a large state. Decent translation, straightforward and precise. Shi Huang was told that Han Feizi could not be trusted because he belonged to the royal Han family. This page was last edited on 14 Novemberat Partly he is excused because of the chaotic times he lived in, but also because his book shows how authoritarianism can plant roots in the human consciousness, and what sorts of things can drive people to accept authoritarianism.

Han Feizi was arguing from within a tradition jan unquestionably maintained previous eras were golden ages where China was safe and well fed, and that living up to the ostensibly ancient ideals recommended by rival philosophers Conscious and Mozi would reproduce the prosperity that existed back then.

Books by Han Fei. There’s a kind of dread to knowing that human beings can be reduced to automatons of the state before realizing they have the individual will to challenge this power dynamic.

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ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. The power shih of a ruler consists of his ability to reward his ministers for serving faithfully, or of his ability to punish his ministers for not serving faithfully.

A brief analysis of commentaries indicated Han Feizi was the most philosophically engaging Legalist.