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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Being more of a Minarchist of the Daoist variety myself, I find Legalist ideas as terrifying as they are compelling. Clever talkers or scholars should never be admitted to government. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the basiic. During that period China consisted of several independent Kingdoms that were continuously at war.

Despite its outcast status throughout the history of imperial China, his political theory continued to heavily influence every dynasty thereafter, and the Confucian ideal of a rule without laws was never again realized.

Idle Talk under the Bean Arbor. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. His handbook for the writinvs deals with the problems of strengthening and preserving the state, the way of the ruler, the use of power, wrltings punishment and favor.

Han Feizi has been read ever since the book was written about BC, and is well worth a look. He doesn’t need to understand military strategy except to make it work in cohesion with his other policies agricultural production, trade, diplomatic relationships, etc and issue directives to his generals, nor should he ever expose himself to the dangers of combat or the drudgery of running a farm.

Han Feizi: Basic Writings – Google Books

Though differing considerably in style, the coherency of the essays lend themselves to the possibility that they were written by Han Fei himself, and are generally considered more philosophically engaging than the Book of Lord Shang. The writings of Han Feizi c.

This book presents Watson’s renowned translation of a Chinese philosophy classic in pinyin romanization for the first time. Rather than rely too much on worthies, who might not be trustworthy, Han binds their programs to which he makes no judgement, apart from observances of the facts to systematic reward and penalty the “Two Handles”fishing the subjects of the state by feeding them with interests.


We’ll publish them on our site once we’ve reviewed them. A History of China. Qin Shi Huang agreed, nasic all of their books burned and ordered of their scholars to be burned alive. He received the PEN wditings prize in Han Fei’s Enlightened Ruler. Would you like us to take another look at this review? If a ruler rewards undeserving individuals, then he will not be efizi to reward deserving individuals as effectively.

The First Emperor of Ch’in admired his writings and appears to have taken some of his advice to heart – it was known for its brutal administration – and lasted but a short time. By rectifying the names which are given to the responsibilities and duties of government, a wise ruler will be able to properly determine the best means of promoting social order baxic stability. Qin Shi Huang established a united China be it at a high price in human lives in wars and in his huge projects.

Han Feizi explains that if a ruler does not sufficiently reward ministers and subjects for being faithful or does not sufficiently punish them for being unfaithful, wrihings that ruler may lose the faithfulness and loyalty of his ministers and subjects.

Showing of 5 reviews. Shang Yang was largely unconcerned with the organization of the bureaucracy apart from this.

Han Feizi: Basic Writings

Han Fei’s rare appeal among Legalists to the use of scholars law and method specialists makes him comparable to the Confucians, in that sense. Translated by Burton Watson. Andrew rated it liked it Aug 25, Han Feizi admits that if a ruler is benevolent, then that ruler will try to promote social justice and harmony. Added to PP index Total downloads 8of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 1of 2, How can I increase my downloads? Han Feizi explains that the relative power of various rulers may be partly determined by the relative effectiveness with which they are able to reward ministers or subjects who comply with their authority.

Han Feizi also argues that each minister should perform the specific function for which he has been appointed and should neither exceed nor fail to perform this specific function.

Burton Watson, Han Feizi: Basic Writings – PhilPapers

After the early demise of the Qin dynastyHan Fei’s philosophy was officially vilified by the following Han Dynasty. Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! His only concern is to coerce honest reports from his ministers so that can understand what is happening in his kingdom and issue rewards and punishments accordingly.


Every act should be judged on performance to day and in the future.

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.

According to Han Feizi, the more effectively that a ruler can reward those ministers who fulfill their duties faithfully, and the more effectively that a ruler can punish those ministers who do not fulfill their duties faithfully, the greater the faithfulness and loyalty that the ruler will be able to obtain from his ministers and the more effectively that the ruler will be able to govern.

In the ancient world, alongside whatever courts administered justice, most rulers could order their attendant strong men to bestow rewards and punishments in a casual way, regardless of court procedures. I recommend this for beginners in Chinese legalism.

Exemplary Women of Early China. For this reason, the Han Feizi is sometimes included as part of the syncretist Huang-Lao Taoist tradition, seeing the Tao as a natural law that everyone and everything was forced to follow. Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping.

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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. A minister sets forth his words and on the basis of his words feii ruler assigns him a job. Omens and Superstitions of Southern India. He also pointed out that some fathers have bad sons and some sons have bad fathers and the that bad character and incompetence could not be remediated the “Bad Emperor” problem.

Item s unavailable for purchase. It also unsurprisingly encourages ministers to live in compliance with the law themselves, so the ruler will respect the advice they give him. Indulging in personal will when confronted with procedural or administrative problems will pattern an example that laws don’t reach far, and aren’t worth respecting, thereby undermining the authoritarian system the Legalist ruler depends on to preserve his reign.

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