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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A Galaxy of Immortal Women. Basic Writings Translations from the Asian Classics.

Burton Watson, Han Feizi: Basic Writings – PhilPapers

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? I’ve been acquainted with the concept of Legalism and its influence on Qin and subsequent Chinese dynasties for a long time through my carousal of history and other books in the Eastern Classics canon. Han Feizi earnestly sent this advice to his king, the ruler of the small state of Han.

This page was last edited on 14 Novemberat Essentially, promoting a subordinate to a higher position because you like him rather than because he is a good Legalist minister invites ruination. 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. Preview — Han Feizi by Han Fei. For example, like Xunzi, Han Feizi gives strict titles for actions and behaviors and makes it appear that you have no choice and can make no argument with what is ultimately his opinion on the matter.

But this really makes sense with Han Feizi because legalism believes that people are naturally evil and will always try to avoid punishment while in the process of chasing gains. How to write a great review.

I thought they were the historical Bad Guys, advocating ruthless tyranny. If we were mere machines, Han Fei Tzu’s philosophy would be ideal.

Han Feizi: Basic Writings

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 fdizi people to accept authoritarianism. However, Han Feizi argues that the best method of promoting social justice and harmony is not to act benevolently and righteously but is to rectify the legal system and strictly enforce all civil laws.


Page Unfortunately this is something I find to be very annoying because it gives me a sense of taking away free will and personal opinion.

Sign in Create an account. Gem of a book. Translations from the Asian Classics Paperback: Whereas rulers function as remote Daoist sages, ministers have to engage directly with subjects farmers, soldiers, etc in order to get results. Han Fei insists on the perfect congruence between words and deeds.

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You’ve successfully reported this review. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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.

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.

A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 2: Omens and Superstitions of Southern India. A wise and enlightened ruler basiv establish laws which are fair and just, and which promote the well-being of all individuals.

Han Feizi was the creator of the Legalist philosophy.

Verbally committing oneself, a candidate is allotted a job, indebting him to the ruler. Columbia University Press Amazon. According to Han Feizi, benevolence and righteousness are less important for the attainment of social justice and harmony rwitings obedience to civil law and compliance with civil authority. Eirik Lang Harris – – Philosophy Compass 9 3: The idea is that a ruler should issue rewards ceizi people that succeed and punishments to those who fail.


Rewards and punishments must be rectified so that they correspond to the nature of the actual conduct which they are intended to encourage or discourage. Writins a ruler rewards undeserving individuals, then he will not be wrtiings to reward deserving individuals as effectively. Michael Lloyd-Billington rated it really liked it Jan 19, Practical Karate Volume 4 Defense Agains.

If the achievement fits his job, and the job fits his words, then he is rewarded. Qin Shi Huang conquered all independent Chinese kingdoms including Han. A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 2: Please review your cart. What was the Feizi doctrine? To ask other readers questions about Han Feiziplease sign up. If ministers and subjects know that any acts of disobedience will be severely punished, then they will be less likely to disobey the ruler.

It comprises a selection of essays in the ” Legalist ” tradition on theories of state power, synthesizing the methodologies of his predecessors. He received the PEN translation prize in Feizo handbook for the ruler deals with the problems of strengthening and preserving the state, the way of the ruler, the use of power, and punishment and favor.

All this sounds insanely ruthless, but this book is a classic because the examples and reasoning he employs are very convincing. The more effectively that the wrltings is able to govern, the greater the power that the ruler haan be able to attain.

A History of China. A wise and enlightened ruler will therefore be able to properly reward those ministers who fulfill their duties, and will be able to properly punish those ministers who do not wrihings their duties.

Eshan Tewari rated it really liked it Sep 21,