Trenchant, sophisticated, and cynical, Han Feizi has been read in every age and is still of interest today when people are more than ever Get the E-Book. Han Feizi has 60 ratings and 8 reviews. This edition exclude Current affairs remind me of this book, as you start to see quotations of his appearing on social. Han Feizi is a collection of writing attributed to Han Fei (circa ‒ BC) of Eastern Zhou. A student of Confucian philosopher Xunzi, Han Fei collected the writing of his predecessors of the pre-Qin Type of Item. Books.

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Fitting the name is more important than results.

If we were mere machines, Han Fei Tzu’s philosophy would be ideal. 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. It also unsurprisingly encourages ministers to live in feiizi with the law themselves, so the ruler will respect the advice they give him.

The teaching sof Han Feizi are referred to as the “realistic” and also as the “legalistic school. Columbia University Press April 15, Language: Watson provides a concise and graceful introduction that provides the necessary historical and philosophical context for this work.

To “avoid any possibility of usurpation by his ministers”, power and the “handles of the law” must “not be shared or divided”, concentrating them in the ruler exclusively.

He also has some surprisingly modern observations, like frizi it was easy for the ancients to be benevolent because there were fewer people and therefore less competition for resources, or how people are forced by necessity to certain crimes, which fact is neither good nor bad: Basic Writings Translations from the Asian Classics. Tales from Tang Dynasty China: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.


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Ironically, the ruler most influenced by Han Feizi, the king of Qin, eventually sent Han Feizi to prison, where he later committed suicide. It turns out Han Fei’s thought, as represented by the selections here, is not only much more nuanced, but even uncomfortably persuasive. Get to Know Us. Despite its outcast status throughout the history of imperial China, Han Fei’s political theory continued to heavily influence every dynasty afterwards, and the Confucian ideal of a rule without laws was never again realized.

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There’s a problem loading this menu right now. 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. A History of Chinese Civilization. In any case, it’s always a ceizi to read ancient philosophy, especially examples as straightforward and digestible as these.

Works of Han Feizi

The work was skillfully constructed, its language was humorous, and it contained cautionary meanings. Hhan 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.

Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature: Ironically, the ruler most influenced by Han Feizi, the king of Qin, eventually sent Han Feizi to prison, where he later committed suicide.


In practice, this means that the bool must be isolated from his ministers. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Han Feizi: Basic Writings – Google Books

If the achievement fits his job, and the job fits his words, then he is rewarded. That is why Deng Xiaoping considered he had no other choice but to remove all of the students from Tiananmen Square with force in In Knechtges, David R. Verbally committing oneself, a candidate is allotted a job, indebting him to the ruler. The intellectual development of the Chinese years ago is simply phenomenal. User Review – Flag as inappropriate This version of the Han Feizi is meant primarily for those who want to start reading his texts.

His 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. Essentially, promoting a subordinate to a higher position because you like him rather than because he is a good Legalist minister invites ruination. Being more of a Minarchist of the Daoist variety myself, I find Legalist ideas as terrifying as they are compelling.

He tried to convince the King of Han to apply his doctrine.