EALC notes

EALC notes - 9/23 Legalism School of the law Legalism came...

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9/23 Legalism School of the law Legalism came into being as an identifiable school of thought in the warring states period; significant because it was a chaotic time in history; states were at war with each other; enormous armies were raised to anilates states; survival for the individual and the community was difficult Within a group laid the chance for individual survival Materialists; they don’t care about anything spiritual; they care about material survival; the state will survive if the state is unified, strong, rich Unified when there is one ruler and they have control over every last person in the state; whatever he wants is the law of the land Rich when there was great agricultural production; lots of grain; enlisted to produce that wealth; needed people work in fields process the crop Armed forces to protect the crop and the people who make those crops; sharp weapons and lots of people to use those weapons; economic and military protection for the state Human nature- legalist view; view in not very flattering; human nature born bad and on the way towards evil (Xunzi); more absolute than Xunzi; see human nature as selfish, lazy, cowardly, greedy; we have to accept this and simply must learn to counteract this by force; that is where laws come in They devise awards and punishments to obey the laws; if the awards don’t satisfy these greedy people then they punish them. These are part of the laws; obey the laws for the sake of the state/ group The state is far more important than the individual in legalism; make sacrifices for the state for the large group; in doing so it improves the likely hood of survival for that individual Make awards believable by carrying them out; and make the punishments realistic as well Shen Buhai- contributed to legalism ideas of statecraft; art of administrating in a ruler; for him to overall control of the ministers and all the people; appointing officials according to their ability; award and punish people according to their accomplishments; ruler should demand actualities correspond to names (deed corresponds to words); if these aren’t met then there is punishment if the deed is not achieved or achieved to its full potential Object is to keep ministers under control of the rulers; never let the ministers gain power on their own; always keep them under your thumb; applies to the people as well; few value rightness and humaneness; power does not belong in their hands Secret theory of the legalism; matter of intimate relations between ministers and ruler; without this statecraft the ruler will lose control
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More public aspect of legalism is the laws Shang Yang (Wei Yang)- Book of Lord Yang (may or may not be by him; classics of legalism); emphasizes the law; ministers are rebellious without the laws; laws are for them also; most people were illiterate so it was the job of the government to put the laws in a form that people would understand; they should know what to
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EALC notes - 9/23 Legalism School of the law Legalism came...

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