Lecture%2015 - Lecture 15: Han Feizi: Legalist Theory of...

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Lecture 15: Han Feizi: Legalist Theory of Government
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Who Was This Legalist Thinker Han Feizi (ca. 280-233 BCE)? He was a prince in the State of Han during the closing decades of the Warring States period (ca. 475-221 BCE). “This misguided genius is one of the most impressive political thinkers of all time” (Mote, p. 107). Along with Li Si (?-208 BCE), Han Feizi studied with the Confucian philosopher Xunzi. When the State of Han was trying to form alliance with the State of Qin, Han Feizi was sent there as emissary. Fearful and jealous of Han Feizi’s brilliance, Li Si slandered him to the King of Qin who had Han put in jail. Han Feizi accepted the poison that Li Si had someone bring to him and took his own life. He left to posterity a collection of writings under the title of Han Feizi .
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Antecedents of Legalism: The Guanzi attributed to Guan Zhong (aka Kuan Chung, d. 645 BCE): Elevated the ruler to great authority in order to strengthen the state; Advocated a government of written laws (fa); Devised techniques to regularize living patterns and to control the people more effectively; Made the state organizationally and militarily strong; Devised state monopoly in the production and distribution of important goods such as iron, salt, and wine. Lord Shang Yang (d.338 BCE) of the Qin State practiced law
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2010 for the course ASIAN 361 taught by Professor Shuen-fulin during the Fall '09 term at University of Michigan.

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Lecture%2015 - Lecture 15: Han Feizi: Legalist Theory of...

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