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韓非子

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State There are sections on the way of the ruler on standards on the use of power and of punishment and favor Dangers to be avoided by the ruler are specified as are precautions to be taken Witty trenchant sophisticated and cynical the Han Fei Tzu has been read in every age It retains its interest today when perhaps than ever before men are concerned with the nature and use of pow I'd known about the Legalists since Day of the Dragon King Magic Tree House Book 14 when the in emperor burned all those bamboo slips of rival schools I thought they were the historical Bad Guys advocating ruthless tyrannyIt turns out Han Fei's thought as represented by the selections here is not only much nuanced but even uncomfortably persuasive Students of European philosophy will find an uncanny similarity to Kojève—who I now suspect of having cribbed notes from the Legalists He also has some surprisingly modern observations like how 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 it is simply the Sage's job to govern under these undesirable conditions In any case it's always a pleasure to read ancient philosophy especially examples as straightforward and digestible as these

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Han Fei Tzu 280 233 BC was a prince of the ruling house of the small state of Han A representative of the Fa chia or Legalist school of philosophy he produced the final and most readable exposition of its theories Ironically Han Fei Tzu's advice was heeded not by the king of Han but by the king of Ch'in who soon after ascending the throne in 246 BC conuered all of China and as Fir Han Feizi was the creator of the Legalist philosophy Unlike many earlier philosophers it is believed that he wrote the text primarily on his own According to a historian named Sima ian Han Feizi studied under Xunzi I found this to be particularly interesting because Xunzi was a Confucian philosopher and there is a great rift between the two schools of thought Though when reading Han Feizi there is a strong sense of Xunzi’s writing style 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 I will demonstrate the similarities below with examples from the two text From Xunzi “To lead others along in what is good is called “teaching” To harmonize with others in what is good is called “proper compliance” To lead others along in what is bad is called “flattery” Page 262From Han Feizi “To kill or execute this is what is meant by “punishment” To venerate or reward this is what is meant by “favor” Page 323 Unfortunately this is something I find to be very annoying because it gives me a sense of taking away free will and personal opinion 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 It supports a strict law and harsh punishments Han Feizi also reminded me of “The Prince” by the renaissance writer Machiavelli A lot of the book read like a guide book for rulers on the proper way to rule as well as punish Very much like The Prince though perhaps a bit extreme and harsh

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St Emperor of the Ch'in established the Ch'in dynasty Han Fei Tzu sent as an envoy to Ch'in in 234 BC was at first welcomed by the king but later on a royal minister's urging was cast into prison where he committed suicide Han Fei Tzu's handbook for the ruler which includes a few chapters for the guidance of his ministers deals with the problem of preserving and strengthening the Decent translation straightforward and precise The choice of chapters is bit confusing This edition exclude Current affairs remind me of this book as you start to see uotations of his appearing on social media condemning the deployment of THAADThe uoted chapter is not included in this English edition title of which shall be translated as signs of collapsing“恃交援而簡近鄰,怙強大之救而侮所迫之國者,可亡也⋯國小而不處卑,力少而不畏強,無理而侮大鄰,剛愎而拙交者,可亡也。” Basically saying that countries relying on faraway allies in defiance of close neighbors being of weak state capacity but not deferential to strong neighbors are doomedI always feel that the Warring State Period and the Rise of ing are analogous to the trajectory of Contemporary China Therefore this classic written that time is much essential for understanding China's behavior pattern particularly in foreign relations than those of Confucius China's clear preference for dealing with other countries in a bilateral manner rather than a multilateral one always has some flavor of in's classic foreign policy 连横” in it (countering 合纵”) 纵者,合眾弱以攻一強也;而横者,事一強以攻眾弱也。” South China Sea seems to be an example of a modern conduct of 连横 You deal with claimants bilaterally allying with one against some certain others We'll see The Test: Taken By The Men Who Raised Me urging was cast into prison where he committed suicide Han Fei Tzu's handbook for the ruler which includes a few chapters for the guidance of his ministers deals with the problem of preserving and strengthening the Decent translation straightforward and precise The choice of chapters is bit confusing This edition exclude Current affairs remind me of this book as you start to see Teacher Evaluation in Music: A Guide for Music Teachers in the Us uotations of his appearing on social media condemning the deployment of THAADThe Reticence uoted chapter is not included in this English edition title of which shall be translated as signs of collapsing“恃交援而簡近鄰,怙強大之救而侮所迫之國者,可亡也⋯國小而不處卑,力少而不畏強,無理而侮大鄰,剛愎而拙交者,可亡也。” Basically saying that countries relying on faraway allies in defiance of close neighbors being of weak state capacity but not deferential to strong neighbors are doomedI always feel that the Warring State Period and the Rise of ing are analogous to the trajectory of Contemporary China Therefore this classic written that time is much essential for Peloponnesian War understanding China's behavior pattern particularly in foreign relations than those of Confucius China's clear preference for dealing with other countries in a bilateral manner rather than a multilateral one always has some flavor of in's classic foreign policy 连横” in it (countering 合纵”) 纵者,合眾弱以攻一強也;而横者,事一強以攻眾弱也。” South China Sea seems to be an example of a modern conduct of 连横 You deal with claimants bilaterally allying with one against some certain others We'll see

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