Han Fei


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Han Fei 韓非
BirthplaceState of Han
Occupation
philosopher

Han Fei

 

(also Han Fei-tzu). Born 288 B.C.; died 233 B.C. A founder of the Legist school (Fa-chia) in ancient China.

An official in the Ch’in state, Han Fei wrote most of the chapters of the treatise Han Fei-tzu, which focused on the problems of managing an administrative apparatus. As a supporter of despotic government, Han Fei developed a series of specific measures designed to limit the rights of the bureaucracy. According to the treatise, “under no circumstances should a ruler share power with anyone. If he yields to civil servants so much as a grain of his power, they will immediately turn this grain into one hundred grains” (ch. 31). Han Fei’s ideas greatly influenced the world view of the emperor Shih Huang-ti.

REFERENCE

Drevnekitaiskaia filosofiia, vol. 2. Moscow, 1973.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Xunzi and Han Fei on Human Nature, ALEJANDRO BARCENAS
It is commonly accepted that Han Fei studied under Xunzi sometime during the late third century BC.
Compared with other distinguished students of this famous scholar, Li Si [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Han Fei [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Fuqiu was a rather obscure figure.
What Xunzi, Mencius, Gongsun Gu, and Han Fei drew on is what we now call Zuozhuan; for Sima Qian the distinction was meaningless.
The horrid doctrines of Legalism attained their finished form in the teaching of Han Fei Tzu (280-233 B.
It takes a certain amount of hubris to presume that we today know more about the audience of the Daode jing than the ancient author of those commentaries (whether or not it was Han Fei himself).
Perhaps Han Fei fits the specifications of an amoral Legalist--but there is a vast difference between the statement that Han Fei is more interested in statecraft than in moral philosophy, and the statement that the Legalisten "curtly rejected" all discourse pertaining to virtue.
1] But in fact, his thirty selections in Antikchinesische Texte come from Lun yu (3 passages), Dao de jing (3), Li ji (4), Zhong yang (1), Da xue (1), [2] Meng zi (4), Han Fei zi (1), Zuo zhuan (6), Shi ji (1), Xun zi (2), Mo zi (1), and--surprisingly--Shi jing (1), i.
For example, I have always been suspicious of the name "Han Fei" [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Han the Refuter," or conceivably, "The Refuter from Han"), since Han Fei is one of the most elenctic Writers in the history of Chinese philosophy.
The last three pages of the chapter present a story that is based on an earlier account in the Han Fei tzu [CHINESE TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII](7) and close with the historian's judgment, introduced by the standard formula "the Grand Historian says" (t'ai-shih kung yueh [CHINESE TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).
15) It thus appears that Hsun-tzu too had doubts about the duke's character, although he treats the issue less severely than Han Fei.
From the centralizing state's point of view, as Han Fei showed, the Ju surely exhibited one crucial flaw: the old Ju traditions required the filial son to ignore the state's claims on his person if those claims conflicted with his duty to his parents.