Han Feizi and Legalism
Created by: Kaamia Harris
Han Feizi or Fei
As stated by wikipedia, " Han Feizi, also know as Han Fei, was an influential political philosopher of the Warring State period." He was born in 280 BCE and died in 233 BCE. Little is known of Han Fei’s personal life. Han Fei has traditionally been identified with the philosophical school known as the Fa-chia, or Legalist school. It is doubtful that Han Fei actually studied under a Legalist master, for the only teacher ever associated with his name is the Confucian Hsün-tzu. The primary emphasis of Han Fei's thought was not so much philosophical as political.
Han Fei created a little something called legalism. He was to have said that legalism should be the way that all people should live. He also made some rules for this new way of life. Here are 2 of them:
- After assigning posts according to individual capacities, the ruler should demand satisfactory performance of the responsibilities devolving on their posts and punish anyone who is derelict of duty or oversteps his power.
- The ruler may authorize an official to carry out a proposal he has submitted. He should punish him not only when the results fall short of the stated goal but also when they exceed it.
- People are naturally evil
- People need harsh rules and strict penalties to force them to do their duties
Aristocrats liked legalism because they did not have to consider the needs and wishes of their people.