Han Feizi
A late 19th century edition of the Hanfeizi by Hongwen Book Company
AuthorHan Fei
Original title韩非子
GenreChinese classics
Publication date
3rd century BCE
Han Feizi
'Hanfeizi' in seal script (top), Traditional (middle), and Simplified (bottom) forms
Traditional Chinese韓非子
Simplified Chinese韩非子
Literal meaning"[The Writings of] Master Han Fei"

The Han Feizi (simplified Chinese: 韩非子; traditional Chinese: 韓非子; pinyin: Hánfēizi; lit. 'Writings of Master Han Fei') is an ancient Chinese text attributed to the Legalist political philosopher Han Fei.[1] It comprises a selection of essays in the Legalist tradition, elucidating theories of state power, and synthesizing the methodologies of his predecessors.[2] Its 55 chapters, most of which date to the Warring States period mid-3rd century BCE, are the only such text to survive fully intact.[3][2] The Han Feizi is believed to contain the first commentaries on the Dao De Jing.[4][5] Temporarily coming to overt power as an ideology with the ascension of the Qin dynasty,[6]: 82  the First Emperor of Qin and succeeding emperors often followed the template set by Han Fei.[7]

Often considered the "culminating" or "greatest" Legalist texts, Han Fei was dubbed by A. C. Graham amongst as the "great synthesizer" of 'Legalism'".[8][9] Sun Tzu's The Art of War incorporates both a Daoist philosophy of inaction and impartiality, and a 'Legalist' system of punishment and rewards, recalling Han Fei's use of the concepts of power and technique.[10]

Among the most important philosophical classics in ancient China,[11] it touches on administration, diplomacy, war and economics,[12] and is also valuable for its abundance of anecdotes about pre-Qin China. Though differing considerably in style, the coherency of the essays lend themselves to the possibility that much was written by Han Fei himself, and are generally considered more philosophically engaging than the Book of Lord Shang.[13] Zhuge Liang is said to have attached great importance to the Han Feizi, as well as to Han Fei's predecessor Shen Buhai.[14]


Pages from a printed edition of Han Feizi from the Ming dynasty

Han Fei describes an interest-driven human nature together with the political methodologies to work with it in the interest of the state and Sovereign, namely, engaging in passive observation, and the systematic use of fa (; ; 'law'', 'measurement') to maintain leadership and manage human resources, its use to increase welfare, and its relation with justice.

Rather than rely too much on worthies, who might not be trustworthy, Han Fei binds their programs (to which he makes no judgement, apart from observances of the facts) to systematic reward and penalty (the 'two handles'), fishing the subjects of the state by feeding them with interests. That being done, the ruler minimizes his own input. Like Shang Yang and other fa philosophers, he admonishes the ruler not to abandon fa for any other means, considering it a more practical means for the administration of both a large territory and personnel near at hand.

Han Fei's s philosophy proceeds from the regicide of his era. Sinologist Goldin writes: "Most of what appears in the Han Feizi deals with the ruler's relations with his ministers, [who] were regarded as the party most likely, in practice, to cause him harm." Han Fei quotes the Springs and Autumns of Tao Zuo: "'Less than half of all rulers die of illness.' If the ruler of men is unaware of this, disorders will be manifold and unrestrained. Thus it is said: If those who benefit from a lord's death are many, the ruler will be imperiled.".[15][16]

Ch 40 Objections to positional power

To quote the Han Feizi in brief on shi, or situational authority directly, its discussion is a dialectic of critics.

The philosopher (Shen Dao) considered position sufficiently reliable for governing officials and people. (His Confucian) critic said that you had to depend on (moral) worthies for political order. As a matter of truth, neither side is reasonable enough. Shi's species cover innumerable varieties. The shih on which I am talking is the shih created by man. Though I do not deny the success of Yao and Shun, I do assert that shi is not what one man alone can create.

As a matter of fact, most rulers in the world form a continuous line of average men. It is for the average rulers that I speak about shi. Yao and Shun as well as Chieh and Chow appear once in a thousand generations. The average rulers neither come up to the worthiness of Yao and Shun nor reach down to the wickedness of Chieh and Chow. If they uphold the law and make use of their august position, order obtains; if they discard the law and desert their august position, chaos prevails... But that shi is worth employing, is evident. If you discard position and act contrary to law, waiting for Yao and Shun to appear, then order will obtain in one out of one thousand generations of continuous chaos

Discussed often enough, the Han Feizi's essentially relegated chapter on shi can be taken as one key to the subject. Utilizing other components, at least in that regard other interpretations are possible as comparable to their broader works. Waley's work discusses law, but takes Han Fei's ruler as requiring no morals, ruling by "acquired power", rather than and methods, taking them as realist "amoralists".

With fa ideology relying on "perfectly designed political institutions that would accommodate mediocrities on the throne", Sinologist Yuri Pines of Standford Encyclopedia's fa Tradition modernly presents chapter 40, Objections to positional power, as explaining that a system will "attain good results precisely because it does not expect of the ruler any extraordinary qualities." Reducing the relevance of the ruler's abilities, it should cater to "average or mediocre rulers".

The morality of Han Fei

Although Han Fei overwhelmingly tends towards a rule by impersonal standards, Eric Hutton regards him, in chapter 40, as seeming to admit that the Confucian benevolence and righteousness of Yao and Shun can have persuasive power even in his own time. However, in part as dependent on institutions, and although strictly speaking taken as Daoistic and applied to statecraft, insomuch as Han Fei can said to give regard to virtue, it has otherwise prior been argued that he considers wu-wei, or nonaction, it's essence, as an otherwise predominant focus for him.

In the Confucian Analects, as quoted by Han Fei's predecessor in prime minister Shen Buhai, wu wei at basic simply means to leave ministerial affairs to ministers. Although the ruler's separation enhances his charisma, ordinary people cannot normally enhance their power through wu wei. Rather, the period expects mediocre rulers to delegate. Han Fei, Goldin says, does not appear to anticipate objection that his program effectively allows ministers to set the agenda. As a Pinesean narrative, Han Fei's mediocre ruler may be allured by his advocacy that, reducing his activity, he can attempt to manipulate the ministers to claim their accomplishments as glory and fame for himself. At any rate, he will be less of a burden.

Recalled by Pines, as opposed to Han Fei's mediocre ruler, for Xun Kuang as the purported teacher of Han Fei and Li Si, the period expects that a true or sage monarch will ensure perfect universal order and compliance, considering an unrivaled, all-powerful, universal ruler as necessary for peace. Regardless, virtue itself is insufficient. Limiting his intervention in affairs, Han Fei's ruler supposedly amasses power through fa (laws), which at least create order and stability.

In practical terms, for the ruler, authority means that he ought to hold the power to reward and punish. However, Han Fei says:

If the sovereign personally inspects his hundred officials, the whole day will not be enough; his power will not suffice. Moreover, when the superior uses his eyesight, the underlings embellish what he sees; when he uses his hearing, the underlings embellish what he hears; when he uses his contemplation, the underlings multiply their words. The former kings considered these three [methods] as insufficient: hence they cast away personal abilities and relied on laws and [administrative] methods examining rewards and punishments.

Winston takes Han Fei as concerned with order, Tao Jiang justice, minimizing the amoral ruler.

Included in Winston, Han Fei recalls the laws of Gongsun Yang and the administrative method of Shen Buhai in Chapter 43. Proceeding from the collapse of the Jin to the aristocrats and ministers, although establishing the administrative method Han Fei would inherit, Shen Buhai caused confusion with an issuing of laws without repealing the older ones. Han Fei uncompromisingly opposes subversion of the law to the detriment of the people and state. Although Han Fei expects the ruler will be average, he elsewhere frequently addresses himself to the enlightened, benevolent or sage ruler. Han Fei says "If the ruler is stupid and upholds no rule, ministers will act at random", enhancing their wealth and power, and eventually breeding chaos. Han Fei's enlightened ruler will investigate order and chaos, promoting clear laws and severe penalties, even rescuing "all living beings from chaos".

Tao Jiang posits Han Fei's values for the ruler as humility and self-constraint.
Goldin takes Han Fei as concerned with his own hide, Pines the subjugation of the ruler to laws and methods.

More broadly, Han Fei's enlightened ruler busies himself with checking reports and investigating job performances, strictly adhering to fa method to reward, promote and punish. Only rewarding those who perform their jobs properly, the ruler will supposedly dominate his properly rewarded ministers, enhancing his power. Or, he will play an effective institutional role without getting in the way, exposing himself to manipulation and criticism. Han Fei does not suggest much chaos as resulting from his replacement either way. One man does not create order. Han Fei also has a chapter advising ministers to speak to the king disingenously. The enlightened ruler will avoid their traps by dispensing with his own personal abilities. Adhering to fa method, he will delegate to Han Fei and his fellow impartial institutionalists, who perform their jobs properly.[17]

Wu wei

Devoting the entirety of Chapter 14, "How to Love the Ministers", to "persuading the ruler to be ruthless to his ministers", Han Fei's enlightened ruler strikes terror into his ministers by doing nothing (wu wei). The qualities of a ruler, his "mental power, moral excellence and physical prowess" are irrelevant. He discards his private reason and morality, and shows no personal feelings. What is important is his method of government. Fa require no perfection on the part of the ruler.[18]

If the Han Fei's use of wu wei was derivative of a proto-Daoism, its Dao nonetheless emphasizes autocracy ("Tao does not identify with anything but itself, the ruler does not identify with the ministers"). Accepting that Han Fei applies wu wei specifically to statecraft, professor Xing Lu argues that Han Fei still considered wu wei a virtue. As Han Fei says, "by virtue [de] of resting empty and reposed, he waits for the course of nature to enforce itself."[19][20] As one of the work's earliest chapters, Han Fei begins by advising the ruler to remain "empty and still".

Tao is the beginning of the myriad things, the standard of right and wrong. That being so, the intelligent ruler, by holding to the beginning, knows the source of everything, and, by keeping to the standard, knows the origin of good and evil. Therefore, by virtue of resting empty and reposed, he waits for the course of nature to enforce itself so that all names will be defined of themselves and all affairs will be settled of themselves. Empty, he knows the essence of fullness: reposed, he becomes the corrector of motion. Who utters a word creates himself a name; who has an affair creates himself a form. Compare forms and names and see if they are identical. Then the ruler will find nothing to worry about as everything is reduced to its reality.

Tao exists in invisibility; its function, in unintelligibility. Be empty and reposed and have nothing to do-Then from the dark see defects in the light. See but never be seen. Hear but never be heard. Know but never be known. If you hear any word uttered, do not change it nor move it but compare it with the deed and see if word and deed coincide with each other. Place every official with a censor. Do not let them speak to each other. Then everything will be exerted to the utmost. Cover tracks and conceal sources. Then the ministers cannot trace origins. Leave your wisdom and cease your ability. Then your subordinates cannot guess at your limitations.

The bright ruler is undifferentiated and quiescent in waiting, causing names (roles) to define themselves and affairs to fix themselves. If he is undifferentiated then he can understand when actuality is pure, and if he is quiescent then he can understand when movement is correct.[21]

The Han Feizi's commentary on the Daodejing asserts that perspective-less knowledge – an absolute point of view – is possible. But scholarship has not generally believed that Han Fei wrote it, given differences with the rest of the text.[22]

Performance and title (Xing-Ming)

A modern statue of the First Emperor and his attendants on horseback
The two August Lords of high antiquity grasped the handles of the Way and so were established in the center. Their spirits mysteriously roamed together with all transformations and thereby pacified the four directions. Huainanzi

Han Fei was notoriously focused on what he termed xing-ming,[23] which Sima Qian and Liu Xiang define as "holding actual outcome accountable to ming (speech)."[13][24][25] In line with both the Confucian and Mohist rectification of names,[26] it is relatable to the Confucian tradition in which a promise or undertaking, especially in relation to a government aim, entails punishment or reward,[26] though the tight, centralized control emphasized by both his and his predecessor Shen Buhai's philosophy conflicts with the Confucian idea of the autonomous minister.[27]

Possibly referring to the drafting and imposition of laws and standardized legal terms, xing-ming may originally have meant "punishments and names", but with the emphasis on the latter.[28] It functions through binding declarations (ming), like a legal contract. Verbally committing oneself, a candidate is allotted a job, indebting him to the ruler.[25][29] "Naming" people to (objectively determined) positions, it rewards or punishes according to the proposed job description and whether the results fit the task entrusted by their word, which a real minister fulfils.[30][26]

Han Fei insists on the perfect congruence between words and deeds. Fitting the name is more important than results.[30] The completion, achievement, or result of a job is its assumption of a fixed form (xing), which can then be used as a standard against the original claim (ming).[31] A large claim but a small achievement is inappropriate to the original verbal undertaking, while a larger achievement takes credit by overstepping the bounds of office.[25]

Han Fei's 'brilliant ruler' "orders names to name themselves and affairs to settle themselves."[25]

"If the ruler wishes to bring an end to treachery then he examines into the congruence of the congruence of xing (form) and claim (ming). This means to ascertain if words differ from the job. A minister sets forth his words and on the basis of his words the ruler assigns him a job. Then the ruler holds the minister accountable for the achievement which is based solely on his job. If the achievement fits his job, and the job fits his words, then he is rewarded. If the achievement does not fit his jobs and the job does not fit his words, then he will be punished.[25][32][33][34]

Assessing the accountability of his words to his deeds,[25] the ruler attempts to "determine rewards and punishments in accordance with a subject's true merit" (using Fa).[35][25][36][37][38] It is said that using names (ming) to demand realities (shi) exalts superiors and curbs inferiors,[39] provides a check on the discharge of duties, and naturally results in emphasizing the high position of superiors, compelling subordinates to act in the manner of the latter.[40]

Han Fei considers xing-ming an essential element of autocracy, saying that "In the way of assuming Oneness names are of first importance. When names are put in order, things become settled down; when they go awry, things become unfixed."[25] He emphasizes that through this system, earlier developed by Shen Buhai, uniformity of language could be developed,[41] functions could be strictly defined to prevent conflict and corruption, and objective rules (fa) impervious to divergent interpretation could be established, judged solely by their effectiveness.[42] By narrowing down the options to exactly one, discussions on the "right way of government" could be eliminated. Whatever the situation (shi) brings is the correct Dao.[43]

Though recommending use of Shen Buhai's techniques, Han Fei's xing-ming is both considerably narrower and more specific. The functional dichotomy implied in Han Fei's mechanistic accountability is not readily implied in Shen's, and might be said to be more in line with the later thought of the Han dynasty linguist Xu Gan than that of either Shen Buhai or his supposed teacher Xun Kuang.[44]

The "Two Handles"

Mythical White Tiger. Qin Shi Huang was called the "Tiger of Qin"
Supposing the tiger cast aside its claws and fangs and let the dog use them, the tiger would, in turn, be subjected by the dog. Han Fei Zi

Though not entirely accurately, most Han works identify Shang Yang with penal law.[45] Its discussion of bureaucratic control is simplistic, chiefly advocating punishment and reward. Shang Yang was largely unconcerned with the organization of the bureaucracy apart from this.[46] The use of these "two handles" (punishment and reward) nonetheless forms a primary premise of Han Fei's administrative theory.[47] However, he includes it under his theory of shu (administrative techniques) in connection with xing-ming.[26]

As a matter of illustration, if the "keeper of the hat" lays a robe on the sleeping Emperor, he has to be put to death for overstepping his office, while the "keeper of the robe" has to be put to death for failing to do his duty.[48] The philosophy of the "Two Handles" likens the ruler to the tiger or leopard, which "overpowers other animals by its sharp teeth and claws" (rewards and punishments). Without them he is like any other man; his existence depends upon them. To "avoid any possibility of usurpation by his ministers", power and the "handles of the law" must "not be shared or divided", concentrating them in the ruler exclusively.

In practice, this means that the ruler must be isolated from his ministers. The elevation of ministers endangers the ruler, from whom he must be kept strictly apart. Punishment confirms his sovereignty; law eliminates anyone who oversteps his boundary, regardless of intention. Law "aims at abolishing the selfish element in man and the maintenance of public order", making the people responsible for their actions.[18]

Han Fei's rare appeal, among Legalists, to the use of scholars (law and method specialists) makes him comparable to the Confucians, in that sense. The ruler cannot inspect all officials himself, and must rely on the decentralized (but faithful) application of fa. Contrary to Shen Buhai and his own rhetoric, Han Fei insists that loyal ministers (like Guan Zhong, Shang Yang, and Wu Qi) exist, and upon their elevation with maximum authority. Though Fa-Jia sought to enhance the power of the ruler, this scheme effectively neutralizes him, reducing his role to the maintenance of the system of reward and punishments, determined according to impartial methods and enacted by specialists expected to protect him through their usage thereof.[49][50] Combining Shen Buhai's methods with Shang Yang's insurance mechanisms, Han Fei's ruler simply employs anyone offering their services.[51]


While Shen Buhai and Shen Dao's current may not have been hostile to Confucius,[52]: 64  Shang Yang and Han Fei emphasize their rejection of past models as unverifiable if not useless ("what was appropriate for the early kings is not appropriate for modern rulers").[53] Han Fei argued that the age of Li had given way to the age of Fa, with natural order giving way to social order and finally political order. Together with that of Xun Kuang, their sense of human progress and reason guided the Qin dynasty.[54]

Intending his Dao (way of government) to be both objective and publicly projectable,[55]: 352  Han Fei argued that disastrous results would occur if the ruler acted on arbitrary, ad-hoc decision making, such as that based on relationships or morality which, as a product of reason, are "particular and fallible". Li, or Confucian customs, and rule by example are also simply too ineffective.[56][57][58] The ruler cannot act on a case-by-case basis, and so must establish an overarching system, acting through Fa (administrative methods or standards). Fa is not partial to the noble, does not exclude ministers, and does not discriminate against the common people.[58]

Linking the "public" sphere with justice and objective standards, for Han Fei, the private and public had always opposed each other.[59] Taking after Shang Yang he lists the Confucians among his "five vermin",[60] and calls the Confucian teaching on love and compassion for the people the "stupid teaching" and "muddle-headed chatter",[61] the emphasis on benevolence an "aristocratic and elitist ideal" demanding that "all ordinary people of the time be like Confucius' disciples".[56] Moreover, he dismisses it as impracticable, saying that "In their settled knowledge, the literati are removed from the affairs of the state ... What can the ruler gain from their settled knowledge?",[62] and points out that "Confucianism" is not a unified body of thought.[63]

In opposition to Confucian family sentiment, Tao Jiang (2021) takes Han Fei's analysis of family dynamics as based entirely on the position of the ruler, requiring structural solutions rather than Confucian education or moral cultivation. According to the Liji, an "important early Confucian canon", penal laws should not be applied to high officials. As a major source of political corruption, ministers shielded family members from penal measures in the name of Humaneness and others moral justifications. Only those without connections are subject to the law. Although noting an opposition between politic and morality, Tao Jiang takes Han Fei's opposition in this as clearly pointing to a moral dimension in his vision of political order. In what Tao Jiang takes as one of Han Fei's "most powerful condemnation of the gross injustice suffered by the commoners", Han Fei says:[64]

Judging from the tales handed down from high antiquity and the incidents recorded in the Spring and Autumn Annals, those men who violated the laws, committed treason, and carried out major acts of evil always worked throughsome eminent and highly placed minister. And yet the laws and regulations are customarily designed to prevent evil among the humble and lowly people, and it is upon them alone that penalties and punishments fall. Hence the common people lose hope and are left with no place to air their grievances. Meanwhile the high ministers band together and work as one man to cloud the vision of the ruler. (Watson trans. 2003, 89)

Comparisons and views

Apart from the influence of Confucianist Xun Zi, who was his and Li Si's teacher, because of the Han Feizis commentary on the Daodejing, interpreted as a political text, the Han Feizi has sometimes been included as part of the syncretist Huang-Lao tradition, seeing the Tao as a natural law that everyone and everything was forced to follow, like a force of nature.

Being older than more recent scholarship, translator W. K. Liao (1960) described the world view of the Han Feizi as "purely Taoistic", advocating a "doctrine of inaction" nonetheless followed by an "insistence on the active application of the two handles to government", this being the "difference between Han Fei Tzŭ's ideas and the teachings of the orthodox Taoists (who advocated non-action from start to finish)." Liao compares Han Fei's thought to Shang Yang, "directing his main attention... to the issues between ruler and minister... teaching the ruler how to maintain supremacy and why to weaken the minister."[65]

Phan Ngọc [vi] in his foreword to the Han Feizi praised Han Fei as a knowledgeable man with sharp, logical and firm arguments, supported by large amount of practical and realistic evidence. Han Fei's strict methods were appropriate in a context of social decadence. Phan Ngọc claimed that Han Fei's writings has three drawbacks, however: first, his idea of Legalism was unsuited to autocracy because a ruling dynasty will sooner or later deteriorate. Second, due to the inherent limitation of autocratic monarchy system, Han Fei did not manage to provide the solutions for all the issues that he pointed out. Third, Han Fei was wrong to think that human is inherently evil and only seeks fame and profit: there are humans who sacrificed their own profit for the greater good, including Han Fei himself.[66] Trần Ngọc Vương [vi] considered the Han Feizi to be superior to Machiavelli's Prince, and claimed that Han Fei's ideology was highly refined for its era.[67]

Although considering the Han Feizi rich and erudite, Sinologist Chad Hansen does not consider Han Fei particularly original, philosophical or ethical" and "more polemical than reasoned", with unjustified assumptions and cynicism recognizable "from all self-described realists", resting on the familiar sneering tone of superior realistic insight."[55]: 346 


See also



  1. ^ Encyclopedia of World Biography[full citation needed]
  2. ^ a b Lévi (1993), p. 115.
  3. ^ Pines, Yuri, "Legalism in Chinese Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),
    • (Goldin 2013)
  4. ^ Pines, Yuri (2014), Zalta, Edward N.; Nodelman, Uri (eds.), "Legalism in Chinese Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 ed.), Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, retrieved 2023-08-29
  5. ^ Lu, Xing (1998). Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century, B.C.E.: A Comparison with Classical Greek Rhetoric. Univ of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-57003-216-5.
  6. ^ Bishop, Donald H. (September 27, 1995). Chinese Thought: An Introduction. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 9788120811393.
  7. ^ Kenneth Winston p. 315. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies [2005] 313–347. The Internal Morality of Chinese Legalism. http://law.nus.edu.sg/sjls/articles/SJLS-2005-313.pdf
  8. ^ Yu-lan Fung 1948. p. 157. A Short History of Chinese Philosophy. https://books.google.com/books?id=HZU0YKnpTH0C&pg=PA157
    • Eno, Robert (2010), Legalism and Huang-Lao Thought (PDF), Indiana University, Early Chinese Thought Course Readings
    • Hu Shi 1930: 480–48, also quoted Yuri Pines 2013. Birth of an Empire
  9. ^ Goldin (2011), p. 15.
  10. ^ Chen, Chao Chuan and Yueh-Ting Lee 2008 p. 12. Leadership and Management in China
  11. ^ Pang-White, Ann A. (2016). The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4725-6986-8.[page needed]
  12. ^ Gernet, Jacques (1996). A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-521-49781-7.
  13. ^ a b Pines, Yuri (2014-12-10). "Legalism in Chinese Philosophy". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  14. ^ Zhuge Liang ref Paul R. Goldin 2013. Dao Companion to the Han Feizi p.271. https://books.google.com/books?id=l25hjMyCfnEC&dq=%22han+fei%22+%22zhuge+liang%22&pg=PA271 Guo, Baogang (2008). China in Search of a Harmonious Society. p38. https://books.google.com/books?id=UkoStC-S-AMC&pg=PA38 Pines, Yuri (10 December 2014). "Legalism in Chinese Philosophy". Epilogue: Legalism in Chinese History. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2014/entries/chinese-legalism/ Current Shen Buhai reference is less strong, but Han Feizi is rooted in Shen's administrative doctrine regardless; Shen does not imply Han Fei, but Han Fei implies Shen
  15. ^ "Home | East Asian Languages and Civilizations". ealc.sas.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2022-01-05.
  16. ^ 2018 Henrique Schneider. p.vii. An Introduction to Hanfei's Political Philosophy: The Way of the Ruler.
  17. ^
    • Eric L. Hutton 2008. p. 442 Han Feizi's Criticism of Confucianism and its Implications for Virtue Ethics. http://hutton.philosophy.utah.edu/HFZ.pdf
    • Hansen 1992. 363
    • Xing Lu 1998. Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century, B.C.E.. p. 264. https://books.google.com/books?id=72QURrAppzkC&pg=PA264
    • Goldin 2020 p214. Art of Chinese Philosophy
    • Pines 2014. The Messianic Emperor
    • Han Fei, De, Welfare. Schneider, Henrique. Asian Philosophy. Aug2013, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p266,269. 15p. DOI: 10.1080/09552367.2013.807584., Database: Academic Search Elite
    • Shen Dao's Own Voice, 2011. p.202,204-205. Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
    • Creel 1970 p76,99
    • Pines 2013. p77. Submerged by Absolute Power
    • Kenneth Winston 2005. p338,330. The Internal Morality of Chinese Legalism
    • Tao Jiang 2021. p420
    • Goldin 2011 p22. Persistent misconceptions
  18. ^ a b Chen, Ellen Marie (December 1975). "The Dialectic of Chih (Reason) and Tao (Nature) in The Han Fei-Tzu". Journal of Chinese Philosophy. 3 (1): 1–21. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6253.1975.tb00378.x.
  19. ^ Xing Lu 1998. Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century, B.C.E.. p. 264.
  20. ^ Roger T. Ames 1983. p. 50. The Art of Rulership.
  21. ^ http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/saxon/servlet/SaxonServlet?source=xwomen/texts/hanfei.xml&style=xwomen/xsl/dynaxml.xsl&chunk.id=d2.5&toc.depth=1&toc.id=0&doc.lang=bilingual
    • HanFei, "The Way of the Ruler", Watson, p. 16
    • Han Fei-tzu, chapter 5 (Han Fei-tzu chi-chieh 1), p. 18; cf. Burton Watson, Han Fei Tzu: Basic Writings (New York: Columbia U.P., 1964)
    • Csikszentmihalyi, Mark (1997). "Chia I's 'Techniques of the Tao' and the Han Confucian Appropriation of Technical Discourse". Asia Major. 10 (1/2): 49–67. JSTOR 41645528.
    • Huang Kejian 2016 pp. 186–187. From Destiny to Dao: A Survey of Pre-Qin Philosophy in China. https://books.google.com/books?id=bATIDgAAQBAJ&pg=PA186
  22. ^ Hansen, Chad (2000). A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought (reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 371. ISBN 9780195134193.
    • Creel, 1974. Shen Pu-hai: A Chinese Political Philosopher of the Fourth Century B.C.
    P.123 Creel states that it was widely in line with scholarship of his time that Han Fei did not write them
  23. ^ Hansen, Chad (2000-08-17). A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought: A Philosophical Interpretation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-535076-0.
  24. ^ Creel 1970, What Is Taoism?, 87, 104
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h Makeham, John (1990). "The Legalist Concept of Hsing-Ming: An Example of the Contribution of Archaeological Evidence to the Re-Interpretation of Transmitted Texts". Monumenta Serica. 39: 87–114. doi:10.1080/02549948.1990.11731214. JSTOR 40726902.
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  27. ^ Creel 1970, What Is Taoism?, 83
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