Han Feizi's Political Theory

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“Han Feizi contends that political philosophy is a waste of time. A ruler should promulgate laws, punish wrongdoers, and reward the good. Order and discipline will follow. Is this correct? Why do you agree (or disagree) with it?” Thomas A. Williamson III Introduction to Political Theory MWF 1:00-1:50 pm Dr. Ledgister Due March 2, 2007 To understand Han Feizi’s view on political philosophy, his background must be taken into careful consideration. Han Feizi was a prince of the royal family of Han during the Warring States Period between 475-221 BC (China Culture.) Han Feizi studied with Xun Kuang, a Chinese philosopher (China Culture.) Han Feizi had a major impediment that prevented him from reaching his full potential. While in court, he would stutter across words and not fully be able to present his great ideas (China Culture.) However, this setback allowed him to develop another Chinese style that would benefit the whole nation (China Culture.) When the Han state began to decline, Han Feizi saw all the factors that were contributing to its fall. He tried to persuade the king to take up different policies, but the king was too stubborn and incapable of following good advice (China Culture). Han Feizi noticed that the rulers of his time period were consumed with Confucianism and the Mohist philosophers who always talked about being moral and benevolent (China Culture). The activities between the philosophers and the knights who tried to intervene with the law all increased the constant disorder in society. “When the state is at peace, rulers support scholar and knights-errant, but when troubles arise they employ men of arms. Thus they support people who do not need and do not support those they do need. (China Culture)” Han Feizi knew he had to develop a style of doctrine that China could easily follow and be
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