Advertisement

Introduction: Han Fei and the Han Feizi

  • Paul R. Goldin
Chapter
Part of the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy book series (DCCP)

Abstract

This introduction to the volume distinguishes between Han Fei, the man, and Han Feizi, the text purporting to contain his writings. While most modern scholars, including the contributors to this collection, accept the bulk of the Han Feizi as genuine, one cannot simply assume that Han Fei was the author of everything in its pages. Moreover, even if Han Fei is responsible for the lion’s share of the extant Han Feizi, a reader must be careful not to identify the philosophy of Han Fei himself with the philosophy (or philosophies) advanced in the Han Feizi, as though these were necessarily the same thing. What Han Fei said varied with his expected audience, a point that most scholarship on the Han Feizi—from the beginnings right down to the present day—has not taken seriously into account.

The rest of the introduction is devoted to an overview of Han Fei’s political philosophy and unresolved interpretive problems. One specific conclusion is that Han Fei’s political recommendations would not have been considered revolutionary in his own day, but his observations on rhetoric and the philosophy of language were truly unprecedented.

Keywords

Political Philosophy Local Official Private Interest Great Minister Myriad Thing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Works Cited

  1. Angell, Marcia. 2005. The truth about drug companies: how they deceive us and what to do about it, Revisedth ed. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  2. Bokenkamp, Stephen R. 1997. Early Daoist scriptures. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Caro, Mike. 2003. Caro’s Book of poker tells: The psychology and body language of poker. New York: Cardoza.Google Scholar
  4. Chen, Qiyou 陳奇猷. 2000. Han Feizi, with new collations and commentary 韓非子新校注. Shanghai: Guji (The standard reference edition used in this volume.)Google Scholar
  5. Chen, Qiyou. 2002. Springs and Autumns of Mr. Lü, with new collations and explanations 呂氏春秋新校釋. Shanghai: Guji.Google Scholar
  6. Ch’ü, T’ung-tsu. 1961. Law and society in traditional China. Paris/Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  7. Creel, Herrlee G. 1974. Shen Pu-hai: A Chinese political philosopher of the fourth century B.C. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dalby, Michael. 1981. Revenge and the law in traditional China. American Journal of Legal History 25(4): 267–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goldin, Paul R. 2005a. After Confucius: Studies in early Chinese philosophy. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  10. Goldin, Paul R. 2005b. The theme of the primacy of the situation in classical Chinese philosophy and rhetoric. Asia Major 18(2): 1–25.Google Scholar
  11. Goldin, Paul R. 2008. Appeals to history in early Chinese philosophy and rhetoric. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 35(1): 79–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goldin, Paul R. 2011. Persistent misconceptions about Chinese ‘Legalism’. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38(1): 64–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Graham, A.C. 2003. Later Mohist logic, ethics and science, Revised ed. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Grice, Paul. 1989. Studies in the way of words. Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Guo, Qingfan 郭慶藩 (1844–1896?). 1961. Zhuangzi, with collected explanations 莊子集釋. Beijing: Zhonghua.Google Scholar
  16. Keane, John. 1988. More theses on the philosophy of history. In Meaning and context: Quentin Skinner and his critics, ed. James Tully, 204–217. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lewis, Mark Edward. 1990. Sanctioned violence in early China. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  18. Li, Linhao 李林浩, and Chen, Sufang 陳蘇方. 2009. An attempt to analyze the set phrases that derive from Han Feizi 試析源自《韓非子》的成語. Journal of Mudanjiang University 牡丹江大學學報 10: 46–48.Google Scholar
  19. Liu, Zhao 劉釗. 2003. The Chu manuscripts from Guodian, collated and explained 郭店楚簡校釋. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin.Google Scholar
  20. Lundahl, Bertil. 1992. Han Fei Zi: The man and the work. Stockholm: Institute of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University. (The best study in English of the composition of the Han Feizi.)Google Scholar
  21. Major, John S., et al. Trans. 2010. The Huainanzi: A guide to the theory and practice of government in early Han China. New York: Columbia University Press. (Translations from the Asian Classics.)Google Scholar
  22. Max, D.T. 2011. The Prince’s Gambit. The New Yorker, vol. 87.5, March 21.Google Scholar
  23. Peerenboom, R.P. 1993. Law and morality in ancient China: The silk manuscripts of Huang-Lao. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  24. Rong, Zhaozu 容肇祖 (1897–1994). 1936. Analyzing the Han Feizi 韓非子考證. Shanghai: Shangwu. (An early and no longer widely accepted study of the authenticity of Han Feizi.)Google Scholar
  25. Sima, Qian 司馬遷 (145?–86? B.C.E.). 1959. Records of the historian 史記. Beijing: Zhonghua.Google Scholar
  26. Thompson, P.M. 1979. The Shen-tzu fragments. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Wang, Xianqian 王先謙 (1842–1918). 1988. Xunzi, with collected explanations 荀子集解, ed. Shen Xiaohuan 沈嘯寰 and Wang Xingxian 王星賢. Beijing: Zhonghua.Google Scholar
  28. Watson, Burton, Trans. 1964. Han Fei Tzu: Basic writings. New York: Columbia University Press. (A beautiful collection of translations, perhaps Watson’s finest, but covers only a fraction of the Han Feizi.)Google Scholar
  29. Wu, Yujiang 吳毓江. 1993. Mozi, with collations and commentary 墨子校注, ed. Sun Qizhi 孫啟治. Beijing: Zhonghua.Google Scholar
  30. Xu, Yuangao 徐元誥. 2002. Speeches of the states, with collected explications 國語集解, ed. Wang Shumin 王樹民 and Shen Changyun 沈長雲. Beijing: Zhonghua.Google Scholar
  31. Yang, Bojun 楊伯峻. 1981. The Zuo tradition of the Springs and Autumns, with commentary 春秋左傳注. Beijing: Zhonghua.Google Scholar
  32. Yang, Lien-sheng. 1957. The concept of pao as a basis for social relations in China. In Chinese thought and institutions, ed. John K. Fairbank, 291–309. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Yang, Yi 楊義. 2011. Restoring Han Feizi to its original form 韓非子還原. Beijing: Zhonghua. (A thoughtful new study of Han Feizi, with an analysis of its internal logic.)Google Scholar
  34. Zheng, Liangshu 鄭良樹. 1993. The composition and thought of the Han Feizi 韓非之著書及思想. Taipei: Xuesheng. (The most extensive study in Chinese of the composition of the Han Feizi.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of East Asian Languages and CivilizationsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations