Han Fei

Han Fei (/hɑːn/;[2] traditional Chinese: 韓非; simplified Chinese: 韩非; pinyin: Hán Fēi; c. 280 – 233 BC), also known as Han Fei Zi, was a Chinese philosopher of the Legalist school during the Warring States period, and a prince of the state of Han.[3]

Han Fei is often considered to be the greatest representative of “Chinese Legalism” for his eponymous work the Han Feizi,[4] synthesizing the methods of his predecessors.[5] Han Fei's ideas are sometimes compared with Niccolò Machiavelli[6] and his book is considered by some to be superior to the "Il Principe" of Niccolò Machiavelli both in content and in writing style.

His writings were very influential on the future first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, and were implemented into the state structure of the empire. However, after the early demise of the Qin dynasty, the philosophy of Legalism became officially vilified by the following Han Dynasty. Despite its outcast status throughout the history of imperial China, Han Fei's political theory and the concept of Legalism as a whole continued to heavily influence every dynasty thereafter, and the Confucian ideal of a rule without laws was never to be realised. Shu Han's chancellor Zhuge Liang demanded emperor Liu Shan read the Han Feizi for learning the way of ruling.[5]

Han borrowed Shang Yang's emphasis on laws, Shen Buhai's emphasis on administrative technique, and Shen Dao's ideas on authority and prophecy, emphasizing that the autocrat will be able to achieve firm control over the state with the mastering of his predecessors' methodologies: his position of power (勢; Shì), technique (術; Shù), and law (法; ). He stressed the importance of the concept of Xing-Ming (holding actual outcome accountable to speech), coupled with the system of the "Two Handles" (punishment and reward), as well as Wu wei (non-exertion).

Han Fei
BornUnknown, c. 280 BC
Died233 BC
Cause of deathForced to commit suicide by drinking poison
EraAncient philosophy
RegionChinese philosophy
Han Fei
Traditional Chinese韓非
Simplified Chinese韩非


Han Fei is his name, while -Zi (, lit. "Master") was often added to philosophers' names as an extra addition honorific. The title Han Feizi is also used to denote the book written by him.


The exact year of Han Fei's birth remains unknown, however scholars have placed it at around 280 BCE.[3]

Unlike the other famed philosophers of the time, Han Fei was a member of the ruling aristocracy, having been born into the ruling family of the State of Han during the end phase of the Warring States period. In this context, his works have been interpreted by some scholars as being directed to his cousin, the King of Han.[1] Sima Qian’s Shi ji says that Han Fei studied together with future Qin chancellor Li Si under the Confucian philosopher Xunzi. It is said that because of his stutter, Han Fei could not properly present his ideas in court. His advice otherwise being ignored, but observing the slow decline of his Han state, he developed "one of the most brilliant (writing) styles in ancient China."[4][5]

Sima Qian's biography of Han Fei is as follows: Han Fei was a prince of Han, in favor of the study of name/form and law/art which takes its root in the Huang-Lao philosophy. He was born a stutterer and was not able to dispute well, but he was good at writing papers. Together with his friend, Li Si, he served Xun Qing, and Si himself admitted that he was not as competent as Fei. Seeing Han was on the decline, he often remonstrated with the king of Han by submitting papers, but the king did not agree to employ him. At this, Han Fei was frustrated with the reality that, in governing a state, the king did not endeavour to refine and clarify the juridical system of the state, to control his subjects by taking over power, to enhance state property and defence, or to call and employ the wise by enhancing the state.

Rather, the king employed the corrupted and treacherous and put them in higher positions over the wise. He regarded the intellectuals as a disturbance to the law by employing their literature, and thought that knights violate the prohibition of the state by using armed forces. While the state was in peace, the king liked to patronise the honoured; while in need, he employed warriors with armour and helmet. So the cultivated men could not be employed and the men employed could not be cultivated. Severely distressed over the reality that men of high integrity and uprightness were not embraced by the subjects with immorality and corruption, he observed the changes in the gaining and losing of the past. Therefore, he wrote several papers like Gu Fen, Wu Tan, Nei-Wai Chu, Shou Lin, and Shei Nan, which amount to one hundred thousand words. However, while Han Fei himself knew well of the difficulty of persuasion and created the detailed writing, Shei Nan, he eventually killed himself in Qin. He could not escape the trap of words for himself."[7]

His works ultimately ended up in the hands of the thrilled Qin king, Ying Zheng, who commented, "If I can make friends with this person [Han Fei], I may die without regrets." and invited Han Fei to the Qin court. Han Fei presented the essay "Preserving the Han" to ask the king not to attack his homeland, but his ex-friend and rival Li Si—who was jealous of Han Fei—used that essay to have Han Fei imprisoned on account of his likely loyalty to Han. Han Fei responded by writing another essay named "In the first time of meeting Qin king", hoping to use his writing talent to win the king's heart. Han Fei did win the king's heart, but not before Li Si forced him to commit suicide by drinking poison. The Qin king later felt regret about the unfortunate death of Han Fei.[4][5]

Xunzi formed the hypothesis that human nature is evil and virtueless, therefore suggesting that human infants must be brought to their virtuous form through social-class-oriented Confucian moral education. Without such, Xunzi argued, man would act virtuelessly and be steered by his own human nature to commit immoral acts. Han Fei's education and life experience during the Warring States period, and in his own Han state, contributed his synthesis of a philosophy for the management of an amoral and interest-driven administration, to which morality seemed a loose and inefficient tool. Han agreed with his teacher's theory of "virtueless by birth", but as in previous Legalist philosophy, pragmatically proposed to steer people by their own interest-driven nature.


Nguyễn Hiến Lê and Giản Chi

Han Fei is considered as patriotic, political sensitive, and practical. He managed to summarize and revise the political thoughts Legalists and of Sunzi create his own distinctive ideology with a progressive historical view. He improved the theories of laws and methods of using talents, created a methodology of ruling based on power, law, and tactics. Han Fei's idea is considered similar to Kautliya (author of Arthashastra) and Nicolo Machiavelli.

Han Fei's theory was effective in the Warring State Era when the society was chaotic and wars were constant. However when China was united and peace was achieved, the ruling class had to change the policies. Qin dynasty collapsed because its policies were strict and brutal, later dynasties learned that lesson and therefore used both Legalism and Confucianism to rule China.

Phan Ngọc

Phan Ngọc in his foreword of Han Feizi[8] praised Han Fei as a knowledgeable man with sharp, logical and firm arguments, supported by large amount of practical and realistic evidences. Han Fei's strong, consistent and logical arguments are the things that many ancient philosophers lacked. Therefore, his works is very persuasive. Han Fei's view was largely affected by the real situation of the political elites together with all the associated decadence and lewdness, that's why Han advocated Legalism and the use of strict methods to solve the issue of the society. Han's writings exposed all the issues and problems of contemporary ruling class therefore it is very attractive to the readers who desire to see through the truth. Han Fei himself was a honest man and would desire to die for his idea rather than appease the political sycophants.

Phan Ngọc claimed that Han Fei's writings has three drawbacks. First, his idea of Legalism can't be used for the sake of an autocratic monarch because the monarch and his dysnasty sooner or later will 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 and predicted. 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 - that Han Fei himself is a distinctive example.

Trần Ngọc Vương

Trần Ngọc Vương considered Han Feizi was superior than "Il Principe" of Machiavelli. He claimed that Han Fei was an intelligent and sharp, and his Legalist ideology was very refined and sophisticated in that era. "Il Principe" of Machiavelli is nothing compared with Han Feizi.[9]


  1. ^ Watson, Burton, Han Fei Tzu: Basic Writings. 1964, p. 2. The king in question is believed to be either King An (238–230 BC) or his predecessor, King Huanhui (272–239 BC).


  1. ^ "Leader Taps into Chinese Classics in Seeking to Cement Power". The New York Times. 12 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Han". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  3. ^ a b Watson, Burton (2003). Han Feizi - Basic Writings. Columbia University Press. p. 2. ISBN 9780231521321. OCLC 796815905.
  4. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-08. Retrieved 2015-07-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d Hàn Phi Tử, Vietnamese translation by Phan Ngọc, Nhà xuất bản Văn học, HCMC 2011
  6. ^ Nguyển Hiến Lê, Giản Chi (1995). Hàn Phi Tử. NXB Văn hóa thông tin.
  7. ^ Tae Hyun KIM 2010 p.15, Other Laozi Parallels in the Hanfeizi
  8. ^ Vietnamese translation, 2011, Nhà Xuất bản Văn Học
  9. ^ http://antgct.cand.com.vn/Nhan-vat/PGS-%E2%80%93-TS-Tran-Ngoc-Vuong-Nguy-thien-cung-vua-phai-thoi-khong-thi-ai-chiu-duoc-314289/

Further reading

  • Burton Watson (1964). Han Fei Tzu: Basic Writings. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-08609-7.
  • Hàn Phi Tử, Vietnamese translation by Phan Ngọc, Nhà xuất bản Văn học, HCMC 2011.

External links

An, King of Han

An, King of Han (Chinese: 韩王安; pinyin: Hán Wáng Ān) (died 226 BC), ancestral name Jì (姬), clan name Hán (韩), personal name Ān (安), was the ruler of the State of Han between 238 BC and 230 BC. He was the son of King Huanhui of Han.

In 233 BC, King An sent Han Fei to Qin to request to be a vassal. However, Han Fei was executed. In 231 BC, King An offered Nanyang (南阳), an area around modern day Mount Wangwu, to Qin. In the 9th month of the same year, Qin sent Neshi Teng (内史腾) to receive the area.In the following year (230 BC), Qin sent Neishi Teng to attack Han. King An was captured and the State of Han ceased to exist. Qin then created Yingchuan Commandery from conquered Han territory.In 226 BC, ex-Han nobility launched a failed rebellion, and An died the same year.

Deng Xi

Deng Xi (; Chinese: 鄧析; Wade–Giles: Têng Hsi, also written as 祁奚; c. 546 – 501 BCE) was a Chinese philosopher and rhetorician who has been called the founding father of the Chinese logical tradition, or School of Names (Xingmingjia). Once a senior official of the Zheng state, and a contemporary of Confucius, he was actually China's earliest renowned lawyer, teaching the people word play in lawsuits. The Zuo Zhuan and Annals of Lü Buwei critically credit Deng with the authorship of a penal code opposing and twisting that of the more Confucian Zichan. Arguing over forms and names (xing ming zhi bian), Deng is cited by Liu Xiang as the originator of the "Legalists" and Logicians Xing-Ming principle judging names and realities (ming-shih), likely making him an important contributor to both Chinese philosophy and the foundations of Chinese statecraft.

The Xunxi pairs him with Hui Shi as part of a general intellectual tradition, though the two lived 200 years apart. While Han Fei tended to dismiss the Logicians as useless (despite the 'Legalists' deriving a part of their statecraft from them), Xunxi's primary complaint about the two was that they didn't conform to ritual and "righteousness", or the

"facts about right and wrong", portraying him as talent that, neglecting the way (Confucian morality), wastes his time on pointless intellectual games and sophistry.

Fa (concept)

Fa (Chinese: 法;Mandarin pronunciation: [fà]) is a concept in Chinese philosophy that covers ethics, logic, and law. It can be translated as "law" in some contexts, but more often as "model" or "standard." First gaining importance in the Mohist school of thought, the concept was principally elaborated in Legalism. In Han Fei's philosophy, the king is the sole source of fa (law), taught to the common people so that there would be a harmonious society free of chance occurrences, disorder, and "appeal to privilege". High officials were not to be held above fa (law or protocol), nor were they to be allowed to independently create their own fa, uniting both executive fiat and rule of law.Xunzi, a philosopher that would end up being foundational in Han dynasty Confucianism, also took up fa, suggesting that it could only be properly assessed by the Confucian sage (ruler), and that the most important fa were the very rituals that Mozi had ridiculed for their ostentatious waste and lack of benefit for the people at large.

Fengbo (deity)

Fengbo, also known as Fengshi, is the Taoist deity of the wind.

In ancient times he was depicted as a grotesque deity with the body of a deer, the head of a bird, horns, the tail of a snake and the patterns of a leopard. In the Ming dynasty he was on old man with a white beard carrying a fan and known as Count of the Wind (Fengbo Fang tianjun 風伯方天君).In the Han Feizi (韓非子) or book of master Han Fei, when Huangdi the Yellow Emperor gathers all the demons at Mount Tai Fengbo sweeps the path.According to the Shiji records of the Historian, temples and festivals in honour of Fengbo show that from early times he was an object of state ritual.

Gloriously Bright

"Gloriously Bright" is a science fiction short story by American writer Orson Scott Card, set in his Ender's Game universe. It tells the story of Han Qing-jao and Si Wang-mu as they interact with Jane, the gods of Path, the Starways Congress, and the knowledge of OCD. It appears in the January 1991 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

Han Feizi

The Han Feizi (Chinese: 韓非子) is an ancient Chinese text attributed to foundational political philosopher, "Master" Han Fei. It comprises a selection of essays in the "Legalist" tradition on theories of state power, synthesizing the methodologies of his predecessors. Its 55 chapters, most of which date to the Warring States period mid-3rd century BC, are the only such text to survive intact. Easily one of the most important philosophical classics in ancient China, it touches on administration, diplomacy, war and economics, and is also valuable for its abundance of anecdotes about pre-Qin China.

Han Fei's writings were very influential on the future first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. After the early demise of the Qin dynasty, Han Fei's philosophy was officially vilified by the following Han Dynasty. Despite its outcast status throughout the history of imperial China, his political theory continued to heavily influence every dynasty thereafter, and the Confucian ideal of a rule without laws was never again realized. Shu Han's chancellor Zhuge Liang demanded emperor Liu Shan read the Han Feizi for learning the way of ruling.

Though differing considerably in style, the coherency of the essays lend themselves to the possibility that they were written by Han Fei himself, and are generally considered more philosophically engaging than the Book of Lord Shang.

Hu Yan

Hu Yan (715–629 BC) was a Di tribesman who served as a minister and general of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. Hu Yan assisted Prince Chong'er (posthumously the "Wen Duke") during his long exile, his usurpation of his nephew Yu, and his rise to hegemonic status over the other states of the Zhou Kingdom. The Legalist Han Fei considered Hu Yan one of the best advisors of ancient China, and the historian Sima Qian listed him with Sun Tzu as the greatest tacticians of the age.

King Huanhui of Han

King Huanhui of Han (Chinese: 韩桓惠王; pinyin: Hán Huánhuì Wáng) (died 239 BC), ancestral name Jì (姬), clan name Hán (韩), personal name unknown, was the ruler of the State of Han between 272 BC and until his death in 239 BC. He was the son of King Xi of Han. During his reign, Han Fei submitted numerous proposals to enact Legalism. In 246 BC, King Huanhui sent Zheng Guo west to Qin to construct a canal with the intention of wasting Qin's resources. The canal came to be known as Zhengguo Canal.In the 55th year of King Nan of Zhou (262 BC), Qin sent Bai Qi to invade Han and took Yewang. To broker peace, King Huanhui ceded Shangdang Commandery to Qin. The people of Shangdang refused to be ruled by Qin but also lacked the military strength for defense. Shangdang's governor-general Feng Ting (冯亭) surrendered instead to Zhao. Zhao accepted the surrender and sent Lian Po to defend Changping; the Battle of Changping ensued.King Huanhui died in 239 BC and was succeeded by his son King An of Han.

Legalism (Chinese philosophy)

Fajia (Chinese: 法家; pinyin: Fǎjiā) or Legalism is one of Sima Tan's six classical schools of thought in Chinese philosophy. Roughly meaning "house of Fa" (administrative "methods" or "standards"), the "school" (term) represents some several branches of realistic statesmen or "men of methods" (fashu zishi) foundational for the traditional Chinese bureaucratic empire. Compared with Machiavelli, they have often been considered in the Western world as akin to the Realpolitikal thought of ancient China, emphasizing a realistic consolidation of the wealth and power of autocrat and state, with the goal of achieving increased order, security and stability. Having close ties with the other schools, some would be a major influence on Taoism and Confucianism, and the current remains highly influential in administration, policy and legal practice in China today.Though Chinese administration cannot be traced to any one person, emphasizing a merit system administrator Shen Buhai (c. 400 BC – c. 337 BC) may have had more influence than any other, and might be considered its founder, if not valuable as a rare pre-modern example of abstract theory of administration. Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel sees in Shen Buhai the "seeds of the civil service examination", and, if one wished to exaggerate, the first political scientist. The correlation between Shen's conception of the inactive (Wu wei) ruler responsible for examination into performance, claims and titles likely also informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao (name that cannot be named) that "gives rise to the ten thousand things."Concerned largely with administrative and sociopolitical innovation, Shang Yang (390–338 BC) was a leading reformer of his time. His numerous reforms transformed the peripheral Qin state into a militarily powerful and strongly centralized kingdom. Much of Legalism was "principally the development of certain ideas" that lay behind his reforms, and it was these that helped lead to Qin's ultimate conquest of the other states of China in 221 BC.Shen's most famous successor Han Fei (c. 280 – 233 BC) synthesized the thought of the other "Fa-Jia" in his eponymous text, the Han Feizi. Written around 240 BC, the Han Feizi is commonly thought of as the greatest of all Legalist texts, and is believed to contain the first commentaries on the Tao te Ching in history. The grouping together of thinkers that would eventually be dubbed "Fa-Jia" or "Legalists" can be traced to him, and The Art of War would seem to incorporate Taoist philosophy of inaction and impartiality, and Legalist punishment and rewards as systematic measures of organization, recalling Han Fei's concepts of power (shi) and tactics (shu). Attracting the attention of the First Emperor, It is often said that succeeding emperors followed the template set by Han Fei.Calling them the "theorists of the state", sinologist Jacques Gernet considered the Legalists/Fa-Jia to be the most important tradition of the fourth and third centuries BC, the entire period from the Qin dynasty to Tang being characterized by its centralizing tendencies and economic organization of the population by the state. The Han dynasty took over the governmental institutions of the Qin dynasty almost unchanged. Endorsement for the "school" of thought peaked under Mao Zedong, hailed as a "progressive" intellectual current.

Li Si

Li Si (; c. 280 BC – September or October 208 BC) was a Chinese politician of the Qin dynasty, well known Legalist writer and politician, and notable calligrapher. He served as Chancellor (or Prime Minister) from 246–208 BC under two rulers: Qin Shi Huang, the king of the Qin state and later the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty; and Qin Er Shi, Qin Shi Huang's eighteenth son and the Second Emperor. Concerning administrative methods, Li Si "indicated that he admired and utilized the ideas of Shen Buhai", repeatedly referring to the technique of Shen Buhai and Han Fei, but regarding law followed Shang Yang.Stanford University's John Knoblock considered Li Si "one of the two or three most important figures in Chinese history". Having a clear vision of universal empire and "one world comprising all Chinese, bringing with universal dominion universal peace", Li Si was "largely responsible for the creation of those institutions that made the Qin dynasty the first universal state in Chinese history".

Li Si assisted the Emperor Shi Huangdi in unifying the laws, governmental ordinances, weights and measures, and standardized chariots, carts, and the characters used in writing... [facilitating] the cultural unification of China. He "created a government based solely on merit, so that in the empire sons and younger brothers in the imperial clan were not ennobled, but meritorious ministers were", and "pacified the frontier regions by subduing the barbarians to the north and south". He had the weapons of the feudal states melted and cast into musical bells and large human statues, and relaxed taxes and the draconian punishments inherited from Shang Yang.

Mizi Xia

Mizi Xia (Chinese: 弥子瑕; pinyin: Mízi Xiá) is a semi-legendary figure from the Zhou dynasty Period of China. He was first recorded in the work Han Fei Zi, by Legalist philosopher Han Fei, as the companion of the historical figure Duke Ling of Wei. While Mizi Xia may have actually existed, nothing is known about him beyond this story.

Mizi Xia was the favored courtier of Duke Ling because of his beauty. When Mizi Xia got news that his mother was ill, he forged an order from the Duke to use a ducal carriage to travel quickly to see her, and was praised for his filial piety. Another time, Mizi Xia bit into an especially delicious peach and gave the remainder to the Duke as a gift so he could taste it as well. Both acts ingratiated him further with the ruler. However, once Mizi Xia's looks faded, the Duke turned against him, claiming he stole the carriage and then insulted the Duke by offering him a half-eaten peach.Han Fei's primary goal in telling the story was to caution courtiers against getting too close to fickle rulers, but in later Chinese literature Mizi Xia became more alluded to for his beauty and his homosexuality. The phrase "bitten peach" became a byword for homosexuality and Mizi Xia became a byword for a young man desired as a sexual partner. Similar allusions would be later be applied to the "passion of the cut sleeve" and the Han dynasty courtier Dong Xian.Ruan Ji was one of the more famous poets to laud Mizi Xia in his writing. The Liang dynasty poet Liu Zun wrote, "Favors of the cut sleeve are generous,/ Love of the half-eaten peach never dies," confident that any educated person reading the poem would know exactly to whom he alluded. The earliest extant Chinese document to address homosexuality, the "Poetical Essay on the Supreme Joy" by Bo Xingjian, lists Mizi Xia amongst the famous examples of homosexuality: "Mizi Xia shared a peach with his lord".By the 12th century, male companions no longer tended to wield great power at the ducal or imperial courts, and the name Mizi Xia had become associated with common male prostitutes. The narrowing of gender roles under the Qing dynasty and the influence of homophobic attitudes from the West would eventually make mention of "the bitten peach" completely taboo, so that today Mizi Xia is mostly unknown inside China.Mizi Xia's story became known to the broader world through the writings of Europeans such as in Sexual Life in Ancient China by Robert van Gulik. This book quotes from the early-20th century Xiangyan congshu or "Collected writings on fragrant elegance", which itself drew on earlier precedents such as those mentioned above.

Nine Songs of the Moving Heavens

Nine Songs of the Moving Heavens (Chinese: 天行九歌; pinyin: tiān xíng jiǔ gē), is a CG Chinese animated TV series that was released on March 10, 2016, directed by Robin Shen. It can also be translated as Nine Songs of the Sky. This is the prequel to The Legend of Qin, which takes place before the time of the Qin Dynasty. Although the two animations have intersections of characters and their timelines, Nine Songs of the Moving Heavens is an independent story.

Qidiao Kai

Qidiao Kai (Chinese: 漆雕開; Wade–Giles: Ch'i-tiao K'ai; born 540 BC), courtesy name Zikai (Chinese: 子開; Wade–Giles: Tzu-k'ai) or Ziruo (Chinese: 子若; Wade–Giles: Tzu-jo), was a major disciple of Confucius. He declined to take government office, but started his own school, which developed into one of the eight branches of Confucianism identified by Han Fei. His work, known as the Qidiaozi ("Master Qidiao"), has been lost.

Shang Yang

Shang Yang (Chinese: 商鞅; c. 390 – 338 BCE), also known as Wei Yang (Chinese: 衞鞅) and originally surnamed Gongsun, was a prominent legalist scholar. Born in Wey, Zhou Kingdom, he was a statesman and reformer of the State of Qin during the Warring States period of ancient China. His policies laid the administrative and political foundations that would enable Qin to conquer all of China, uniting the country for the first time and ushering in the Qin dynasty. He and his followers contributed to the Book of Lord Shang, a foundational work of what has modernly been termed Chinese Legalism.

Shen Buhai

The Chinese statesman Shen Buhai (Chinese: 申不害; c. 400 BC – c. 337 BC) was Chancellor of the Han state under Marquis Zhao of Han for fifteen years, from 354 BC to 337 BC. A contemporary of syncretist Shi Jiao and Legalist Shang Yang, he was born in the State of Zheng, and was likely a minor official there. After Han conquered Zheng in 375 BC, he rose up in the ranks of the Han officialdom, dividing up its territories and successfully reforming it. Though not dealing in penal law himself, his administrative innovations would be taken into "Chinese Legalist" statecraft by Han Fei, his most famous successor, and Shen Buhai's book most resembles the Han Feizi (though more conciliatory). He died of natural causes while in office.

Though Chinese administration cannot be traced to any one individual, emphasizing a merit system figures like 4th century BC reformer Shen Buhai may have had more influence than any other, and might be considered its founder, if not valuable as a rare pre-modern example of abstract theory of administration. Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel sees in Shen Buhai the "seeds of the civil service examination", and, if one wished to exaggerate, the first political scientist, while the correlation between Shen's conception of the inactive (Wu-wei) ruler and the handling of claims and titles likely informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao (name that cannot be named) that "gives rise to the ten thousand things." He is attributed the dictum "The Sage ruler relies on standards and does not rely on wisdom; he relies on technique, not on persuasions."

Shen Dao

Shen Dao (Chinese: 慎到; c. 350 – c. 275 BC) was a "Chinese Legalist" theoretician most remembered for his influence on Han Fei with regards to the concept of shi 勢 (circumstantial advantage, power, or authority), though most of his book concerns the concept of fa 法 (administrative methods & standards) more commonly shared among "Legalists". Compared with western schools, Shen Dao considered laws that are not good "still preferable to having no laws at all."Making use of the term dao without cosmological or metaphysical reference, the Shenzi serves as noteworthy precursor to both Taoism and Han Fei. Posthumously, he is also sometimes classified as Taoist, and Wang Fuzhi speculated that the chapter "Essay on Seeing Things as Equal" of the Zhuangzhi was actually written by Shen Dao. Compared with the egoist Yang Chu, Shen Dao is characterized by the Zhuangzhi as impartial and lacking selfishness, his great way embracing all things.Usually referred to as "Master Shen" ("Shenzi" 慎子) for his writings, very little is known of Shen Dao's life. An itinerant Chinese philosopher from Zhao, he was probably born about 350 BC, travelling to the city of Linzi (modern Zibo, Shandong) in 300 BC to become a member of the Jixia Academy. Shen probably left Linzi after its capture by the state of Yan in 285 BC, possibly moving to the Han kingdom and absorbing the "Legalist" tradition there. He died roughly 10 years later.

Wu wei

Wu wei (無爲) is a concept literally meaning "without exertion". Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period, and Confucianism, to become an important concept in Chinese statecraft and Taoism, and was most commonly used to refer to an ideal form of government including the behavior of the emperor. Describing a state of unconflicting personal harmony, free-flowing spontaneity and savoir faire, it generally also more properly denotes a state of spirit or mind, and in Confucianism accords with conventional morality. Sinologist Jean François Billeter describes it as a "state of perfect knowledge of the reality of the situation, perfect efficaciousness and the realization of a perfect economy of energy", which in practice Edward Slingerland qualifies as a "set of ("transformed") dispositions (including physical bearing)... conforming with the normative order."


Xenocide (1991) is a science fiction novel by American writer Orson Scott Card, the third book in the Ender's Game series. It was nominated for both the Hugo and Locus Awards for Best Novel in 1992. The title is a combination of 'xeno-', meaning alien, and '-cide', referring to the act of killing; altogether referring to the act of selectively killing populations of aliens, a play on genocide.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinHán Fēi
Gwoyeu RomatzyhHarn Fei
Wade–GilesHan2 Fei1
IPA[xǎn féi]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale RomanizationHòhn Fēi
JyutpingHon4 Fei1
Southern Min
Tâi-lôHân Hui
Middle Chinese
Middle ChineseHan Pji
Old Chinese
Baxter–Sagart (2014)*[g]ˤar pəj
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