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 was known for his cryptic writing style. Because the writings attributed to him appear to be pre-Han dynasty, he is credited with writing a now extinct two chapter text, the Shenzi (申子), which is concerned almost exclusively with the philosophy of governmental administration. In 141 BC, under the influence of Confucians, the reign of Emperor Wu of Han saw Shen Buhai's name was listed with other legalist thinkers whose ideas were officially banned from the government; from that point on, scholarship Shen's ideas went into a steep decline, despite continued use of his foundational ideas in administration (much of which, consisting of skill and report checking, would be unavoidable).
Widely read in Han times, in comparison to the still-complete Han Feizi the Shenzi was listed as lost by the Liang dynasty (502-556). Appearing again in the bibliographies of both Tang histories, it's only traces remain as quotes in surviving texts in Qunshu Zhiyao, compiled in 631, and Yilin, compiled around 786. During the Qing Dynasty, three major attempts were made to reconstruct the contents of the work, the last mention occurring in 1616, and in a library catalogue from 1700. Its fragments were re-assembled by Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel in Shen Pu-Hai: A Chinese Political Philosopher of the Fourth Century B. C.
The Huainanzi says that when Shen Buhai lived the officials of the state of Han were at cross-purposes and did not know what practices to follow. Though not unifying the laws as Shang Yang did, what Shen appears to have realized is that the "methods for the control of a bureaucracy" could not be mixed with the survivals of feudal government, or staffed merely by "getting together a group of 'good men'", but rather must be men qualified in their jobs. Unlike Shang Yang, Shen therefore emphasizes the importance of selecting able officials as much as Confucius did, but insists on "constant vigilance over their performance", never mentioning virtue. In comparison with Han Fei on the other hand his system required a strong ruler at the center, emphasizing that he trust no one minister.
Ideally, Shen Buhai's ruler had the widest possible sovereignty, was intelligent (if not a sage), had to make all crucial decisions himself, and had unlimited control of the bureaucracy - over which, in contrast to Shang Yang, he is simply the head. Championing Fa (法 "method"), Shen believed that the greatest threat to a ruler's power came from within, and unlike Han Fei, never preaches to his ministers about duty or loyalty. He insisted that the ruler must be fully informed on the state of his realm, but couldn't afford to get caught up in details and was advised to listen to no one - and does not, as Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel says, have the time to do so. The way to see and hear independently is by grouping particulars into categories through mechanical or operational decision making (Fa or "method").
Shen's doctrines, posthumously referred to by Han Fei as Shu or Techniques (a term Shen does not appear to have used), are described as concerned almost exclusively with the "ruler's role and the methods by which he may control a bureaucracy", that is, its management and personnel control: the selection of capable ministers, their performance, the monopolization of power, and the control of and power relations between ruler and minister which he characterized as Wu Wei. They can therefore easily be considered the most crucial element in controlling a bureaucracy.
More specifically, Shen Buhai's methods (Fa) focused on "scrutinizing achievement and on that ground alone to give rewards, and to bestow office solely on the basis of ability". Liu Xiang wrote that Shen Buhai advised the ruler of men use technique (shu) rather than punishment, relying on persuasion to supervise and hold responsible, though very strictly. Liu considered Shen's "principle tenant" to be (Xing-Ming 刑名). Representing equally applied checks against the power of officials, Xing-Ming seeks the right person for the job through the examination of skill, achievement and (more rarely) seniority.
Shen Buhai's personnel control, or rectification of names (such as titles) worked through "strict performance control"(Hansen), correlating performance and posts (Xing or Shih and Ming). It would become a central tenant of both "Legalist" statecraft and its Taoistic derivatives. The correlation between Wu-wei and Xing-ming may have informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao that "gives rise to the ten thousand things."
In the Han Dynasty secretaries of government who had charge of the records of decisions in criminal matters were called Xing-Ming, a term used by Han Fei, which Sima Qian (145 or 135 – 86 BC) and Liu Xiang (77 BC – 6 BC) attributed to the doctrine of Shen Buhai(400 BC – c. 337 BC). Liu Xiang goes as far as to define Shen Buhai's doctrine as Xing-Ming. Shen actually used an older, more philosophically common equivalent, ming-shih, linking the "Legalist doctrine of names" with the name and reality (ming shih) debates of the school of names. Such discussions are also prominent in the Han Feizi.
Sima Qian and Liu Xiang define Xing-Ming as "holding actual outcome accountable to Ming". Ming sometimes has the sense of speech--so as to compare the statements of an aspiring officer with the reality of his actions--or reputation, again compared with real conduct (xing "form" or shih "reality"). Rather than having to look for "good" men, Xing-Ming (or ming-shih) can seek the right man for a particular post, though doing so implies a total organizational knowledge of the regime. More simply though, it can allow ministers to come forward with proposals of specific cost and time frame, leaving their definition to competing ministers--the doctrine favored by Han Fei. Preferring exactness, it combats the tendency to promise too much; the correct articulation of Ming is considered crucial to the realization of projects.
The logician Deng Xi (died 501 BCE) is cited by Liu Xiang for the origin of the principle of Xing-Ming. Serving as a minor official in the state of Zheng, he is reported to have drawn up a code of penal laws. Associated with litigation, he is said to have argued for the permissibility of contradictory propositions, likely engaging in hair-splitting debates on the interpretation of laws, legal principles and definitions.
Shen Buhai solves this through Wu wei, or not getting involved, making an official's words his own responsibility. Shen Buhai says, "The ruler controls the policy, the ministers manage affairs. To speak ten times and ten times be right, to act a hundred times and a hundred times succeed - this is the business of one who serves another as minister; it is the not the way to rule." Noting all the details of a claim and then attempting to objectively compare them with his achievements through passive mindfulness (the "method of yin"), Shen Buhai's ruler neither adds to nor detracts from anything, giving names (titles/offices) on the basis of claim.
Shen supported reward for visible results, using ming-shih for investigation and appointment, but the legal system of Han was apparently confused, prohibiting uniform reward and punishment. We have no basis to suppose that Shen advocated the doctrine of rewards and punishment (of Shang Yang, as Han Fei did), and Han Fei criticizes him for not unifying the laws.
Earlier modern scholars suggested that Shen's statecraft blended with Taoism. Rather, since the bulk of the Tao Te Ching appears to have been composed later, it might therefore be assumed that Shen influenced the Tao Te Ching. Lacking any metaphysical connotation, Shen used the term Wu wei to mean that the ruler, though vigilant, should not interfere with the duties of his ministers.
Following Shen, Han Fei strongly advocated Wu wei. During the Han dynasty up until the reign of Han Wudi, rulers confined their activity "chiefly to the appointment and dismissal of his high officials", a plainly "Legalist" practice inherited from the Qin dynasty. This "conception of the ruler's role as a supreme arbiter, who keeps the essential power firmly in his grasp" while leaving details to ministers, has a "deep influence on the theory and practice of Chinese monarchy."
Shen Buhai argued that if the government were organized and supervised relying on proper method (Fa), the ruler need do little--and must do little. Unlike "Legalists" Shang Yang and Han Fei, Shen did not consider the relationship between ruler and minister antagonistic necessarily. Apparently paraphrasing the Analects, Shen Buhai's statement that those near him will feel affection, while the far will yearn for him, stands in contrast to Han Fei, who considered the relationship between the ruler and ministers irreconcilable.
However, Shen still believed that the ruler's most able ministers are his greatest danger, and is convinced that it is impossible to make them loyal without techniques. Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel explains: "The ruler's subjects are so numerous, and so on alert to discover his weaknesses and get the better of him, that it is hopeless for him alone as one man to try to learn their characteristics and control them by his knowledge... the ruler must refrain from taking the initiative, and from making himself conspicuous--and therefore vulnerable--by taking any overt action."
Emphasizing the use of administrative methods (Fa) in secrecy, Shen Buhai portrays the ruler as putting up a front to hide his weaknesses and dependence on his advisers. Shen therefore advises the ruler to keep his own counsel, hide his motivations, and conceal his tracks in inaction, availing himself of an appearance of stupidity and insufficiency. Shen says:
If the ruler's intelligence is displayed, men will prepare against it; if his lack of intelligence is displayed, they will delude him. If his wisdom is displayed, men will gloss over (their faults); if his lack of wisdom is displayed, they will hide from him. If his lack of desires is displayed, men will spy out his true desires; if his desires are displayed, they will tempt him. Therefore (the intelligent ruler) says 'I cannot know them; it is only by means of non-action that I control them.'
Acting through administrative method (Fa), the ruler conceals his intentions, likes and dislikes, skills and opinions. Not acting himself, he can avoid being manipulated. The ruler plays no active role in governmental functions. He should not use his talent even if he has it. Not using his own skills, he is better able to secure the services of capable functionaries. Creel argues that not getting involved in details allowed Shen's ruler to "truly rule", because it leaves him free to supervise the government without interfering, maintaining his perspective. Seeing and hearing independently, the ruler is able to make decisions independently, and is, Shen says, able to rule the world thereby.
The ruler is like a mirror, reflecting light, doing nothing, and yet, beauty and ugliness present themselves; (or like) a scale establishing equilibrium, doing nothing, and yet causing lightness and heaviness to discover themselves. (Administrative) method (Fa) is complete acquiescence. (Merging his) personal (concerns) with the public (weal), he does not act. He does not act, and yet the world itself is complete.— Shen Buhai
This Wu wei (or nonaction) might be said to end up the political theory of the "Legalists", if not becoming their general term for political strategy, playing a "crucial role in the promotion of the autocratic tradition of the Chinese polity." The (qualified) non-action of the ruler ensures his power and the stability of the polity.
Adherence to the use of technique in governing requires the ruler not engage in any interference or subjective consideration. Sinologist John Makeham explains: "assessing words and deeds requires the ruler's dispassionate attention; (yin is) the skill or technique of making one's mind a tabula rasa, non-committaly taking note of all the details of a man's claims and then objectively comparing his achievements of the original claims."
A commentary to the Shiji cites a now-lost book as quoting Shen Buhai saying: "By employing (yin), 'passive mindfulness', in overseeing and keeping account of his vassals, accountability is deeply engraved." The Guanzi similarly says: "Yin is the way of non-action. Yin is neither to add to nor to detract from anything. To give something a name strictly on the basis of its form – this is the Method of yin." Yin also aimed at concealing the ruler's intentions, likes and opinions.
The Shiji records Li Si as repeatedly recommending "supervising and holding responsible", which he attributed to Shen Buhai. A stele set up by Qin Shi Huang memorializes him as a sage that, taking charge of the government, established Xing-Ming - Shen Buhai and Han Fei's doctrine of personnel selection. The Shiji states that Emperor Wen of Han was "basically fond of Xing-Ming." The scholar Jia Yi advised Wen to teach his heir to use Shen Buhai's method, so as to be able to "supervise the functions of the many officials and understand the usages of government." Two advisors to Wen's heir, Emperor Jing of Han were students of Xing-Ming, one passing the highest grade of examination, and admonished Jing for not using it on the feudal lords.
By the time of the civil service examination was put into place, Confucian influence saw outright discussion of Shen Buhai banned. However, the Emperor under which it was founded, Emperor Wu of Han, was both familiar with and favorable to Legalist ideas, and the civil service examination did not come into existence until its support by Gongsun Hong, who wrote a book on Xing-Ming. The Emperor Xuan of Han was still said by Liu Xiang to have been fond of reading Shen Buhai, using Xing-Ming to control his subordinates and devoting much time to legal cases. Zhuge Liang attached great importance to the works of Shen Buhai and Han Fei. Emperor Wen of Sui is recorded as having withdrawn his favour from the Confucians, giving it to "the group advocating Xing-Ming and authoritarian government".
Regarded as being in opposition to Confucians, as early as the Eastern Han its full and original meaning would be forgotten. Yet the writings of "Tung-Cung-shu" discuss personnel testing and control in a manner sometimes hardly distinguishable from the Han Feizi. Like Shen Buhai, he dissuades against reliance upon punishments. As Confucianism ascended the term disappeared, though it appears in later dynasties.
Chao Cuo (simplified Chinese: 晁错; traditional Chinese: 晁錯, ca. 200–154 BC) was a Chinese political advisor and official of the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), renowned for his intellectual capabilities and foresight in martial and political matters. He was an early advocate of revoking the heqin treaty with the Xiongnu nomads of the north. He compared the relative strengths and weaknesses of both Han Chinese and Xiongnu military tactics. In a written work of 169 BC, he advocated a systematic policy to populate and defend frontier zones. He proposed that civilian migrants supported by the government could simultaneously train as militia units while developing and cultivating remote regions which were under frequent attack by nomadic forces. He fell victim to execution when political rivalries at the imperial court convinced Emperor Jing that Chao's death would curtail or at least mitigate the Rebellion of the Seven States.
Chao took part in reviving from oblivion the Classic of History, one of the early canons of Confucian philosophy. Despite this, and despite being well aware of the failings of the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), he was described by later Eastern Han scholars as a Legalist. Chao's intellectual background was steeped in the writings of Legalist philosophers such as Shang Yang (d. 338 BC) and Shen Buhai (d. 337 BC). The essays written by Chao which are preserved in the 1st century AD Book of Han do not reveal any influence of Confucian social or ethical ideas.Emperor Wen of Han
Emperor Wen of Han (202 BC – 6 July 157 BC) was the fifth emperor of the Han dynasty of ancient China. His personal name was Liu Heng.
Liu Heng was a son of Emperor Gao of Han and Consort Bo, later empress dowager. When Emperor Gao suppressed the rebellion of Dai, he made Liu Heng Prince of Dai.
After Empress Dowager Lü's death, the officials eliminated the powerful Lü clan, and deliberately chose the Prince of Dai as the emperor, since his mother, Consort Bo, had no powerful relatives, and her family was known for its humility and thoughtfulness. His reign brought a much needed political stability that laid the groundwork for prosperity under his grandson Emperor Wu. According to historians, Emperor Wen trusted and consulted with ministers on state affairs; under the influence of his Taoist wife, Empress Dou, the emperor also sought to avoid wasteful expenditures.
Historians noted that the tax rates were at a ratio of "1 out of 30" and "1 out of 60", corresponding to 3.33% and 1.67%, respectively. (These rates are not for income taxes, but property taxes, as the only ancient Chinese attempt to levy an income tax would come in the time of Wang Mang.) Warehouses were so full of grain that some of it was left to decay.
Emperor Wen was said by Liu Xiang to have devoted much time to legal cases, and to have been fond of reading Shen Buhai, using Xing-Ming, a form of personnel examination, to control his subordinates. In a move of lasting importance in 165 BC, Wen introduced recruitment to the civil service through examination. Previously, potential officials never sat for any sort of academic examinations. Their names were sent by local officials to the central government based on reputations and abilities, which were sometimes judged subjectively.Emperor Xuan of Han
Emperor Xuan of Han (91 BC – 10 January 49 BC), born Liu Bingyi (劉病已), later renamed to Liu Xun (劉詢), was an emperor of the Chinese Han dynasty from 74 to 49 BC. His life story was a riches-to-rags-to-riches story.
Emperor Xuan was the great grandson of Emperor Wu. His grandfather Liu Ju, was the son of Emperor Wu and Empress Wei and the crown prince of the Han Empire, who in 91 BC was framed for witchcraft practice against Emperor Wu and committed suicide after being forced into a failed uprising. His father Liu Jin (劉進) also died in that turmoil. Emperor Xuan was only an infant at the time and hence he was spared (but only barely) but was banished to live as a commoner.
After Emperor He's short reign of only 27 days in 74 BC, Xuan was declared emperor by Huo Guang (the half-brother of Huo Qubing). Emperor Xuan has been considered a hardworking and brilliant emperor. Because Xuan grew up as a commoner, he thoroughly understood the suffering of his people. He lowered taxes, liberalized the government and employed capable ministers to the government. He was said by Liu Xiang to have been fond of reading Shen Buhai, using Xing-Ming to control his subordinates and devoting much time to legal cases. Emperor Xuan was open to suggestions, was a good judge of character, and consolidated his power by eliminating corrupt officials, including the Huo family, which had exerted considerable power since the death of Emperor Wu, after Huo Guang's death. However, his execution of the entire Huo clan later drew heavy criticism from historians for its ungratefulness to Huo Guang. (e.g., Sima Guang in his Zizhi Tongjian.)
Under Emperor Xuan, the Han dynasty prospered economically and militarily. His rule lasted 25 years and he died in 49 BC. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Yuan.Gongsun Hong
Gongsun Hong (公孫弘; Wade–Giles: Kung-sun Hung; 200 – 121 BCE), born Kingdom of Lu, Zichuan (part of present-day Shandong province), was a Chinese statesman in the Western Han dynasty under Emperor Wu. Together with the more famous Confucian scholar Dong Zhongshu, Gongsun was one of the earliest proponents of Confucianism, setting in motion its emergence under the Han court. The ideals both promoted, together with Gongsun's decrees, would come to be seen as values-in-themselves, becoming the "basic elements, or even hallmarks" of Confucianism. While first proposed and more ardently promoted by Dong, the national academy (then considered radical) and Imperial examination did not come into existence until they were supported by the more successful Gongsun. Their establishment set a precedent that would last into the twentieth century.Beginning his political career at age sixty, Gongsun rapidly advanced from commoner to attain a senior appointment in 130BC when he was seventy, becoming grand secretary in 126 and chancellor in 124. One of the Three Dukes, in recognition of canonical mastery he was probably the first Han Confucian to be appointed to high office, the first commoner and first (and only, out of twelve of the time) Confucian to be made chancellor, as well as the first chancellor to be made marquis. He set a precedent for Confucianism as interpreter of portents.Han (state)
Han (Chinese: 韓, Old Chinese: *[g]ˤar) was an ancient Chinese state during the Warring States period of ancient China. It is conventionally romanized by scholars as Hann to distinguish it from the later Han Dynasty (漢).It was located in central China (modern-day Shanxi and Henan) in a region south and east of Luoyang, the capital of the Eastern Zhou. It was ruled by a royal family who were former ministers in the state of Jin that had slowly gained power from the Jin royal family until they were able to divide Jin into the three new states of Han, Wei and Zhao with the assistance of two other ministerial families.The state of Han was small and located in a mountainous and unprofitable region. Its territory directly blocked the passage of the state of Qin into the North China Plain.. Although Han had attempted to reform its governance (notably under Chancellor and "Legalist" Shen Buhai who improved state administration and strengthened its military ability) these reforms were not enough to defend itself and it was the first of the seven warring states to be conquered by Qin in 230 BC.Qin invasion of Han's Shangdang Commandery in 260 BC was the bloodiest battle of the Warring States period with the supposed death of 400 000 soldiers (at Changping).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.Huang–Lao
Huang–Lao or Huanglao (simplified Chinese: 黄老; traditional Chinese: 黃老; pinyin: Huáng-Lǎo; Wade–Giles: Huang-Lao; literally: 'Yellow [Emperor] Old [Master]') was the most influential Chinese school of thought in the early 2nd-century BCE Han dynasty, having its origins in a broader political-philosophical drive looking for solutions to strengthen the feudal order as depicted in Zhou propaganda. Not systematically explained by historiographer Sima Qian, it is generally interpreted as a school of syncretism, developing into a major religion - the beginnings of the religious Taoism.
Emphasizing the search for immortality, Feng Youlan and Herrlee Creel considered said religious Taoism to be different from if not contradictory to the more philosophical Zhuangzi strain of Taoism. Probably originating together around 300 BCE, the more politically dominant Huang–Lao denoted both for much of the Han. Highly favoured by superstitious rulers, it dominated the intellectual life of the Qin and early Han together with "Chinese Legalism", and the term Taoism (dao-jia) was probably coined with Huang–Lao and Zhuangzi content in mind.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.List of Chinese philosophers
This article is a list of Chinese philosophers.List of Chinese writers
This is a list of Chinese writers.Rectification of names
Rectification of Names (Chinese: 正 名; pinyin: Zhèngmíng; Wade–Giles: Cheng-ming). Confucius was asked what he would do if he was a governor. He said he would "rectify the names" to make words correspond to reality. The phrase has now become known as a doctrine of feudal Confucian designations and relationships, behaving accordingly to ensure social harmony. Without such accordance society would essentially crumble and "undertakings would not be completed." Mencius extended the doctrine to include questions of political legitimacy.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.Shenzi
Shenzi may refer to:
Shen Buhai, Chinese philosopher, or his lost work Chinese: 申子; pinyin: Shēnzi
Shen Dao, Chinese philosopher, or his lost work Chinese: 慎子; pinyin: Shènzi
Shenzi (The Lion King), a hyena character from Disney's The Lion KingWei Liaozi
The Wei Liaozi (simplified Chinese: 尉缭子; traditional Chinese: 尉繚子; pinyin: Wèi Liáozi) is a text on military strategy, one of the Seven Military Classics of ancient China. It was written during the Warring States period.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."Xun Kuang
Xun Kuang (; Chinese: 荀況; pinyin: Xún Kuàng [ɕy̌n kʰwâŋ]; c. 310 – c. 235 BC, alt. c. 314 – c. 217 BC), also widely known as Xunzi (; Chinese: 荀子; pinyin: Xúnzǐ; Wade–Giles: Hsün-tzu, "Master Xun"), was a Chinese Confucian philosopher who lived during the Warring States period and contributed to the Hundred Schools of Thought. A book known as the Xunzi is traditionally attributed to him. His works survive in an excellent condition, and were a major influence in forming the official state doctrines of the Han dynasty, but his influence waned during the Tang dynasty relative to that of Mencius.Xunzi discusses figures ranging from Confucius, Mencius, and Zhuangzi, to Linguists Mozi, Hui Shi and Gongsun Long and "Legalists" Shen Buhai and Shen Dao. He mentions Laozi as a figure for the first time in early Chinese history, and makes use of Taoist terminology, though rejecting their doctrine.Zhang Yi (Warring States period)
Zhang Yi (before 329 BC – 309 BC) was born in the Wei state during the Warring States period of Chinese history. He was an important strategist in helping Qin to dissolve the unity of the other states, and hence pave the way for Qin to unify China. He was an advocate of horizontal alliance, unlike Su Qin; both were adherents of the School of Diplomacy.Zhuge Liang
Zhuge Liang (pronunciation in Standard Mandarin: [ʈʂú.kɤ̀ ljâŋ] (listen); 181–234), courtesy name Kongming, was a Chinese politician, military strategist, writer, engineer and inventor. He served as the chancellor and regent of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He is recognised as the most accomplished strategist of his era, and has been compared to Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War. His reputation as an intelligent and learned scholar grew even while he was living in relative seclusion, earning him the nickname "Wolong" or "Fulong", meaning "Crouching Dragon" or "Sleeping Dragon". Zhuge Liang is often depicted wearing a Taoist robe and holding a hand fan made of crane feathers.Zhuge Liang was a Confucian-oriented "Legalist". He liked to compare himself to the sage minister Guan Zhong, developing Shu's agriculture and industry to become a regional power. and attached great importance to the works of Shen Buhai and Han Fei, refusing to indulge local elites and adopting strict, but fair and clear laws. In remembrance of his governance, local people maintained shrines to him for ages.Zhuge is an uncommon two-character Chinese compound family name. His name – even his surname alone – has become synonymous with loyalty, intelligence and strategy in Chinese culture. In 760, when Emperor Suzong of the Tang dynasty built a temple to honour Jiang Ziya, he had sculptures of Zhuge Liang and another nine famous historical military generals/strategists – Bai Qi, Han Xin, Li Jing, Li Shiji, Zhang Liang, Tian Rangju, Sun Tzu, Wu Qi and Yue Yi – placed in the temple flanking Jiang Ziya's statue.
|Hanyu Pinyin||Shēn Huangdi|
|Yale Romanization||Sān Bāt-hoih|
|Baxter–Sagart (2014)||*l̥i[n] pə m-kˤat-s|