Similarities Between Hanfeizi And Confucius

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By following these theories, it is clear that both are in direct conflict with one another. In regard to the nature of man, this is obvious, with Confucius writing on inherent goodness and Han Feizi writing and agreeing on the opposite. This leads to some interesting situations, particularly for the societies which would aim to adopt each philosophy. However, both did agree that order was necessary and through the state order can be achieved. Confucius thought emphasized this in The Doctrine of Learning by stating that “the ancients who wished to manifest their clear character to the world would first bring order to their states” (Chan p. 86). While this order is brought through personal rectification and inward reflection beginning with the…show more content…
While Confucius would emphasize the good of the old sage-kings, Han Feizi emphasized that it was not virtue that allowed any sage-king (which the Legalists hardly believed in to begin with) but rather a combination of “timeliness of seasons, the hearts of the people, skills and talents, and position of power” (Chan p. 254). Without these attributes, no amount of virtue can resolve disorder. Legalists, rather than focus on resolving disorder with virtue and filial piety, would therefore look at a leader’s ability to enact law and enforce statecraft. Han Feizi writes “if the ruler has no statecraft, he will be ruined . . . if ministers are without laws, they will become rebellious. Neither of these can be dispensed with” (Chan p. 255). Herein lies the ultimate departure from Confucianism, and the reason Legalists deem such thought unforgiveable. Whereas Confucius would emphasize that the goal of the state would be the removal of litigations entirely, Legalists pursue the notion that law is necessary at all times (Chan p. 88). Fundamental opposition prevents many comparisons between the two schools, with the differences far outweighing the
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