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Reading: Instrumentalisation of Passions, Social Regulation and Transcendence of Power in the Hanfeizi

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Instrumentalisation of Passions, Social Regulation and Transcendence of Power in the Hanfeizi

Author:

Albert Galvany

Abstract

basic aim of this article is to present, albeit it schematically, some of the fundamental elements upon which the political and philosophical proposal of the Hanfeizi, one of the most important texts of pre-Imperial China, is based. This ancient text is especially evocative for philosophy in that it constitutes a real exception in classical political theory. Whereas the principal socio-political proposals, which were to a greater or lesser extent utopian, put forward by both Western and Chinese philosophers, consider that the greatest obstacle to achieving these projects lies in the passionate nature of humans, the work traditionally attributed to Han Fei defends the idea that an ordered social body is only possible thanks precisely to that passionate side. Using this core argument as a basis, the article will not only try to clarify the specific way in which this unique ideological system is legitimised and organised, but also endeavours to show the common ideological links between the authoritarian conception of the Hanfeizi and some of the more essential aspects of economic liberalism as presented in the work of Adam Smith.

How to Cite: Galvany, A., (2008). Instrumentalisation of Passions, Social Regulation and Transcendence of Power in the Hanfeizi. Digithum. (10). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i10.512
Published on 28 Maig 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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