Han Fei - Chinese philosopher

Han Fei

Han Fei, also known as Han Fei Zi, is an Chinese Philosopher. He is a statesman of legalist school during the Warring States period. He was the prince of the states of Han. Han Fei is considered to be greatest representative of Chinese Legalism. His ideas are sometimes compared with Machiavelli. Emperor Lui Shan even read Han Feizi for learning the way of ruling. Han Feizi is used to denote the book written by him. Sima Qian recounts first emperor Han Fei’s works. Han Fei’s Political Theory & concept of Legalism strongly influenced every

Early Life

Han Fei’s exact birth remains unknown. However, Scholars have found that he was born around 280 BCE. Unlike other philosophers, He was the member of ruling aristocracy. He was born in the ruling family of States of Han. He studied together with future Qin chancellor Li Si under the Confucian philosopher Xunzi. Because of shyness, Fei could not properly present his ideas in court. And, this led to his advice being rejected several time. But, seeing decline of Han state, he developed brilliant writing style .

Sima Qian’s Portray of Han Fei

Fei was a prince of Han, in favor of the study of name/form & law/art, which has root in the Huang-Lao philosophy. He was born a stutterer and was not able to dispute wel. Together with his friend, Li Si, he served Xun Qing. Moreover, Si himself admitted that he was not as competent as Fei. Thereafter, Seeing Han on the decline, he often remonstrated with the king of Han by submitting papers.

Unfortunately, the king did not agree to employ him. At this, Fei was frustrated with the reality.

Problem indicated by Han Fei

In governing a state, the king did not endeavour to refine & clarify the juridical system of state. Also, to control his subjects by taking over power. As well as, to enhance state property & defence or to call & employ the wise by enhancing the state. Rather, king employs corrupted & treacherous to higher posts. While the state was in peace, the king liked to patronize the honoured. Eventually, King killed himself in Qin after several papers submitted by Fei.

Relationship with King Ying Zheng

After Suicide of former King, King Ying Zheng takeover as Emperor. Ultimately, his papers ended up in his hand & to which he commented. If I can make friends with this person, I may die without regrets. Han Fei presented the essay Preserving the Han to ask the king not to attack his homeland.


Though, his ex-friend & rival Li Si (jealous of Han Fei), used that essay to have Fei imprisoned. Fei responded by writing another essay named In the first time of meeting Qin king. Somehow, Han Fei convinced the king, but not before Li Si forced him to commit suicide by drinking poison.

What we can learn From Han Fei

To raise your voice & make a stand no matter what situation is.

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