Han Feizi: Basic Writings

By Han Feizi; Burton Watson | Go to book overview

EMINENCE IN LEARNING

(Section 50)

In the present age, the Confucians and Mohists are well known for their learning. The Confucians pay the highest honor to Confucius, the Mohists to Mozi. Since the death of Confucius, the Zizhang School, the Zisi School, the Yan Family School, the Meng Family School, the Qidiao Family School, the Zhongliang Family School, the Sun Family School, and the Yuezheng Family School have appeared. Since the death of Mozi, the Xiangli Family School, the Xiangfu Family School, and the Dengling Family School have appeared. Thus, since the death of its founder, the Confucian school has split into eight factions, and the Mohist school into three. Their doctrines and practices are different or even contradictory, and yet each claims to represent the true teaching of Confucius and Mozi. But since we cannot call Confucius and Mozi back to life, who is to decide which of the present versions of the doctrine is the right one?

Confucius and Mozi both followed the ways of Yao and Shun, and though their practices differed, each claimed to be following the real Yao and Shun.1 But since we cannot call Yao and

1Judging from the Analects, Confucius himself had little to say about the ancient sage rulers Yao and Shun, and the few references to them may well be later insertions in the text. But Confucian scholars of late Zhou times paid great honor to Yao and Shun and compiled the “Canon of Yao,” the first section of the Book of Documents, as a record of their lives.

-119-

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Han Feizi: Basic Writings
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Outline of Early Chinese History vi
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • The Way of the Ruler 15
  • On Having Standards 21
  • The Two Handles 29
  • Wielding Power 1 35
  • The Eight Villainies 43
  • The Ten Faults 49
  • The Difficulties of Persuasion 1 73
  • Mr. He 81
  • Precautions within the Palace 85
  • In Facing South 1 91
  • The Five Vermin 97
  • Eminence in Learning 119
  • Index 131
  • Other Works in the Columbia Asian Studies Series 139
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