Xunzi and Han Fei on Human Nature

International Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2):135-148 (2012)
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It is commonly accepted that Han Fei studied under Xunzi sometime during the late third century BCE. However, there is surprisingly little dedicated to the in-depth study of the relationship between Xunzi’s ideas and one of his best-known followers. In this essay I argue that Han Fei’s notion of xing, commonly translated as human nature, was not only influenced by Xunzi but also that it is an important feature of his political philosophy.

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Alejandro Bárcenas
Texas State University


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