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  1.  24
    Han Fei on the Problem of Morality.Eirik Lang Harris - 2013 - In Paul R. Goldin (ed.), Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Han Fei. Springer.
    In much of pre-Qin political philosophy, including those thinkers usually labeled Confucian, Daoist, or Mohist, at least part of the justification of the political state comes from their views on morality, and the vision of the good ruler was quite closely tied to the vision of the good person. In an important sense, for these thinkers, political philosophy is an exercise in applied ethics. Han Fei, however, offers an interesting break from this tradition, arguing that, given the vastly different goals (...)
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  2.  48
    Is the Law in the Way? On the Source of Han Fei's Laws.Eirik Lang Harris - 2011 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38 (1):73-87.
    In this paper, I analyze the ‘Da ti’ chapter of the Han Feizi 韓非子. This chapter is often read as one of the so-called Daoist Chapters of text. However, a deeper study of this chapter allows us to see that, while Daoist terminology is employed, it is done so in a way that is certainly not reminiscent of either the Zhuangzi 莊子 or the Laozi 老子. Neither, though, does it have quite the flavor of other chapters in the Han Feizi (...)
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  3.  13
    Mohist Naturalism.Eirik Lang Harris - 2020 - Philosophical Forum 51 (1):17-31.
    In this paper, I wish to examine the plausibility of two distinct but interrelated claims that might arise out of reading the Mozi . First, I want to examine the plausibility of understanding Mohist philosophy as quite naturalistic, notwithstanding the Mozi’s apparent discussion of a Heaven (tian 天) that has desires, likes, and dislikes and ghosts and spirits who do Heaven’s bidding. In this vein, I wonder if the Mohists think that it is simply a fact of the universe that (...)
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  4.  31
    The Shenzi Fragments: A Philosophical Analysis and Translation.Eirik Lang Harris - 2016 - New York: Columbia University Press.
    The Shenzi Fragments is the first complete translation in any Western language of the extant work of Shen Dao (350–275 B.C.E.). Though his writings have been recounted and interpreted in many texts, particularly in the work of Xunzi and Han Fei, very few Western scholars have encountered the political philosopher's original, influential formulations. This volume contains both a translation and an analysis of the Shenzi Fragments. It explains their distillation of the potent political theories circulating in China during the Warring (...)
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  5.  64
    The Role of Virtue in Xunzi’s 荀子 Political Philosophy.Eirik Lang Harris - 2013 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (1):93-110.
    Although there has been a resurgence of interest in virtue ethics, there has been little work done on how this translates into the political sphere. This essay demonstrates that the Confucian thinker Xunzi offers a model of virtue politics that is both interesting in its own right and potentially useful for scholars attempting to develop virtue ethics into virtue politics more generally. I present Xunzi’s version of virtue politics and discuss challenges to this version of virtue politics that are raised (...)
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  6.  9
    Afterthought—Contextualizing and Looking Forward.Eirik Lang Harris - 2020 - Philosophical Forum 51 (1):81-87.
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  7.  37
    Constraining the Ruler: On Escaping Han Fei's Criticism of Confucian Virtue Politics.Eirik Lang Harris - 2013 - Asian Philosophy 23 (1):43-61.
    One of Han Fei’s most trenchant criticisms against the early Confucian political tradition is that, insofar as its decision-making process revolves around the ruler, rather than a codified set of laws, this process is the arbitrary rule of a single individual. Han Fei argues that there will be disastrous results due to ad hoc decision-making, relationship-based decision-making, and decision-making based on prior moral commitments. I lay out Han Fei’s arguments while demonstrating how Xunzi can successfully counter them. In doing so, (...)
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  8.  61
    Legalism: Introducing a Concept and Analyzing Aspects of Han Fei's Political Philosophy.Eirik Lang Harris - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (3):155-164.
    ‘Legalism’ is a term that has long been used to categorize a group of early Chinese philosophers including, but not limited to, Han Fei (Han Feizi), Shen Dao, Shen Buhai, and Shang Yang. However, the usefulness of this term has been contested for nearly as long. This essay has the goal of introducing the idea of ‘Legalism’ and laying out aspects of the political thought of Han Fei, the most prominent of these thinkers. In this essay, I first lay out (...)
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  9.  14
    Xunzi on the Role of the Military in a Well-Ordered State.Eirik Lang Harris - 2019 - Journal of Military Ethics 18 (1):48-64.
    Chapter 15 of the Xunzi stands as the most comprehensive account of the early Confucian analysis of warfare. Unlike a range of other early, non-Confucian discussions on warfare, particular strategies and tactics are taken to be of secondary importance. Thus, Xunzi refuses to discuss practical military strategy without framing it within a much broader ethical, social, and political context. On his account, a well-ordered, flourishing state necessarily rests upon a particular set of rituals and social norms in which people can (...)
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  10. Morality in Politics: Panacea or Poison?Eirik Lang Harris - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Utah
    In the Western philosophic tradition, virtue theory has rarely been extended to the political realm. There is a long tradition that advocates the role of virtue in ethical theory, but the implications of this tradition for political theory have largely been neglected. However, in the Chinese tradition, we very early on see the use of virtue-based theories not only in ethics but in political thought as well. Indeed, one of the most sophisticated early Confucian philosophers, Xúnzǐ 荀子 (fl. 298–238 BCE), (...)
     
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  11.  45
    Aspects of Shen Dao's Political Philosophy.Eirik Lang Harris - 2015 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (2):217-234.
    Even among those who work in the field of early Chinese philosophy,the name Shen Dao (慎到, ca. 360–285 BCe) rarely calls to mind much of interest, and what it does call up are often simply depictions of him in several of the more famous texts of the time: in the Han Feizi as an advocate of positional power; in the Xunzi as being blinded by a focus on laws; or in the Zhuangzi as one who wished to discard knowledge. Few (...)
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  12.  20
    Owen Flanagan, The Geography of Morals: Varieties of Moral Possibility , Pp. X + 362. [REVIEW]Eirik Lang Harris - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (3):379-382.
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  13.  18
    Which Teacher Should I Choose?: A Xunzian Approach to Distinguishing Moral Experts From Fanatics.Eirik Lang Harris - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):463-480.
    This essay examines whether an invocation of an epistemological privilege on the part of supposed moral experts prevents potential students from being able to evaluate among potential candidates for the role of plausible moral teacher. Throughout, it works to demonstrate that it is possible for even the untutored student to distinguish between a fanatic and a moral expert. In particular, this essay focuses on the version of virtue ethics espoused by the early Chinese philosopher Xunzi. It argues that by reflecting (...)
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  14.  17
    The Nature of the Virtues in Light of the Early Confucian Tradition".Eirik Lang Harris - 2010 - In Julia Tao, Philip J. Ivanhoe & Kam-por Yu (eds.), Taking Confucian Ethics Seriously: Contemporary Theories and Applications. Suny Press.
    In this paper, I take a prominent and plausible conception of virtues from the Western tradition, apply it to some early Confucian texts, and see where it succeeds and fails. In this way, I hope to be able to show how this conception of virtues needs to be revised. The particular conception of virtues I am starting with is one of virtues as correctives that was made prominent by Philippa Foot in her paper “Virtues and Vices.” On Foot’s account, “the (...)
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  15.  14
    Cline, Erin M., Confucius, Rawls and the Sense of Justice: New York: Fordham University Press, 2013, Xiii + 354 Pages. [REVIEW]Eirik Lang Harris - 2015 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (3):455-458.
  16.  4
    Early Chinese Political Thought as Conversation: A Review of Bai, Tongdong, China: The Political Philosophy of the Middle Kingdom. [REVIEW]Eirik Lang Harris - 2013 - China Review International 20 (1-2):1-7.
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