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The Cons of Legalism Lindsey Saunders, Kermit LeBlanc, and Ember DiSpirito.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cons of Legalism Lindsey Saunders, Kermit LeBlanc, and Ember DiSpirito."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cons of Legalism Lindsey Saunders, Kermit LeBlanc, and Ember DiSpirito

2 Who was the founder of Legalism?  Hanfeizi(280-233 B.C.E)  Hanfeizi was the prince of the Han dynasty, and according to him, “the nature of man is evil. His goodness is acquired.”  Hanfeizi also believed that helping the poor was “robbing the diligent and frugal and

3 What Is Legalism?  In a Legalist government, a ruler focused on making his state strong by using a system of harsh punishments and rewards regulated through law and strict, swift enforcement.  Legalist rulers believed that this would guarantee good behavior by instilling fear in his people.

4 Legalism and Education  The Legalist school discouraged all other callings, especially those of the scholar, and saw farming and military as the only two productive occupations.  Ex: The Legalist school’s most notorious achievement was the law dictating the burning of all books.

5 Legalism and Education- Continued  We disagree with Legalist views on education because farming and military are not the only things important to run a good empire. If there are no scholars and no people pursuing other careers, there would be no doctors and no advisers. Therefore, your state may not be that powerful because you would lack the knowledge that other empires may have.  Also, by discouraging learning, you’re taking away the right for a person to pursue other occupations.

6 Punishments Under Legalism  Legalist rulers believed in swift, harsh punishments.  Punishments were enforced by law WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS.

7 Punishments: UNFAIR!  If punishments are too swift or harsh, people may begin to think that the punishments are unjust, and therefore rebel anyway.  There were no guidelines in which to carry out punishments, and without any, things could get out of hand.

8 Refuting the Pros  The opposing side may say that by instilling fear in others, you are ensuring order and creating a strong government, BUT if your punishments are too strict, people may begin to fear you so much that they decide to leave and relocate somewhere else where they feel safe.  Even though you may give good citizens rewards, it may not be enough to make them feel comfortable with your government.

9 Good Government, Or Not?  The opposing side may also say that Legalism gives a state a strong government, but Hanfeizi said:”The ruler should trust neither the people nor his aides, neither his kin nor his closest friends.”  This is revealing because as a minister, Hanfeizi is saying that he himself cannot be trusted. This ultimately led to his death.  Also, how can a government be a good government if your own ruler is saying that he cannot be trusted? If he does not confide in his advisors, he may make bad decisions, which may weaken your government.

10 What Would Legalism Be Like Today?  If Legalism still existed today, there would be no fair trials for crimes, and therefore if you were accused of an act you didn’t do, you would be wrongly punished for it.  Also, you would not be able to pursue the career of your choice: you would basically have to choose between farming and the military.

11 Conclusion  Legalism carried out harsh and swift punishments. Some may have been too harsh and we believe that people would leave out of fear.  Hanfeizi said that all people were untrustworthy, (which included himself), which led to his death.  Legalist rulers abolished the idea of pursuing careers besides farming and military.

12 Sources:  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/to pic/253934/Han-Feizi http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/to pic/253934/Han-Feizi http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/to pic/253934/Han-Feizi  http://www.humanistictexts.org/hanfeitzu. htm http://www.humanistictexts.org/hanfeitzu. htm http://www.humanistictexts.org/hanfeitzu. htm  http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_ civ_reader/world_civ_reader_1/hanfeitzu. html http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_ civ_reader/world_civ_reader_1/hanfeitzu. html http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_ civ_reader/world_civ_reader_1/hanfeitzu. html


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