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Chinese Literature
Legalist Treatises (fajia lei 法家類)


The Four Categories of Literature
Legalist Treatises (fajia lei 法家類) is a subcategory in traditional Chinese bibliographies and part of the category of Masters and Philosophers (zibu 子部). Although the Confucians always despised the legalists because of their non-moral methods to create stability in state and society, the teachings of the legalists had a deep impact on the practical administration of the Chinese empires. Therefore the legalist writings have always been granted an own category. The compilers of the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 included 8 legalist books, of which not all are really representing a pure legalist attitude. The most important of these books are the Guanzi 管子, Shangjunshu 商君書 and Hanfeizi 韓非子.

書名 Title Author(s)
管子 Guanzi (Zhou) 管仲 Guan Zhong (?)
鄧析子 (鄧子) Dengxizi (Dengzi) (Zhou) 鄧析 Deng Xi
商君書 (商子) Shangjunshu (Shangzi) (Zhou) 商鞅 Shang Yang (?)
韓非子 (韓子) Hanfeizi (Hanzi) (Zhou) 韓非 Han Fei
申子 * Shenzi (Zhou) 申不害 Shen Buhai
慎子 ShenziMiscellaneous treatises (Zhou) 慎到 Shen Dao
晁氏新書 * Chaoshi xinshu (Han) 晁錯 Chao Cuo
崔氏政論 * Cuishi zhenglun (Han) 崔寔 Cui Shi
世要論 * Shiyaolun (Cao-Wei) 桓範 Han Fan

* not included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, the catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目題要, nor the Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書

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