This article argues that Shang Yang’s philosophy of law was not only a means to enrich the state and strengthen its army, but also envisioned the orderly rule of all All-under-Heaven. Through a fair, universal, and reliable use of rewards, punishments, and also teaching, this vision of laws could ultimately lead to the promotion of moral values, popular consensus, and people’s self-governance. While the authors admit that in Shang Yang’s own historical context, law was no more than a tool used by the ruler to suppress his people, potentially his ideas could contribute to a future Chinese society fully ruled by law and morality, and inspired by the rule of law.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.
Translation of: 吴保平, 林存光. 商鞅之“法”的政治哲学反思——兼论法治的功能、价值和精神