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Envisioning Eternal EmpireChinese Political Thought of the Warring States Era$
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Yuri Pines

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832759

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832759.001.0001

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An Omnipotent Rubber Stamp

An Omnipotent Rubber Stamp

(p.82) Chapter 4 An Omnipotent Rubber Stamp
Envisioning Eternal Empire

Yuri Pines

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents how the late Zhanguo thinkers made painstaking efforts to find a more practical solution to the inherent conflict between their ideals and gloomy reality. The answer was to limit the ruler's direct involvement in policy-making while retaining the symbolic importance of his position. The chapter examines two major late Zhanguo thinkers—Xunzi and Han Feizi—to trace the ways in which this bifurcation between the symbolic and practical aspects of the rulers' power occurred. The writings of both may be considered the apex of Zhanguo political thought. Hence, each of the two contributed decisively toward shaping the imperial political culture.

Keywords:   Zhanguo thinkers, Xunzi, Han Feizi, Zhanguo political thought, imperial political culture

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