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Abstract

This paper loosely draws some parallels between the experience of a subject in a so-called “Legalist” state with that of a contemporary student in Western schooling today. I explore how governance in the Book of Lord Shang and the Hanfeizi can be interpreted as pedagogy. Defining pedagogy in a relatively broad sense, I investigate the rationalizations for the existence of the state, the application of state mechanisms, and even the concentration of the ruler’s power all teach subjects habits, attitudes, and sensibilities in a similar fashion to what Philip Jackson called the “hidden curriculum”. Through his framework of “crowds, praise, and power” this paper will explore how governance teaches and what those subjected to it learn. This study also attempts to provide some insight into the usefulness of approaching “Legalist” texts with a positive sociological lens.

DOI

10.31979/2151-6014(2018).090206

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