The Book of Lord Shang .. A Classic of the Chinese School of Law

A. Probsthain (1963)
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Abstract

Reprint of Volume XVII in Probsthain's Oriental Series. With a Chinese index and an index of names and references. The Book of Lord Shang was probably compiled sometime between 359 and 338 BCE. Along with the Han Fei-Tzu, it is one of the two principal sources of Legalism, a school of Chinese political thought. Legalism asserts that human behavior must be controlled through written law rather than through ritual, custom or ethics because people are innately selfish and ignorant. The law is not effective when it is based on goodness or virtue; it is effective when it compels obedience. This is essential to preserve the stability of the State. Roscoe Pound recommended this book for the study of old Chinese law in Outlines of Lectures on Jurisprudence 235.

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