Han Fei

280 BC - 232 BC

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Icon of person Han Fei

Han Fei (; traditional Chinese: 韓非; simplified Chinese: 韩非; pinyin: Hán Fēi; c. 280 – 233 BC), also known as Han Fei Zi, was a Chinese philosopher or statesman of the "Legalist" (Fajia) school during the Warring States period, and a prince of the state of Han.Han Fei is often considered to be the greatest representative of "Chinese Legalism" for his eponymous work the Han Feizi, synthesizing the methods of his predecessors. Han Fei's ideas are sometimes compared with those of Niccolò Machiavelli, author of The Prince. It is said that Shu Han's chancellor Zhuge Liang demanded emperor Liu Shan read Han Feizi to learn about governance.Sima Qian recounts that Qin Shi Huang even went to war with the neighboring state of Han to obtain an audience with Han Fei, but was ultimately convinced to imprison him, whereupon he commits suicide. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Han Fei has received more than 418,473 page views. His biography is available in 49 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 47 in 2019). Han Fei is the 183rd most popular philosopher (down from 161st in 2019), the 67th most popular biography from China (down from 60th in 2019) and the 9th most popular Chinese Philosopher.

Han Fei is most famous for his philosophy of Legalism, which advocates strict adherence to the law and harsh punishment for those who disobey.

Memorability Metrics

  • 420k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 76.35

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 49

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 7.17

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.93

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Han Feis by language


Among philosophers, Han Fei ranks 183 out of 1,089Before him are George Herbert Mead, Max Stirner, Pierre Bayle, Julien Offray de La Mettrie, Sextus Empiricus, and Alcuin. After him are Posidonius, John Venn, Karl Kautsky, Anaximenes of Miletus, José Ortega y Gasset, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

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Among people born in 280 BC, Han Fei ranks 1After him are Li Si, Livius Andronicus, Philo of Byzantium, Arsaces I of Parthia, Conon of Samos, Pyrrhus II of Epirus, and Ariamnes of Cappadocia. Among people deceased in 232 BC, Han Fei ranks 2Before him is Ashoka. After him is Cleanthes.

Others Born in 280 BC

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Others Deceased in 232 BC

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In China

Among people born in China, Han Fei ranks 67 out of 1,186Before him are Emperor Yao (-2324), Mahmud al-Kashgari (1029), Wanli Emperor (1563), Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (685), Jiang Qing (1914), and Emperor Gaozong of Tang (628). After him are Jet Li (1963), 5th Dalai Lama (1617), Sun Ce (175), Hua Guofeng (1921), Xianfeng Emperor (1831), and Xun Kuang (-313).


Among philosophers born in China, Han Fei ranks 9Before him are Sun Tzu (-543), Mencius (-372), Zhuang Zhou (-369), Zhu Xi (1130), Mozi (-470), and Padmasambhava (717). After him are Xun Kuang (-313), Milarepa (1052), Shen Kuo (1031), Huineng (638), Wang Yangming (1472), and Han Yu (768).