An Analysis of “Emotion, Reason and Law” in Chinese Traditional Legal Culture

Boyang Li


Characteristics of the ancient Chinese law could be well summarized by the three words of “Emotion (Qing), Reason (Li) and Law (Fa)” which have formed the core spirit of the traditional Chinese legal culture. This paper is intend to clarify the relationship between the three words and consider that concepts of emotion, reason, and law are not independent but a union, showing different sides of the same procedure. Meanwhile, the dynamics of these three concepts form a more generalized concept of “law” in which “emotion (Qing)” is the basis and reason; “reason (Li)” represents the actual social norms and “law (Fa)” is the method to maintain social order.

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