Governing Through the Dao: A Non-Anarchistic Interpretation of the Laozi
- Alex Feldt
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Within the literature, Daoist political philosophy has often been linked with anarchism. While some extended arguments have been offered in favor of this conclusion, I take this position to be tenuous and predicated on an assumption that coercive authority cannot be applied through wuwei. Focusing on the Laozi as the fundamental political text of classical Daoism, I lay out a general account of why one ought to be skeptical of classifying it as anarchistic. Keeping this skepticism in mind and recognizing the importance of wuwei in arguments for the anarchist conclusion, I provide a non-anarchistic interpretation of wuwei as a political technique that is consistent with the text of the Laozi. Having presented a plausible alternative to the anarchist understanding of wuwei, I close my discussion with a brief sketch of a positive account of the political theory of the Laozi.
- Ames, Roger T. 1983. “Is Political Taoism Anarchism?” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 10.1: 27–47. CrossRef
- _____. 1994. The Art of Rulership: A Study of Ancient Chinese Political Thought. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
- _____. 1998. “Introduction.” In Wandering at Ease in the Zhuangzi. Edited by Roger T. Ames. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
- Ames, Roger T., and David Hall, trans. 2003. Daodejing – “Making this Life Significant”: A Philosophical Translation. New York: Ballantine Books.
- Bender, Fredric. 1983. “Taoism and Western Anarchism.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 10.1: 5–26. CrossRef
- Cheng, Chung-Ying. 1983. “Introduction.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 10.1: 1–4. CrossRef
- Clark, John, P. 1978. “What is Anarchism?” In Pennock and Chapman 1978.
- _____. 1983. “On Taoism and Politics.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 10.1: 65–88. CrossRef
- Clarke, John J. 1999. “Taoist Politics: An Other Way?” In Border Crossings: Towards a Comparative Political Theory. Edited by Fred Dallmayr, 253–276. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
- _____. 2000. The Tao of the West: Western Transformations of Taoist Thought. London: Routledge.
- Creel, Herrlee G. 1970. What Is Taoism?: And Other Studies in Chinese Cultural History. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- De George, Richard T. 1995. “Anarchism.” In The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Edited by Ted Honderich, 30–31. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Graham, A.C. 1989. Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China. Chicago, IL: Open Court.
- Guo, Xuezhi. 2002. The Ideal Chinese Political Leader: A Historical and Cultural Perspective. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Hsiao, Kung-Chuan. 1979. A History of Chinese Political Thought, Vol. 1. Translated by F.W. Mote. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Lai, Karyn. 2006. Learning from Chinese Philosophies: Ethics of Interdependent and Contextualized Self. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
- Lau, D.C., trans. 1963. Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching. New York: Penguin.
- Marshall, Peter. 1992. Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism. New York: Harper Collins.
- McLaughlin, Paul. 2007. Anarchism and Authority: A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
- Miller, David. 1984. Anarchism. London: Dent.
- Moeller, Hans-Georg. 2004. Daoism Explained: From the Dream of the Butterfly to the Fishnet Allegory. Chicago, IL: Open Court.
- Nozick, Robert. 1974. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.
- Pennock, J. Roland, and John W. Chapman, eds. 1978. Anarchism: Nomos XIX. New York: New York University Press.
- Rapp, John A. 1998. “Daoism and Anarchism Reconsidered.” Anarchist Studies 6.2: 123–151.
- Schwartz, Benjamin I. 1985. The World and Thought in Ancient China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Seidel, Anna. 1989–1990. “Chronicle of Taoist Studies 1950–1980.” Cahier d’Extrême Asie 5: 273–278.
- Slingerland, Edward. 2003. Effortless Action: Wu-Wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Sylvan, Richard. 2007. “Anarchism.” In A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, 2nd edition, Vol. 1. Edited by Robert E. Goodin, Philip Pettit, and Thomas Pogge, 257–281. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Verellen, Franciscus. 1995. “Taoism.” Journal of Asian Studies 54.2: 322–346. CrossRef
- Governing Through the Dao: A Non-Anarchistic Interpretation of the Laozi
Volume 9, Issue 3 , pp 323-337
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Classical Daoism
- Political philosophy
- Alex Feldt (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of Oklahoma, 455 W. Lindsey, Room 605, Norman, OK, 73019, USA