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Religions 2018, 9(12), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120378

Explorations in Authority in the Daodejing: A Daoist Engagement with Hannah Arendt

School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekou Outer St, BeiTaiPingZhuang, Haidian Qu, Beijing 100875, China
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 11 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
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Abstract

The present study is an attempt to liberate the thought of the Daodejing from the constraints imposed on it by both traditional Confucian exegesis and modern Western sinological methodologies in the effort to engage the thought of the work more directly. Because the language and thought of the Daodejing are somehow oddly foreign to the Western traditions of analytic philosophy and sinology, this study attempts to make the Daodejing more familiar by recourse to the tradition of continental philosophy, in this case by taking recourse to Hannah Arendt and in particular to her seminal essay on authority. Engaging Arendt’s understanding of authority, this study offers a new look at the thought of the Daodejing by discussing issues that lie at the heart of its political vision, including natural versus political authority, power and coercion, and the relation between authority, tradition, and religion. This study also attempts to situate the fate of the Daodejing’s conception of authority in Chinese political history, and it concludes with a brief look at the contemporary comparative philosophical project that brings the Daodejing into conversation with continental philosophy. View Full-Text
Keywords: Laozi Daodejing; Hannah Arendt; authority Laozi Daodejing; Hannah Arendt; authority
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Michael, T. Explorations in Authority in the Daodejing: A Daoist Engagement with Hannah Arendt. Religions 2018, 9, 378.

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