The Laozi and Anarchism

Asian Philosophy 24 (3):260-278 (2014)
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Abstract

In this article I will discuss the anarchist and non-anarchist interpretations of the Laozi and argue that the political philosophy of the Laozi does not completely conform to Western anarchism. Thus, firstly I will give a brief introduction to Western anarchism. Then I will present the strongest arguments of the anarchist interpretation and try to find their mistakes and refute them. Finally I will try to give an acceptable non-anarchist interpretation of the political philosophy of the Laozi. In doing steps 2 and 3, I will base my arguments in a way that is consistent with the text of the Laozi itself. Thus, I hope that this article will bring a deeper understanding of the political philosophy of the Laozi and break with the widely spread opinion that the Laozi propounds an anarchist theory

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