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  1.  40
    Making Sense of Sorai: How to Deal with the Contradictions in Ogy Sorai's Political Theory.Olivier Ansart - 2009 - Asian Philosophy 19 (1):11 – 30.
    To understand the political theory—and especially its alleged modernity—of Ogyumacr Sorai, one of the most important philosophers of Tokugawa Japan, we need to understand the pivotal role that heaven, gods and spirits play in this theory. This is no easy task. This article will start with an analysis of the reasons of this difficulty: the numerous tensions and contradictions found in Sorai's remarks on the subject. Refusing to ignore one side of the story, refusing (...)
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  2.  66
    Kaiho Seiry on 'What It is to Be a Human Being'.Olivier Ansart - 2006 - Asian Philosophy 16 (1):65 – 86.
    Kaiho Seiry (1755-1817) is probably the first Japanese thinker to proclaim the contractual nature of human relationships. I examine in this paper the view of human beings that led him to this conclusion. Giving up previous definitions of humans, Seiry focuses on the faculty of practical reason. While this leads him to recognize a hierarchy of humans, some having more humanity than others, it also allows him to develop the most modern understanding of social relationship available in his time. His (...)
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    The Happiness of the Wicked: How Tokugawa Thinkers Dealt with the Problem.Olivier Ansart - 2012 - Asian Philosophy 22 (2):161-175.
    Phenomena like the happiness of the wicked or the misfortune of the worthies were for Confucian thinkers, just as for Christian theologians, puzzles that their ?theories on fortune and misfortune?, just like Theodicies in the West, were trying, with some difficulty, to explain or rationalize. This article first surveys some standard explanations of the phenomena given by scholars of eighteenth-century Japan within the framework of the available monist, rationalist paradigms. Afterward, it turns to another type of representation of the world (...)
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