Fortune and the Dao: A Comparative Study of Machiavelli, the Daodejing, and the Han Feizi

Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books (2015)
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Abstract

Times of prolonged conflict spur great minds to seek a lasting peace. Thus was the case of Warring States China, which saw the rise of the Hundred Schools of Thought, including the Doadejing and the Han Feizi, and Renaissance Italy, which produced Niccolò Machiavelli. Witnessing their respective societies fall prey to internal corruption and external aggression, all three thinkers sought ways to produce a strong, stable state that would allow both the leader and the populace to endure. Fortune and the Dao: A Comparative Study of Machiavelli, the Daodejing, and the Han Feizi demonstrates where the shortcomings of each theory lie, with emphasis on the similarities among Machiavelli, Laozi, and Han Feizi. Jason P. Blahuta ultimately argues that if Machiavelli’s philosophy, the most comprehensive of the three theories, were supplemented by aspects of the Daodejing, the revision would potentially overcome the deficiencies of the original.

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