Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Religion and Philosophy

Language

English

Abstract

Although significant differences undoubtedly exist between Daoism and Kant’s philosophy, the two systems also have some noteworthy similarities. After calling attention to a few such parallels and sketching the outlines of Kant’s philosophy of religion, this article focuses on an often-neglected feature of the latter: the four guiding principles of what Kant calls an “invisible church” (universality, purity, freedom, and unchangeableness). Numerous passages from Lao Zi’s classic text, Dao-De-Jing, seem to uphold these same principles, thus suggesting that they can also be interpreted as core features of a Daoist philosophy of life. A crucial difference, however, is that members of a Daoist church would focus on contentment, whereas Kantian churches modeled on Christianity (the religious tradition Kant favored) would strive for perfection. The article therefore concludes by considering what a synthesis might look like, if a Kantian church were to be based on a Daoist interpretation of these four fundamental principles.

Keywords

Kant, Lao Zi, church, Dao-De-Jing, Daoism, comparative philosophy

Publication Date

2013

Source Publication Title

Comparative Philosophy

Volume

4

Issue

1

Start Page

67

End Page

89

Publisher

San Jose State University

DOI

10.31979/2151-6014(2013).040108

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.31979/2151-6014(2013).040108

ISSN (print)

21516014

Included in

Philosophy Commons

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