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20. Zhang Taiyan  

Patrizia Longo

This chapter looks at Zhang Taiyan’s political theory, revolving around revolution and nationalism. It describes how Zhang tried to build a new politics based on a new universality that does not extinguish particularity. Buddhism influenced most of Zhang’s anti-Manchu propaganda and political theory. The chapter then explains how the ideas of Zhang’s Buddhist political theory are picked up by the post-war Japanese intellectual Takeuchi Yoshimi. It explores the goal of pan-Asianism to negate the West and take Western values to a higher level. Takeuchi and Zhang tried to create a new universality by confronting the West through an anti-imperialist nationalist struggle.

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21. Mary Wollstonecraft  

Ashley Dodsworth

This chapter expounds on the political thought of feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, with a focus on her influential analysis of gender inequality. It highlights her most famous work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by focusing on its radical arguments on gender, reason, and education. The chapter contextualizes Wollstonecraft’s work within the republican tradition, which underpinned her opposition to slavery and her recognition of global inequalities. The chapter suggests that her arguments for emancipation were justified by problematic assumptions of universalism that were made more complicated by the tensions of class, motherhood, and Orientalism. It also tackles the backlash against her memoir, published by her husband, as it unveiled her suicide attempts, a dysfunctional childhood, and a child being born out of wedlock.

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29. Immanuel Kant  

Stella Sandford

This chapter focuses on Immanuel Kant’s political writings and their influence on the history of Western philosophy. It critically examines the major problems in Kant’s political thought, such as its relation to Eurocentrism and the racial theory of development. But also, this chapter explains the main tenets of Kant’s philosophy including the practical and theoretical parts, transcendental idealism, and the categorical imperative. The theoretical part of Kant’s philosophy explains the metaphysical and deals with the natural world, while the practical part addresses human action. It further examines, his political philosophy, including universal history and the metaphysical foundations of political theory. The chapter then turns considers the impact of Kant’s philosophy as well as its problems, notably in relation to ideal and non-ideal theory.