COMPETITION AND HARMONY

Kato Hiroyuki’s Naturalism and Ethics for Modern Japan

  • Eun-young Park
  • Do-hyung Kim
Keywords: Harmony between People, Materialistic Naturalism, Modern State, Naturalistic Ethics, Organism State Theory

Abstract

This essay draws on the limitations of materialistic naturalism and ethical aspects attempted by Kato Hiroyuki in the 19th century Japan. In order to overcome the crisis of Western entry into East Asia in the 19th century, Kato Hiroyuki argued that Japan must achieve the development of a modern country through 'Harmony between People'. He studied Western state theory, especially through Bluntschli's political science and state theory, and criticized the Western state theory based on social contracts or natural rights as having an unproven metaphysical basis and insisted on the validity of the naturalist state theory which sees the state as an organism. However, when Kato realized that the organism state theory evolving through competition could harm the 'harmony between people' of the modern Japan, he argued that true evolution could only be possible through competition for harmony of community. In the end, he failed to overcome anti-metaphysical metaphysics called ‘materialistic naturalism’, as the Western social contract theory or natural rights theory he criticized.

Author Biographies

Eun-young Park

Eun-young Park (Corresponding Author) is a Research Professor of AEAS at Sungkyunk­wan University, Seoul. Her area of research is Modern Japanese Thought.

Do-hyung Kim

Dr Do-hyung Kim is Assistant Professor of Department of Japanese Language and Literature at Sejong University, Seoul. His area of research is History of Modern Japan.

References

Dohyung Kim. “Understanding of Kato Hiroyuki’s Evolution Acceptance.” Journal of Japanese Thought No.27(2014): 25-52.

Erik Grimmer Solem. “German Social Science, Meiji Conservatism, and the Peculiarities of Japanese History.” Journal of World History 16. 2(2005): 187-222.

Johann Kasper Bluntschli, Translated in Japanese by Kato Hiroyuki. Kokuhouhanron Vol.1. Tokyo: Hakubunsha, 1876.

Kato Hiroyuki. “Confucius Tao and Ogyū Sorai.” Kato Hiroyuki Lecture Collection Vol. 3. Tokyo: Keigyousha Press, 1899.

Kato Hiroyuki. Competition for the Rights of the Strong. Tokyo: Kokushanrou Press, 1893.

Kato Hiroyuki. Nature and Ethics. Tokyo: Jitsugyononihon Press, 1912.

Kato Hiroyuki. The Supplementary Revision of Moral Law Evolution, 3rd ed. Tokyo: Hakubunkan Press, 1903.

Kato Hiroyuki. The New Theory of Human Rights. Tokyo: Kokushanrou Press, 1882.

Kato Hiroyuki. Tonarigusa. Tokyo: Hakubunkan Press, 1899.

Maruyama Masao, “The Sorai School of Revolution,” Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016: 206-222.

Peter Singer, Translated in Korean by Sunghan Kim. A Companion to Ethics: The Tradition of Normative Ethics. Seoul: Philosophy and Reality Press, 2005.

Saegusa Hiroto. “The Theory of Evolution from Philosophical Point of View- Dissolution.” Complete Book of Japanese Philosophical Thought. 3rd Vol .2. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1955: 199-205.

Tabata Shinobu. Kato Hiroyuki’s National Thought. Tokyo: Kawade-Shobo, 1939.

Yasu Shieshu. “A Study on Acceptance of German National Theory in the Early Meiji Era.” Japanese Political Science Review Vol.26 (1976):113-156.

Published
2020-12-30
How to Cite
Park, E.- young, & Kim, D.- hyung. (2020). COMPETITION AND HARMONY. Journal of Dharma, 45(4), 575-588. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/jd/article/view/3423