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Displaying: 1-7 of 7 documents

1. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Yasunari Takada Opening Remark: Against the Grain of Reductio ad Japonicum
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2. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Michiko Yusa Parsing the Topos and Dusting the Mirror: A Radical Internalization of “Basho-Topos”
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In order to clarify Nishida’s notion of topos (basho), I trace its forma­tion, starting with the notion of “pure experience,” of which he says: “To experience is to know the thing as it is.” By taking the act of “to know” as the thread that connects the ideas of pure experience and topos, I examine his early writings leading up to 1929, going beyond 1926, when Nishida’s essay “Basho” was published. Over against the commonly held “objectified” view of the topos as a “location” or “field” in which the individual exists, a radically ontological reading of this notion emerges, requiring us to shift the vantage point from which we approach it. I conclude that Nishida introduced into his philosophi­cal system a locative dimension as an ontological feature, and we, con­scious beings, exist in this world “topologically” (bashoteki). The topos refers to the very logico-ontological mode of our being.In order to clarify what knowledge is, we need to begin with [the investigation of] reflective consciousness (jikakuteki ishiki 自覚的意識), rather than starting out with intellectual judgment (handan 判断). Consciousness pertaining to judgment cannot include the one [who judges] within it. It is an incomplete awareness that looks at the self externally. The explanation of how we know begins with the critical reflection of self-consciousness itself (jikaku jishin no jisei 自覚自身の自省). Therein, we obtain the standpoint of genuine epistemology.Our real knowledge starts out with “I exist.” That “I exist” means that the topos is directly in the topos, and this is the standpoint of both inner perception and actual experience (taiken 体験).
3. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Laura Specker Sullivan The Self-Contradictory Identity of the Personal Self: Nishida’s Argument against Kantian Pure Practical Reason
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Throughout his entire career, Nishida Kitarō was, arguably, inter­ested in challenging Immanuel Kant’s formulation of the moral will. In his first work, An Inquiry into the Good, he criticizes Kant’s pure practical reason as idealistic, arguing that the good should be understood not in terms of an abstract, formal relation of reason with itself, but in terms of personality as a single, unique, unifying power that is the true reality of the self. He echoes this language in his last work, “The Logic of the Place of Nothingness and the Religious Worldview,” proposing that the personal self exists as a self-determining individual through creative expression. This article will investigate how Nishida’s development of this concept of the personal self grounds his proposal that the goal of the moral will is realization of the good as a personal, rather than abstract, ideal, through the intentional action of active intuition.
4. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Katsuya Akitomi On the Possibility of Discussing Technology from the Standpoint of Nishitani Keiji’s Religious Philosophy
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Nishitani Keiji (1900–1990) is well known as a leading representative of the Kyoto School. His main contributions are in the field of reli­gious philosophy based on Maha-ya-na Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism, as his main works Religion and Nothingness (1961) and The Standpoint of Zen (1986) indicate. It may seem incongruous to asso­ciate Nishitani’s name with a discussion on science and technology. But it was this relationship to science, that is to say, the relationship between religion and science, to which Nishitani mostly directed his interests which gradually led him to the study of technology itself.In this article, I have relied on Nishitani’s main work Religion and Nothingness to ascertain how he interpreted the conflict between religion and science in relation to nihility and then consider his insights on technology. The appearance of the mechanistic view of modern science connected with mechanical technology and the ten­dency toward the mechanization of man permeate increasingly not only the social structures but the inner life of man. At the same time, the individual is transformed into a subject in pursuit of his desires with a sense of meaninglessness. The nihility which modern science and technology produced ultimately turns into “emptiness” (空 Śūnyatā). The main concern here is how the problems of science and technology can be understood from the standpoint of “empti­ness.” Nishitani’s work that I mentioned above, however, does not necessarily deal with this question directly. Thus, I chose another treatise from the same period, “Science and Zen” (1960), and approached the problem of science from the standpoint of empti­ness. Nishitani quotes a Zen Buddhist discussion about the “big fire” of space. It considers the position of the real self in the big fire that extinguishes all things. This reference to the big fire in space seems metaphorical but it is also scientifically plausible. Death is also a scientific actuality in space from a certain perspective. To take this actuality seriously as a problem of existence means, “the existential­izing of science” (科学を実存すること). It means to take outer space with its face of death as a place of death in the religious sense. This has been called “the Great Death” (大死) in Zen Buddhism, which is nothing other than conversion in a religious existence. At the same time, in this essay we learn Nishitani’s perspective about nuclear power, which continues to trouble us today. We will also consider “originary imagination” (根源的な構想力) in his last treatise “Kū and Soku” (“Emptiness and Sameness”) (1982) as a possibility for discuss­ing technology in terms of emptiness.
5. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Raquel Bouso Garcia Arakawa and Gins’s Nonplace: An Approach from an Apophatic Aesthetics
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With the expression “apophatic aesthetics,” Amador Vega names dif-ferent cases of twentieth-century hermeneutics of negativity that show a spiritual debt to negative theology and in particular to the major mystical trends of Medieval Europe. Our aim here is to explore how this category applies to the artistic work created by the contemporary artists Arakawa and Gins. However, our focus is not on the debt of these artists to apophatism in the Christian tradition but in Buddhism, especially in Zen. Through an analysis of various artworks, the article intends to determine the reminiscences of the evocation of emptiness in Zen-related arts. By so doing, despite the lack of continuity with tra-dition, it seems possible to uncover certain links with Japanese classic aesthetics. At the same time, since emptiness is a notion revisited in modern Japanese thought, the paper raises the question of its role as an ascetic way of thought, capable of avoiding conceptual limitations and thus opening new paths to philosophy. In this sense, insofar as thinkers well known as critics of modernity, such as Lyotard, Danto, or Taylor, have dialogued with Arakawa and Gins’s artistic proposal, a connection between certain aspects of Japanese philosophy and socalled postmodern thought is suggested.
6. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Anton Luis Sevilla Watsuji’s Balancing Act: Changes in his Understanding of Individuality and Totality from 1937 to 1949
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Watsuji Tetsuro-’s ethics is founded on the idea of the dual structure of human beings: that we are both individual and communal at the same time, and that these two elements constantly negate each other. But the interpretation of this structure shifts over the prewar, wartime, and postwar volumes. In the first volume, double negation is ambigu­ously explained as either an endless cycle that balances individuality and totality or a three-stage dialectic that privileges totality. Also, total­ity is seen as shaping a largely obedient but self-aware individual, with no real sense of social change worked in. In the second volume, the individual is largely subsumed beneath finite and exclusive totalities, and social change is restricted to advances in culture. But in the third volume, individuality is reinstated as that which guides social change by intuiting how the totality ought to be. Also, double negation is rein­terpreted as heading toward unity-in-difference. These changes can be interpreted historically, with the emphasis on totality rising with the wartime pressures, and the emphasis on individuality rising in postwar occupied Japan. Finally, a historically nuanced and balanced interpretation of Watsuji’s ethics can have contemporary relevance, for instance by contributing to the liberal-communitarian debates.
7. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Bradley Douglas Park Japanese and Continental Philosophy: Conversations with the Kyoto School
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