: WatsujiTetsurō defined ethics as being generated by a double negation: the individual's negation of the community and the self-negation of the individual who returns to the community. Thus, ethics for him is based on the individual's sacrifice for the collectivity. This position results in the conception of the community as an absolute. I contend that there is a congruence between Watsuji's conception of ethics as self-sacrifice and the way he perceived the Japanese political system. To (...) him, the imperial system in Japan is based on the organic unity of the Japanese people, represented by the emperor, who embodies the general will of, and is therefore coterminous with, the Japanese nation. (shrink)
This paper provides an analysis of the key term aidagara ('betweenness') in the philosophical ethics of WatsujiTetsurō (1889-1960), in response to and in light of the recent movement in Japanese Buddhist studies known as 'Critical Buddhism'. The Critical Buddhist call for a turn away from 'topical' or intuitionist thinking and towards (properly Buddhist) 'critical' thinking, while problematic in its bipolarity, raises the important issue of the place of 'reason' vs 'intuition' in Japanese Buddhist ethics. In this paper, (...) a comparison of Watsuji's 'ontological quest' with that of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), Watsuji's primary Western source and foil, is followed by an evaluation of a corresponding search for an 'ontology of social existence' undertaken by Tanabe Hajime (1885-1962). Ultimately, the philosophico-religious writings of WatsujiTetsurō allow for the 'return' of aesthesis as a modality of social being that is truly dimensionalized, and thus falls prey neither to the verticality of topicalism nor the limiting objectivity of criticalism. (shrink)
In this paper, I wish to consider Watsuji Tetsuro's (1889?1960) concept of climate (fudo), and consider whether it contributes anything to the relationship between climate change and ethics. I will argue that superficially it seems that fudo tells us little about the ethics of climate change, but if considered more carefully, and through the lens of thinkers such as Deleuze and Heidegger, there is ethical insight in Watsuji's approach. Watsuji's major work in ethics, Rinrigaku, provides concepts such (...) as between-ness and trust that enable his philosophy of climate to move from a theory of national characters (as Fudo is often seen to be) to an approach to living well within one's milieu. (shrink)
A reassessment of WatsujiTetsurō is undertaken by bringing his changing view of the importance of Francis Bacon to bear on his understanding of the role of "rationality" in Japanese life. This reflection will enable an exploration of the relevance of the modernity / postmodernity distinction for modern Japanese philosophy.
In the present paper I try to show that ethical principles of medical activities in general can be adequately applied to medical activities for the patient in his terminal stage. For this objective, I shall argue first what are the principles and rules of medical activities in general, and then show how these can be applied to palliative medicine.
The aim of this essay is to situate the thought of Tetsuro Watsuji within contemporary approaches to social cognition. I argue for Watsuji's current relevance, suggesting that his analysis of embodiment and social space puts him in step with some of the concerns driving ongoing treatments of social cognition in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Yet, as I will show, Watsuji can potentially offer a fruitful contribution to this discussion by lending a phenomenologically informed critical perspective. (...) This is because Watsuji challenges the internalist and cognitivist presuppositions informing the currently dominant "Theory of Mind" paradigm that is driving much social cognition research. Additionally, I show .. (shrink)
Does the Buddhist doctrine of no-self imply, simply put, no-other? Does this doctrine necessarily come into conflict with an ethics premised on the alterity of the other? This article explores these questions by situating Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics in the context of contemporary Japanese philosophy. The work of twentieth-century Japanese philosopher WatsujiTetsurō provides a starting point from which to consider the ethics of the self-other relation in light of the Buddhist notion of emptiness. The philosophy of thirteenth-century Zen (...) Master Dōgen casts doubt on Watsuji’s commitment to reciprocal self-other relationality, showing that the idea of self-emptiness disrupts any conventional understanding of reciprocity and promotes instead other-oriented compassion. Despite interesting similarities between the ethics of alterity and Buddhist compassion, a Buddhist-influenced understanding of alterity differs from Levinas on important points, by making possible the claim that all others—human, animal, plant, and mineral—are ethical others. (shrink)
This paper examines what, if anything, "Eastern philosophy" can teach us about business ethics. The whole idea of "Eastern ethics" or so-called "Asian values" is suspect on a number of scores. The paper argues that It is better to refer to specific ideas of particular thinkers influential within one country or tradition. The paper concentrates on the philosophy of two such thinkers – Watsuji Tetsuro of Japan and Confucius. When this more "micro" approach is adopted, we can learn some (...) important lessons with respect to the meaning of trust, the longterm nature of relations, and ethics that extend far beyond the limited idea of rights. The paper considers these lessons in the business context. (shrink)
I focus on the religio-aesthetic concept of nature in Japanese Buddhism as a valuable complement to environmental philosophy in the West and develop an explicit comparison of the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature and the ecological world view of Aldo Leopold. I discuss the profound current of ecological thought running through the Kegon, Tendai, Shingon, Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhist traditions as weIl as modem Japanese philosophy as represented by Nishida Kitarö and Watsuji Tetsurö. In this context, I (...) present the Japanese concept of nature as an aesthetic continuum of interdependent events based on a field paradigm of reality. I show how the Japanese concept of nature entails an extension of ethics to include the relation between humans and the land. I argue that in both the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature and the thought of Aldo Leopold there is a hierarchy of normative values which grounds the land ethic in aland aesthetic. I also clarify the soteric concept of nature in Japanese Buddhism by which the natural environment becomes the ultimate locus of salvation for all sentient beings. In this way, I argue that the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature represents a fundamental shift from the egocentric to an ecocentric position-i.e., a de-anthropocentric standpoint which is nature-centered as opposed to human-centered. (shrink)
The article deals with the differences of the notion of 'object' or 'thing' in natural languages, concluding that some languages are by their structure more object-biased while others are more event-biased and proceeds to analyse how two common Japanese words, mono and koto , both meaning 'thing', have been treated in 20th-century Japanese thought, notably in the philosophical works of Watsuji Tetsurô, Ide Takashi, Hiromatsu Wataru and Kimura Bin. All of these thinkers represent different schools and trends (Watsuji (...) could be called a cultural particularist, Ide was an Aristotle scholar, Hiromatsu a Marxist and Kimura is a psychiatrist), but come to similar conclusions in this respect, allowing us to regard event-biased and object-biased linguistic constructions as manifestations of two different, but equally necessary cognitive faculties. (shrink)
I introduce and compare Russian and Japanese notions of community and space. Some characteristic strains of thought that exist in both countries had similar points of departure, overcame similar problems and arrived at similar results. In general, in Japan and Russia, the nostalgia for the community has been strong because one felt that in society through modernization something of the particularity of one's culture had been lost. As a consequence, both in Japan and in Russia allusions to the German sociologist (...) Ferdinand Tönnies' book Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft are frequent. In the end I associate the Japanese as well as the Russian ideas with neo-Darwinian versions of the theme of evolution as it has been developed by Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari. (shrink)
Existential space is lived space, space permeated by our raced, gendered selves. It is representative of our very existence. The purpose of this essay is to explore the intersection between this lived space and art by analyzing the work of the Cuban?born artist Ana Mendieta and showing how her Siluetas Series discloses a space of exile. The first section discusses existential spatiality as explained by the phenomenologists Heidegger and Watsuji and as represented in Mendieta's Siluetas. The second section analyzes (...) the space of exile as a space of in?between?ness and borders. Lastly, the third section discusses temporality as it relates to the space of exile. Through the analysis of Mendieta's Siluetas, and in light of phenomenological accounts of space and the works of Anzaldúa and Mignolo, Ana Mendieta herself is disclosed as well as the space characteristic of those who can no longer be said to have a ?home.? My exploration through my art of the relationship between myself and nature has been a clear result of my having been torn from my homeland during my adolescence. The making of my Silueta in nature keeps (makes) the transition between my homeland and my new home. It is a way of reclaiming my roots and becoming one with nature. Although the culture in which I live is part of me, my roots and cultural identity are a result of my Cuban heritage.1 ??Ana Mendieta Living in a state of psychic unrest, in a Borderland, is what makes poets write and artists create.2 ??Gloria Anzaldúa. (shrink)
The overuse of water resources in the upper reaches of the Tarim (Xinjiang, China) jeopardizes the ecosystem of the huyang (Populus diversifolia) in the middle reaches of the river, which has led the authorities to displace the population of Caohu (Luntai-xian) in the name of environmental security. This paper discusses the ethical basis of such operations by comparing different approaches, and concludes that establishing a genuine environmental ethics implies an ontological revolution: one that will replace the ‘being towards death’ (Sein (...) zum Tode) of the modern ontological topos of ‘individual body: individual person’, with the ‘being towards life’ (sei e no sonzai) of what Watsuji defined as ‘the structural moment of human existence’, in which being cannot be dissociated from context and history. This ontological revolution, which links human subjecthood with the environment itself, is by the same token the condition of sustainability, which is the most basic human security of all. (shrink)
In different ways, Watsuji, Nishida, and Merleau-Ponty describe a self that extends beyond the skin through a sort of dialectic of internal/external space of perception and action, which has implications for understanding the relationship between art and nature in artistic creation. Through an exposition of Watsuji’s conception of human being in relation to a climatic milieu, Nishida’s theory of the expressive body as the site of the world’s own self-transformations, and certain claims made by Merleau-Ponty in his essays (...) on painting, this article provides a way of understanding how material media may become expressive when they are taken up by artists. (shrink)
Introduction -- The historical foundations of Russian and Japanese philosophies -- Space in NOH : plays and icons -- Models of cultural space derived from Nishida Kitar and Semën L. Frank (Basho and Sobornost) -- Space and aesthetics : a dialogue between Nishida Kitar and Mikhail Bakhtin -- From community to time, space, development : Trubetzkoy, Nishida, Watsuji -- Conclusion -- Postface: Resistance and slave nations.
One of our recent studies has revealed that a numerically trained chimpanzee can memorize a correct sequence of five numbers shown on a monitor. Comparative investigations with humans show very similar patterns of errors in the two species, suggesting humans and chimpanzee share homologous memory processes. Whether or not 5 is a pure capacity limit for the chimpanzee remains an empirical question.
The effect of Internet use as a mediating variable on self-efficacy as it relates to the cognition of network-changing possibility (i.e., connecting people or groups with different social backgrounds) was examined. The results showed that Internet use (i.e., the frequency of sending e-mail, friends made on the Internet) had a positive effect on the cognition of network-changing possibility. The cognition that it is possible to connect people with different social backgrounds by using the Internet also had a positive effect on (...) self-efficacy. On the other hand, the cognition that it is possible to find people or groups who share beliefs and interests by using the Internet negatively affected self-efficacy. Hence, it was found that the effect of Internet use on self-efficacy was different as a function of cognition of network-changing possibility. (shrink)