Philosophy of Doctrinal Classification: Kōyama Iwao and Mou Zongsan

Abstract

Doctrinal classification or the panjiao 判教 system of Chinese Buddhism has been rediscovered and renewed in modern East Asian philosophy since both the Kyoto School and New Confucianism clarified the philosophical meaning of this intellectual tradition. The theoretical relation between these two modern reconsiderations, however, has not yet been studied. I analyze the theory of panjiao in Kōyama Iwao 高山岩男 and Mou Zongsan 牟宗三 so as to identify and extract, despite their apparent irrelevance, the same type of philosophical argument concerning the ontological character of yuanjiao 圓教. My analysis shows that Mou’s distinction between the “two-door mind” paradigm and Buddhistic ontology in his interpretation of Tiantai 天台 Buddhism corresponds to Kōyama’s distinction between an idealistic system and the existential turn in his generalized panjiao system.

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