Nishida and the Historical World: An Examination of Active Intuition, the Body, and Time


This article will examine the phase of Nishida’s thought in which he turns to the historical world and present the benefits of this turn to his overall philosophical project. In “The Philosophy of History in the ‘Later’ Nishida,” Woo-Sung Huh claims that Nishida Kitaro’s attempt to integrate history into his earlier writings on self-consciousness is a “wrong turn.” I will demonstrate how Huh’s criticism of Nishida’s writings on history stems from Huh’s own ontological assumption that consciousness and the historical world occupy distinct realms. Leveling this criticism against Nishida causes the reader to miss Nishida’s greatest insight, namely that there is no such distinction; there is only one reality of consciousness and materiality. Nishida’s emphasis on the historical world makes his earlier claim that consciousness is inseparable from things more robust. I will argue that by expanding his earlier focus on consciousness to include the formative power of created physical objects and human bodies on consciousness, Nishida’s philosophy is actually strengthened.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,743

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

25 (#460,845)

6 months
1 (#387,390)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

An Inquiry Into the Good.Kitaro Nishida - 1992 - Yale University Press.
An Inquiry Into the Good.Kitaro Nishida, Masao Abe & Christopher Ives - 1993 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 34 (2):121-123.
Nishida Kitarō.John Maraldo - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Fundamental Problems of Philosophy.Kitarō Nishida - 1970 - Tokyo, Sophia University.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Nishida’s Bow: Evaluating Nishida’s Wartime Actions.Elizabeth McManaman Tyler - 2019 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 11 (1):19-33.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Nishida Kitarō’s Philosophy of Body.Ching-Yuen Cheung - 2014 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (4):507-523.
A Critical Exposition of Nishida's Philosophy.Woo-Sung Huh - 1988 - Dissertation, University of Hawai'i
Nishida, Agency, and the 'Self-Contradictory' Body.Joel W. Krueger - 2008 - Asian Philosophy 18 (3):213 – 229.
The Unsolved Issue of Consciousness.Nishida Kitarō & John W. M. Krummel - 2012 - Philosophy East and West 62 (1):44-51.
Nishida on God, Barth and Christianity.Curtis A. Rigsby - 2009 - Asian Philosophy 19 (2):119 – 157.
Handelnder Anschauung : Nishida Und Die Praxis der Künste.Rolf Elberfeld - 2011 - Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 36 (3).
World, Nothing, and Globalization in Nishida and Nancy.John Krummel - 2014 - In Leah Kalmanson James Mark Shields (ed.), Buddhist Responses to Globalization. pp. 107-129.