Rethinking Individuality

Kitaro Nishida, a famous Japanese Philosopher and the founder of the Kyoto-School, for the first time in history transformed Zen-Buddhism, which here means especially a Japanese school of Buddhism and whose characteristics consists in its methodological meditation, into a philosophical theory of our existence. On the other hand he transformed western philosophy into a very original form of thought, which at the same time contains oriental elements. As Nishida did the bilateral transformation between western and eastern philosophies, he developed a new perspective on the inquiry concerning the individuality of our personal existence and the relation between Self and the other. In his first Work, “An Inquiry into the good” Nishida examines the characteristics of pure experience, which is not understood from the outside, indirectly, and it is not a passive and static experience like for example in ordinary empiricism. It must be understood as active and creative experience which is experienced from within. In reading Thinkers as Ernst Mach and William James he came to realize that there must be a prereflective, pre-individual, unitary pure experience. This pure experience as ultimate reality on which the individual is based, is systematically self developing and Self-unfolding. In Nishidas understanding the pure experience is the common basis for, and is realized prior, to the distinction between subject and object, the Self and the Other, the Knower and the known. I try to explain how Nishidas approach overcomes this subjectivistic perspective and discuss in which way this standpoint offers a new understanding of the Self and the Other. Abe Masao, Ives Christopher: Translation of “An Inquiry into the Good”, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 1990. S. xviii
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI wcp22200818789
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