Philosophizing and Power: East–West Encounter in the Formation of Modern East Asian Buddhist Philosophy

Philosophy East and West 67 (3):801-824 (2017)
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Abstract

Philosophy claims that its goal is to search for truth. The history of philosophy, however, demonstrates that this search for truth has not been free from the power dynamics of respective eras. In this article, I claim that the formation of modern East Asian philosophy is one occasion in which the power structure of the time was visibly reflected. The East–West power imbalance at the beginning of the modern period was both implicitly and explicitly imbedded in the formation of modern Buddhist philosophy in East Asia. To demonstrate this point, I will examine the life and thought of two East Asian Buddhist thinkers, Paek Sŏnguk 白性郁 and Inoue Enryō 井上円了, as paradigmatic examples of...

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Jin Park
Washington University in St. Louis

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