In tackling the question of what is Japanese philosophy, the paper discusses: philosophy in general, the issue of Japanese philosophy, and the relevance of both philosophy and Japanese philosophy in our present age of globalization. Examining the definitions of philosophy provided by Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger, and looking at the philosophies of Nishida and Nishitani among others, I argue the source of philosophy—its originary and universal motivation—to be the question of meaning of existence. Japanese philosophy is (...) no exception. I then discuss whether there is something unique to Japanese philosophy in particular and look into the question of the essence of Japanese philosophy. Furthermore, I argue that in order to be true to the original motivation of philosophy, the study of Japanese philosophy, if it is itself to be considered philosophy, cannot be reduced to biography, history, or philology. It must be relevant to our life. I then conclude with a discussion of the relevance of Japanese philosophy and the philosophical study of Japanese philosophy to our life today. (shrink)
The first of 3 volumes of essays on Japanese philosophy, this work brings together essays that clarify its heritage and its practice, above all in the dynamic thought of Nishida KitarÅ. Showing how philosophy takes shape through the translation of language and culture, the author examines the frameworks that have defined and confined Nishidaâs thought and then charts new avenues of questioning Nishida and letting him question us. How should we envision the world at a time of environmental crisis, (...) how might we rethink our conceptions of history, religion and God; how is bodily awareness a way that the world knows itself, and just what can we make of Nishidaâs famous notion of nothingnessâthese are some of the questions that guide the meticulous explorations in this collection. (shrink)
To answer the question of whether there is such a thing as Japanese philosophy, and what its characteristics might be, scholars have typically used Western philosophy as a measure to examine Japanese texts. This article turns the tables and asks what Western thought looks like from the perspective of Japanese philosophy. It uses Japanese philosophical sources as a lens to bring into sharper focus the qualities and biases of Greek-derived Western philosophy. It first examines questions related (...) to the reputed sole origin and the nature of philosophy in ancient Greece. Using the analyses of Robert Bernasconi, it concludes that this reputation is a bias instilled by philosophers such as Hegel in the modern era. It then uses the scholarship of Pierre Hadot to show that Greek philosophy was not argumentative discourse for its own sake, but a way of life where reason was in the service of spiritual progress. This suggests a definition broad enough to accommodate Asian and other non-Western philosophies. Under the lens of Japanese philosophy, however, Greek-based Western philosophy often displays a double detachment, from everyday life and from embodied existence. In contrast, Japanese Buddhist and Confucian philosophies evince an appreciation of embodied existence in the ordinary world. The article raises several questions for further investigation in the prospect that the lens of Japanese philosophy can refocus the task of philosophizing today. (shrink)
The twelfth bi-annual symposium of the Nanzan Institute took up the problem of the philosophical tradition of Japan and how it has fared abroad. There were two principal foci of the meetings: the history and future prospects of the study and teaching of Japanese philosophy outside of Japan, and the preparation of a Sourcebook of Japanese Philosophy aimed at providing a solid anthology of Japanese philospohical resources from the earliest times up to the present. To address these (...) two questions, 16 participants from six language-groups— Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish—were invited to Nanzan to deliver papers and discuss projects of common interest, including the Sourcebook. The final day of the conference included a discussion with selected Japanese philosophers and intellectual historians at Kyoto University. (shrink)
This essay consists of two parts. In the first part we show in general outline the development of modern Japanese philosophy since 1867. And as one of the typical products of that process we analyse in the second part the metaphysics of the late Prof. Nishida.
Despite the recognition of the importance of philosophy-based management in recent Japanese management practices, there has been little effort to systematically examine this topic from a normative view. With a sample of 152 electrical machinery companies, this study attempts to identify the underlying value orientations incorporated in the normative statement of corporate management philosophy and furthermore examines the complex relationships between corporate value orientations and various performance indexes. The article shows that although the adoption of a corporate management philosophy (...) does not contribute to corporate financial performance directly, some value orientations might contribute to non-financial performance and long-term performance potentials. Especially, CSR environmental performance might be contributed by customer orientation and harmony; human resource management performance is associated with partner orientation and harmony; growth potential might be related with global orientation, entrepreneurship, and honesty. Furthermore, the negative relationship between increase of sales effort and CSR environmental performance also implies that it deserves careful consideration and attention for a company to balance the interests of various stakeholders. (shrink)
This article provides a critical introduction to, and the first English translation of, the dialogue held between Nishida Kitarō and Miki Kiyoshi in October 1935. The topic of their discussion was the question of the particular character of Japanese culture and philosophy. In the introductory sections of this article, I will reflect on some of the main points that Nishida proposes in response to Miki’s questions, and clarify what these insights mean for a culture or a historical framework of (...) thought, including Japanese culture and philosophy. In light of this expository reflection on Nishida’s take on the nature of Japanese culture and philosophy, I will reflect on the significance of scholarly work in the field of Japanese studies and Japanese philosophy beyond the Japanese cultural milieu. The text concludes with a translation of the Miki-Nishida dialogue. (shrink)
The paper provides an overview of the rise of Japanese philosophy during the period of rapid modernization in Japan after the Meiji Restoration (beginning in the 1860s). It also examines the controversy surrounding Japanese philosophy towards the end of the Pacific War (1945), and its renewal in the contemporary context. The post-Meiji thinkers engaged themselves with the questions of universality and particularity; the former represented science, medicine, technology, and philosophy (understood as ) and the latter, the Japanese (...) non-Western tradition. Within the context, the question arose whether or not Japan, the only non-Western nation to succeed in modernization at the time, could also offer a philosophy that was universal in scope? Could Japanese philosophy offer an alternative form of modernity to the global domination of Western modernity? In this historical context, the philosophies of Kitaro Nishida and Tetsuro Watsuji, two of the tradition's most prominent thinkers, are introduced. Nishida is considered the and his followers came to be known as the . The essay ends with a brief reflection on the influence of philosophy on culture, focusing on the aftermath of the tsunami catastrophe in 2011. (shrink)
Return to the ordinary as extraordinary has become the signature motif for the Emersonian perfectionism of Stanley Cavell in contemporary American philosophy. In this article I develop Cavell's notion of “the ordinary” as an intercultural theme for exploring aspects of traditional Chinese philosophy, especially Confucianism and Chan Buddhism. I further use Cavell's philosophy of the ordinary to examine Sino-Japanese thought as found in the Zen tradition of Japan and its reformulation by Nishida Kitarô in modern Japanese philosophy. It (...) will be seen how for both Cavell and Sino-Japanese philosophy, perfection is achieved not by transcendence of the ordinary, but through continuous return to and affirmation of the ordinary as extraordinary. I thus endeavor to illuminate the quotidian as articulated by Cavell, Chinese philosophy, and the Sino-Japanese tradition. (shrink)
The coupling of 'self and other' as well as the issues regarding intersubjectivity have been central topics in modern Japanese philosophy. The dominant views are critical of the Cartesian formulation , but the Japanese philosophers drew their conclusions also based on their own insights into Japanese culture and language. In this paper I would like to explore this theme in two of the leading modern Japanese philosophers - Kitaro Nishida and Tetsuro Watsuji . I do not (...) make a causal claim that Japanese culture or language was responsible for these thinkers' philosophy, although without a doubt they were strong influences. The point rather is to show an interesting convergence of concerns regarding the fundamental nature of the relation between the self and others across different cultures and intellectual traditions, and to clarify further the ontological structure of the self-other relation. After the examination, the thesis I would like to defend here is the following: Intersubjectivity is indeed a condition, rather than an accident, of the structure of lived experiences as such but this relation also requires at the same time the recognition that the Other must remain a true negation-in-relation to the self. Let me first turn to Watsuji, although chronologically he was 20 years junior and was a student of Nishida, since Watsuji's phenomenology deals more directly with the topic of intersubjectivity. I will then turn to Nishida's broader ontological considerations. (shrink)
This article aims to describe the mind/ body problem from an Eastern philosophy point of view addressing firstly Kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery; and secondly the Western philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Ethics is, in Western philosophy, what deals with the way we take decisions and act upon them. Decisions and actions consider rationality and intuition but seldom the body’s own rationality and intuition —which Kyudo exercises. We can find in Deleuze’s philosophy important concepts to better understand this: difference, (...) repetition, chaos, identity, energy, force, stage and micro-perceptions. To what extent can the dominant Eastern thought approach on the mind/ body topic be effective to fulfill the Ancient Greek aphorism «Know yourself» (γνθι σεαυτν) inscribed in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi? (shrink)
he fourteen essays gathered together in this, the third volume of Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy, represent one more step in ongoing efforts to bring the concerns of twentieth-century Japanese philosophy into closer contact with philosophical traditions around the world. As its title indicates, the aims are twofold: to reflect critically on the work of leading figures in the modern academic philosophy of Japan and to straddle the borderlands where they touch on the work of their counterparts in the (...) West. -/- A first group of essays deals with the modern Japanese philosophers Kuki Shūzō, Nishida Kitarō, Nishitani Keiji, and Takizawa Katsumi. These are followed by three essays on comparisons with classical Western thought and three with contemporary philosophy. The final three contributions offer reflections on the role of Japanese philosophy today. (shrink)
The growing scholarship on the Kyoto School of Japanese Buddhist philosophy has brought it to the attention of more and more people in the West, but in the process, the Kyoto School has acquired a fixed identity. It is usually depicted as centered around three main figures—Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime and Nishitani Keiji—and concerned with the philosophy of nothingness. In fact, however, as the thirteen scholars in this volume show, the Kyoto School included several other members beside the inner (...) circle of three, and these members were concerned with a wide range of philosophical issues beyond the philosophy of nothingness. The range and variety of these essays give a much more realistic picture of the many fronts on which the Japanese encountered Western philosophy. (shrink)
The list of publications having to do with Japanese intellectual history in general and Kyoto School philosophy in particular has grown steadily over the past years, both inside and outside of Japan. This is due in no small part to the important contributions made by those whose papers are included in this volume, the proceedings of an international conference held in June 2009 at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Although much remains to be done if Japanese philosophy (...) is to shed its esoteric and exotic image in order to take its rightful place in the curriculum as one of the many valuable sources of philosophical reflection, the ongoing dialogue among veterans in the field and younger scholars reflected in these pages is as promising as it has ever been. (shrink)
Contemporary Japanese Philosophy is an anthology of post-war Japanese philosophy showcasing a range of philosophers and philosophical trends from 1945 to the present. This important volume introduces the reader to a variety schools of thought. Ideal for classroom use, this is the ultimate resource for students and teachers of Japanese philosophy.
This article describes the historical development of HPS/NOS mainly in higher education. Because the establishment of universities in Japan in late-nineteenth century was a reaction against Western imperialism, higher education aimed to cultivate scientists and engineers with an emphasis on practical applications. This direction in higher science and engineering education continues into the present. It has conditioned elementary and secondary education via university entrance examinations, where no questions on NOS appear. Hence, HPS research and education has developed in Japanese (...) higher education with little connection to elementary and secondary education. Instead, NOS is communicated in literature, movies, and other media. Scientific and technological communication occurs mainly outside the school curriculum in venues like museums. (shrink)
Summary In Japan, the demand for the philosophy of science has recently increased, and in the last decade many changes have been brought about, among which the most remarkable is the rise of analytic philosophy.
This chapter examines the imagination, its relationship to “common sense,” and its recent development in the notion of the social imaginary in Western philosophy and the contributions Miki Kiyoshi and Nakamura Yūjirō can make in this regard. I trace the historical evolution of the notion of the productive imagination from its seeds in Aristotle through Kant and into the social imagination or imaginary as bearing on our collective being-in-the-world, with semantic and ontological significance, in Paul Ricoeur, Cornelius Castoriadis, and Charles (...) Taylor. The two Japanese philosophers, when brought into dialogue with the above contemporary Western thinkers, can contribute to this recent development of the imagination’s creativity into the collective sphere. Miki shows a connection between the imagination and a certain form-formlessness dynamic he inherits from Nishida. Nakamura in turn points to a connection between imagination and place via his development of the Aristotelian notion of common sense. Both have implications on how we understand the social imaginary. (shrink)
To cooperate by giving differences a chance to show themselves because of the belief that the expression of difference is not only a right of the other persons but is a means of enriching one's life experience, is inherent in the democratic personal way of life.It was on 9 February 1919 that John Dewey, surely a principal representative of what could count as American philosophy, set foot in Japan. As the above words indicate, Dewey's idea of democracy as a way (...) of life is based upon the principle of (and faith in) the idea of mutual learning from difference. He suggests that the understanding of the inner spirit of people in different cultures, those who live in a different universe than the one we are familiar .. (shrink)