By James W. Heisig
Philosophers of Nothingness examines the 3 vital figures of what has grow to be often called the "Kyoto school" -- Nishida Kitaro, Tanabe Hajime, and Nishitani Keiji -- and indicates how this unique present of twentieth-century jap notion demanding situations conventional philosophy to damage out of its Western confines and step right into a global discussion board.
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Extra resources for Philosophers of Nothingness: An Essay on the Kyoto School (Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture)
He had always told people he would wait until he had reached the age of forty before publishing a book, and he kept good his word, publishing in the following year a work he had been drafting and publishing in pieces for nearly four years, An Inquiry into the Good. Meantime, the political situation in Japan was undergoing momentous changes. Five years earlier had seen the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, during the course of which he lost his younger brother, who had joined the army. In the same year he became a university teacher, Japan annexed Korea.
Like an artist, his work was never done. Miki notes in the same context that while his ordinary lectures were rather staid and well organized, his special lectures, which were open to students from all departments and were attended by professors as well, showed him at his best and were always packed. ” His goal was not so much to instruct them in the thinking of others as to help them catch the “knack” of seeing the world from others’ standpoints so that one could ³nd a standpoint of one’s own.
This motivation was not carried out directly by comparing one set of ideas to another, but it lay clearly in the background of the ³rst of his philosophical ideas: pure experience. Ironically it is the very absence of references to Zen in his writings that shows their importance. As Nishitani remarks: For one thing, his thought had taken a turn towards regarding the historical world as the most concrete world, bringing him into touch with a realm of nishida kitarõ 39 meaning not usually included in the world of Zen.