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EJJP 5 (2020)

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ISSN: 2367-3095 | eISSN: 2700-0885


Urai Satoshi: “Faith and Knowledge in Tanabe Hajime’s Philosophy of Religion”

Nishida Kitarō famously remarked that “from a standpoint like Tanabe’s, there is no salvation by faith.” This criticism has greatly influenced interpretations of Tanabe’s philosophy of religion. The criticism may apply to Tanabe’s thinking up until 1944, but it seems wide of the mark after he set out to rebuild his philosophical standpoint in the autumn of that year with his theory of zangedō 懺悔道 or “metanoetics.” The theory has been widely studied but an attempt has yet to be made to study the complex relationship it establishes between faith and knowledge. I will argue here that Nishida’s criticism relates to Tanabe’s earlier writings, where faith was absorbed without remainder into the rational pursuit of the absolute knowledge of reality. With metanoetics, there is a crucial change: faith is now seen to arise precisely where the “belief” in reason collapses. The renunciation of self-power in full self-awareness opens one to salvation by the absolute. With faith, Tanabe argues, faith and knowledge are not one and the same but distinct and mutually enhancing forces that cooperate to transform knowing into a “knowledge of bearing witness.” 

Keywords: Tanabe Hajime—metanoetics—philosophy of religion—faith—knowledge—morality—praxis—reality—absolute disruption—Nishida Kitarō

Oda Kazuaki: “Kuki Shūzō and the Question of Origins”

The idea of metaphysics as a reflection of one’s own view of life and the world is key to Kuki’s philosophy. At the heart of his metaphysics is a theory of primal contingency as the origins of all things, which he developed roughly between 1932 and 1935. Primal contingency is comprised of two aspects, one of which refers to the natural world, or physis; and the other to the world of mind and spirit, or psyche. This distinction was elaborated after he formulated a general theory of the eternal return of time. This led him to abandon his previous view of the creation of the world by subjective will and redefined the creativity of the subject as a collaboration between the microcosm of the individual life and the macrocosm of the whole of reality. This shift was occasioned by his study of the aesthetic theory of the German philosopher Oscar Becker, from whom he picked up the notions of “carriedness” and “fragility” and applied them to his theory of primal contingency. This paper will trace this shift in Kuki’s thinking.

Keywords: Kuki Shūzō—Oskar Becker—origins—primal contingency—eternal return—para-existence—macrocosm—microcosm—carriedness—fragility

Romaric Jannel: “Yamauchi Tokuryū et la question aristotélicienne”

Cet article vise à rendre compte de la manière dont Yamauchi Tokuryū (1890–1982) comprend et questionne ce qu’il nomme « logique formelle d’Aristote » (アリストテレスの形式論理) ou « logique du logos » (ロゴスの論理). Nous verrons qu’il entend par de telles expressions la logique qui se construisit, dans la Grèce antique, à travers trois principes : le principe d’identité, le principe de contradiction et le principe du tiers exclu. Nous aborderons l’analyse qu’il fait de la logique formelle d’Aristote, avant de discuter de la critique qu’il lui adresse.

Keywords: Yamauchi Tokuryū—Aristote—aristotélisme—logique—logos—principe d’identité—principe de contradiction—principe du tiers exclu

Fernando Wirtz: “Myth and Ideology in Miki Kiyoshi”

The aim of this article is to elucidate Miki’s theory of ideology by presenting it together with his concept of myth. In order to do so, I will focus mainly upon two texts: Historical Materialism and Present-Day Consciousness (1928) and Preparatory Concepts in Social Science (1932) respectively. Although these two works belong to very different periods of Miki’s life, I will argue that it is possible to trace a continuity between them by means of the concept of ideology. In a nutshell, this discussion shall reveal that, according to Miki, ideology and myth do not represent modes of false consciousness, but rather praxis-oriented operationalizations of social knowledge that are particularly important during periods of political dislocation.

Keywords: Miki Kiyoshi—ideology—myth—commodification—fundamental experience—Marxism—utopia— Georges Sorel—Karl Mannheim—Yves Citton

Dennis Stromback: “Miki Kiyoshi and the Overcoming of
German and Japanese Philosophy”

In the many intellectual twists and turns of Miki Kiyoshi’s life, we see a relentless search for cultivating a philosophical standpoint that unites the interiority of subjectivity and the objective materials of the external world into a dialectical logic. The culmination of Miki’s quest is articulated in his magnum opus, The Logic of Imagination, where a dialectical unity of logos and pathos is born within the creative imagination. The idea behind Miki’s dialectical unity is granting subjectivity its own independent existence while having it forge material relationships against the horizon of creating a new “human being” for the social world. This article discusses Miki’s mélange of anthropological humanism and Marxism in an attempt to correct Hegel’s, Marx’s, and Nishida’s dialectics by centering on the creative imagination as the basis for social history. It goes on to argue that this dialectical standpoint ends up smuggling in a quasi-idealist account of subjective reality, which in turns lends itself to a legitimization of Japanese nationalism.

Keywords: Dialectics—Logos and Pathos—creative imagination—logic of nothing—German Idealism—Marxism—cooperativism

Ryōsuke Ōhashi: “Anti-Nature in Nature Itself”

The present paper is was originally conceived as an introduction to a companion volume of the author’s 2018 monograph, Phänomenologie der Compassion: Pathos des Mitseins miteinander. In particular, it aims to lay the foundation for including the element of “anti-nature” in our ideas of the natural world—material, animate, and human. Revising our idea of nature, and with it our idea of the “other,” entails revisiting the logic of identity, and to this end the author references the work of Nishida Kitarō and his notion of “absolutely contradictory self-identity.” The author sees the basic archetypal pattern behind his proposal echoed in ancient mythology, which in turn can help illuminate the underlying structure and orientation of modern, technological society. The ethical questions this raises, it is suggested, will require further interdisciplinary and international cooperation among scholars.

Keywords: Nishida Kitarō—nature—anti-nature—Ungrund—Schelling—Hegel—Kierkegaard—Heidegger—imago Dei—technology–Ge-stell

Rossella Lupacchini: “Beauty or the Ineloquent in Truth”

What is beauty? Nishida Kitarō’s answer to this question conflates the Kantian sense of beauty as “pleasure detached from the ego” with the Zen meaning of muga as “no-self.” In line with Plato’s philosophical reflection, beauty has tended to be seen as an experience of “truth.” But what kind of truth is inherent in beauty? For Nishida, “the truth underlying beauty is not obtained by the faculty of thought, it is intuitive truth.” This kind of truth cannot be expressed in words. Thus, one may venture to ask whether it is not the ultimate ineloquence of truth that emanates from beauty. According to Bernard Berenson, ineloquence is the distinctive character of “real art,” namely, an art which does not represent but presents, indifferent to “physical beauty” but able to communicate the being, the “pure existence.” Such is Piero della Francesca’s or Leonardo’s art, whose figures, wrapped in a veil of silence, elicit a sublime sense of the sacred. The same feeling that one might experience enraptured by the harmony of a starry sky, the simplicity of a geometric form, the perfection of a rock garden. Why does beauty seem to be so closely linked to truth? Mathematical beauty is expected to lead the way to physical truth. Which kind of beauty is so ineloquent as to illuminate the “open secret” of truth?

Keywords: Nishida—beauty—no-self—Goethe—formative breath—Leonardo—seeing-creating—formless truth

Lorenzo Marinucci: “Iro: A Phenomenology of Color and Desire”

This essay is a phenomenological analysis of the meanings expressed by the character 色 ( Jp. iro/shiki, Ch. ). They include “color,” “love,” “eroticism,” “sensuous beauty,” and even “phenomenon.” Is this overlap fortuitous, or can we reach a deep insight on these apparently disparate elements by reflecting on 色? Does the East Asian approach to colorqua desire reveal something essential about both color and desire, heavily downplayed within European philosophy? I will address this phenomenological issue through five sections. First, we will consider Husserl’s description of plena and Merleau-Ponty’s reflection on sexuality as metaphysics; then, the role of color as a paradigm for emotion in Japanese aesthetics will be addressed. Both these discourses will offer a new perspective on the Heart Sutra’s equation of 色 and “emptiness” (空). We will argue how and why Goethe’s theory of color shows a distinct affinity with these Asian sources. Lastly, I will highlight the interplay of all these elements in Kuki Shūzō’s The Structure of Iki. Color and eroticism are ultimately connected as the pre-formal and yet transcendental disclosure of the world: central paradigms for viewing experience itself as relation and immersion.

Keywords: color—desire—phenomenology—Husserl—Goethe—Buddhism—Kuki Shūzō—Japanese philosophy—aesthetics

Felipe Cuervo: “Indéxicos, sujetos vacuos y otros problemas experienciales”

Desde la década de los setenta, varios filósofos analíticos, entre ellos John Perry, han examinado una serie de problemas filosóficos derivados de la extrañeza semántica de los indéxicos y demostrativos. Pese al interés que han suscitado estos problemas, los intentos de los mismos filósofos por explicarlos resultan cuanto menos controversiales. Este ensayo pretende demostrar que la solución proviene no de las técnicas de la filosofía del lenguaje con que originalmente fueron señalados estos problemas, sino de las investigaciones epistemológicas y ontológicas que ofrecen las tradiciones fenomenológicas (centrándose en las investigaciones de Sartre sobre la naturaleza del Ego) y de la Escuela de Kioto, en especial el trabajo de Nishitani. Dicha solución implicará una reconsideración sobre los límites del sujeto y una revaloración de los indéxicos en tanto referenciando estados cualitativos.

Palabras clave: Indéxicos—Nishitani Keiji—John Perry—Jean-Paul Sartre—vacuidad

Hanna McGaughey: “Zeami and the Debate over Genius and Talent”

After the publication of Zeami’s critical writings in the late Meiji period, scholars of Noh adopted terms from previous debates about “authors” and “artists” to populate a nationally defined canon of literature. Concepts that often appeared in these debates, like “genius” (天才) and “natural talent” (天稟), still appear in appraisals of Zeami and seem to fit cleanly with Zeami’s own reflections on artistic success. Among them is Nose Asaji 能勢朝次 (1894–1955), compiler of the first annotated edition of Zeami’s secret texts. Meiji concepts of genius and natural talent at first excluded Zeami from the canon, but that changed with the publication of his previously secret writings. Subsequently, Nose identified natural talent and genius in his discussion of skin, flesh, and bone in his text “Attaining the Pursuit of the Flower”(Shikadō「至花道」). The present essay proposes an alternative interpretation of “bone” not as talent but as a native capacity found in all sentient beings, analogous to the idea of Buddha nature. In conclusion, the impact of Nose’s reading on the reception of Japanese cultural traditions is taken up.

Keywords: Zeami—genius—Shikadō—foundation or substrate— skin, flesh, and bone—Nose Asaji—Meiji period—Noh Literature Research Society—myōsō

Imono Mika: “The Habituation of Movement, Active Intuition, and Japanese Swordsmanship”

In the practice of bodily technique, practitioners must repeat movements to form habits and pay attention to their body to improve their movement. The present article considers the learning process of Japanese swordsmanship (剣術)—in particular that of the Yagyū Shinkage school (柳生新陰流)—within the philosophical framework provided by Nishida Kitarō in order to demonstrate the relationship between bodily techniques and one’s perception of the world. By referring to The Book of Family Traditions (兵法家伝書), a text relevant to the school, and interviews conducted with the practitioners of this school, this paper will argue that habituation of movement and clear, conscious control of movement can be practiced simultaneously, and that both are interactively transformative. The paper will further attempt to show that both are developed and deepened with the help of positive and subjective bodily experience.

Keywords: Habit—bodily movement—learning process—kataki—swordsmanship—Yagyū Shinkage school—middle voice—active intuition—Nishida Kitarō.


Tosaka Jun: “Modern Idealism in Disguise: On the Principles for a Critique of Hermeneutic Philosophy”
Translated by Dennis Prooi

Nishitani Keiji: “La prospettiva dello zen”
Translated by Anna Ruggeri

Nishitani Keiji: “El problema del mito”
Translated by Carlos Barbosa

Nishitani Keiji: “The Problem of Myth”
(anonymous translation)

Book Review

Nishida Kitarō: Opere di Kitarō Nishida
Reviewed by Francesca Greco

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