Japanese philosophers on society and culture : Nishida Kitaro, Watsuji Tetsuro, and Kuki Shuzo


Japanese philosophers on society and culture : Nishida Kitaro, Watsuji Tetsuro, and Kuki Shuzo

Graham Mayeda

Lexington Books, 2020

  • : hbk

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In every part of the world and in every era, philosophers have reflected on the meaning of culture and its philosophical significance. Japanese Philosophers on Society and Culture:Nishida Kitaro, Watsuji Tetsuro, and Kuki Shuzo explores how three of Japan's preeminent philosophers of the twentieth century, Nishida Kitaro, Watsuji Tetsuro and Kuki Shuzo, defined culture and analyzed what it tells us about social relations. Graham Mayeda also explores little-known aspects of the work of each philosopher, including a philosophical analysis of Watsuji's travel diary, Pilgrimages to the Ancient Temples in Nara, the place of intuition in Kuki's ethics of otherness, and the role of culture in realizing Nishida's concept of reality as the historical world. Each of the three philosophers discussed in this book adapted philosophical methodologies such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, and dialectical logic to studying the traditional sources of Japanese culture: Confucianism, Buddhism, Bushido and Shinto. This book focuses on the way that Nishida, Watsuji and Kuki critiqued the methodologies that they adopted from European philosophy and modified them to inquire into the values that form the basis of their own cultural tradition. Finally, Mayeda engages with the problem of cultural essentialism by identifying the progressive and conservative elements of each philosopher's characterization of Japanese culture.


Contents Chapter 1: Japanese Cultural and Social Philosophy in Context Chapter 2: Watsuji Tetsuro's Early Views on Culture: A Study of Pilgrimages to the Ancient Temples in Nara (Koji Junrei) Chapter 3: The Development of Watsuji's Theory of Culture and Climate: An Interpretation of Fudo Chapter 4: Watsuji's Three Climatic and Cultural Zones: Anti-Essentialist and Deterministic Readings Chapter 5: Kuki's Hermeneutic Approach to the Floating World - Iki as the Living Form of Japanese Idealism Chapter 6: Kuki and Heidegger - The Method for Interpreting Culture Chapter 7: Kuki Shuzo's Concepts of Culture and Society -- The Intuition at the Heart of Ethics Chapter 8: Nishida: Who I Am and Who You Are Chapter 9: Nishida's Views on Morality and Culture: The Moral Individual and the Moral Culture Conclusion Works Cited About the Author

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