1)Nagaoka Zenjuku is a training dojo(hall)of Zen primarily for university students. Its second head master, Shonen Morimoto Roshi was a disciple of Kitaro Nishida. Therefore, Nagaoka Zenjuku was related to Nishida and, through him, to Daisetz Suzuki. The photographs show Morimoto Roshi sitting in front of calligraphies, one by Nishida(「心月孤円 光呑万象」)and the other one by Suzuki
(「 無 事 甲 」). The calligrapher, the meaning of the calligraphy and the sitting figure of Morimoto Rohshi form a fine trinity in each of the photographs.
2)Nishida lived a life of Nothingness by practicing the way of Zen. In my opinion, the fundamental character of Nothingness is to turn freely, becoming Great Wisdom(prajñā). Regarding Nishida, the process of understanding Zen, the unfolding of the philosophical thinking and the quality of his philosophy are all none other than the free turning of Nothingness itself. For example, Nishida mentions “the development of a certain unifying reality” in An Inquiry into the Good. But why does it develop? Because the very thing of the reality is Nothingness and it turns freely. The dynamics of “history”, “poiesis”, “creativity” and the like in the later philosophy of Nishida come from the activity of Nothingness.
Nishida Kitaro and Suzuki Daisetsu were both born in 1870. Throughout their lives since their adolescence, they shared an intimate friendship and exchange of ideas. Daisetsu discovered in the Pure Land thought of Hōnen and Shinran a distinctive “Japanese Spirituality” characterized by the faith in being saved unconditionally through the absolute compassion of Amita- Buddha. Nishida discussed the theory of salvation in Shin Buddhism in his very last article, “The Logic of basho(Place)and the Religious World-view.” He pointed out that the Buddha in Shin Buddhist doctrine fully transcends us and at the same time embraces us. However, Daisetsu’s and Nishida’s understanding of Shin Buddhism went further than this. Both emphasized that salvation by Amita-Buddha immediately transforms itself into concrete effort to help others. Such understanding is not only a valuable contribution to contemporary doctrinal studies of Shin Buddhism, it more generally points a way to religion’s engagement with society.
Most conventional understandings of Nishida’s philosophy locate Nishida’s later thought in the context of the “pure experience” of his early period. However, after the publication of “Self-conscious Realization of Nothingness”(1932)in his middle period, some aspects of Nishida’s thought represent clear departures from this context. The concepts of “others” and “transcendence” cannot be fully captured in the context of pure experience, which is principally concerned with the “unity of self and other” and “unity of man and god”. Namely these concepts will eventually be clarified starting from the middle period of “Self-conscious Realization of Nothingness”. This paper traces the transformation of Nishida’s thought with reference to the twin perspectives of others and transcendence. I particularly wish to problematize the relationship between the “acting self in the historical world” that appears in the late Nishida and the“absolute”discussed in his final essay“The Logic of Locus and a Religious Worldview(” 1945). I do so with the belief that understanding this particular relationship will lead to a final comprehension of the problems of others and transcendence in Nishida’s philosophy. While presenting this key discussion, the paper may also be considered an attempt to reconsider the entirety of Nishida’s philosophy from the perspectives of others and transcendence.
Nishida has sought for the unified structure of all knowledge over the direct experience thoroughly without assuming some substantive object in the back of the experience and regarding correspondence of judgment with that object as truth. Therefore his attitude could be called “phenomenological”, because the phenomenological thinking means to describe phenomenon as they appears and elucidate the structure of phenomenon from inside of phenomenon instead of setting the principle of phenomenon outside phenomenon. As he investigated the measure of the truth over the direct experience, his philosophical viewpoint became deepened from “pure experience” to “self-consciousness”, and from “self-consciousness” to “field”. And the late Nishida’s thought starts by asking for the structure of the historical world where individuals who represent the world are born and die. The important key word he refined to research the structure of the world and the formation of the self in unified way is “expression”. So this paper will explore phenomenological features of the late Nishida’s truth- theory by paying attention to the negative structure of the word “expression” used in “Philosophical Collected Papers Vol.3”.
In recent years there have been many studies that look at the relationship between the philosophies of Nishida Kitaro and Shinran, however, only a very small number explore this relationship from the perspective of Shinran’s Doctrinal Studies.
One can see in Nishida a deep affinity with Shinran from an early age, expressed for example in his 1911 essay Gutoku Shinran. Also, in his Zen no kenkyū(“An Inquiry into the Good”), released in the same year, one can see in the fourth section, which deals with religion, a possible influence from contemporary modern Shinran’s Doctrinal Studies pioneer Kiyozawa Manshi (1863―1903).
After that, Nishida very rarely directly mentions Shinran, right up until his later years. However, I believe that even if Shinran is not visible on the surface one can perceive a note in Nishida’s underlying philosophy that resonates with Shinran’s doctrine. And, I believe that note takes full form in one of his last works, 1945’s Basho-teki ronri to shūkyō-teki sekai-kan(“The Logic of Place and the Religious Worldview”). The study I present here will center itself around the philosophical concept of “Inverse Correspondence” and argue the Shinran’s Doctrine is revealed in Nishida’s discussion of the relationship between the infinite other and the finite individual self.
The main purpose of this article is to clarify the relation of “body(身体)” and “impulsion(衝動)” in Nishida Kitarō’s middle work “Determinations as Self-awareness of Nothingness”(1932). The reason is that many researches about Nishida’s body theory have only focused on the concept of the “historical body” discussed in Nishida’s later philosophy. However, concerning the body theory of Nishida, the connection from his middle philosophy to the later one still remains unknown to this research. In this condition, this article is going to attempt to establish a way to create his later act and body theory with his middle philosophy. Especially, the focus point of this article is the relationship between the body and the materiality in “Determinations and Self-awareness of Nothingness”. Nishida shows us that the personal experience is induced by the act of the materiality of the body and an impulsion from “Absolute Nothingness(絶対無)” in this work and this point is different from his earlier writings. This article is going to reveal what could emerge from this change of focus and how this discussion could be related to his later philosophy.
It is widely acknowledged that, with the idea of ‘basho’, Nishida Kitaro had succeeded in establishing his original ‘Nishida philosophy’. Nishida arrived at the idea of ‘basho’ as ‘that which is predicate but never subject’ by inverting the Aristotelian concept of ‘substance’, i.e. ‘that which is subject but never predicate’. Moreover, according to Nishida, this ‘basho’ is the ‘conscious consciousness’ that underlies judgments. Nishida’s originality lies in this turn towards the predicate. However, the attempt to understand the nature of cognition through the relation between the subject and predicate of a judgment was itself not uncommon. At that time, a number of philosophers engaged with what was called ‘epistemological logic’ that emphasized the role of judgment and sought to connect cognition and logic within judgments. Indeed, in “From the Acting to Seeing”in which the essay ‘Basho’ is compiled, Nishida refers to Bernard Bosanquet who is one of such philosophers. By confronting Bosanquet’s ideas, Nishida comes to view the true subject of the judgment in the direction of the predicate and consequently, comes to understand judgments as the determination of such predicate plane. This paper examines the way Nishida formulates his ideas vis-à-vis the problematics of his contemporaries. More specifically, it attempts to clarify the influence of‘epistemological logic’ on Nishida’s idea of the ‘logic of basho’ by considering Bosanquet’s influence on Nishida.
This paper attempts to show the characteristics of Tiantai’s perfect teaching(yuanjiao)in Nishida’s philosophy of basho. This is an alternative to a certain type of Nishida interpretation that emphasizes influences from Huayan Buddhism and the Awakening of Faith in Nishida’s metaphysics, especially in his later notion of absolutely contradictory identity. These Buddhist doctrines as well as Yogācāra Buddhism are classified by Tiantai Buddhism as distinctive teaching(biejiao), not perfect teaching. This paper clarifies that the characteristics of the theory of basho cannot be found in distinctive teaching although Nishida’s theory of cognitive act indeed shows similarities to Yogācāra Buddhism. Following Mou Zongsan’s(1909―95)and Andō Toshio’s(1909―73)interpretation, I argue that Tiantai Buddhism, in its elucidation of the ontological stratum as the envelopment of cognitive act, has the same metaphysical structure as that found in Nishida’s logic of basho, which further crystallizes into the principle of contradictory identity.
This article contrasts the meaning of “one world” as it is represented in current discussions of the environmental crisis, with the sense of “one world” in writings of Nishida and Heidegger from the 1930s. A review of the current geopolitical situation and the environmental crisis shows not only that the world has changed and that our view of the world has changed, but also that the very concept of one world has changed. This new concept, as it is assumed by scientists and philosophers like Peter Singer, remains bound to naturalism, the predominant worldview that ultimately all things can be explained by scientifically discovered laws of nature and are subject to human control. Nishida’s “Logic and Life”(論理と生命)and Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy(Beiträge zur Philosophie)show that the world envisioned by naturalism is an abstraction and a curtailment of creativity. World as creative source expresses Nishida’s notion of the one “historical world” in its productive interplay with our many individual, bodily selves, as well as Heidegger’s notion of “world” in tension with “earth.” Today we may be facing not simply an environmental crisis, but an historical crisis, jeopardizing our very ability to conceive of the one world as creative but deeply vulnerable.