It may sound strange to call Nishida Kitaro a philosopher of science, because he is generally known as a philosopher of religion or a metaphysician. However, in Nishida’s later ten years, his speculation was devoted to studying problems in the philosophy of science. We can see tracks of his struggle for foundation of science in his seven volumes of Philosophical Papers. Nishida’s lifetime(1870~1945)was in the middle of “the crisis of science,”which included the discovery of Russell’s paradox in mathematics, the rise of quantum mechanics in physics, and the controversy between mechanism and vitalism in biology. It is interesting that Nishida identifies himself with heterodox positions in such a controversial situation of sciences, namely Brouwer’s intuitionism in mathematics, Bridgman’s operationalism in physics, and Haldane’s organism in biology.
The reason for Nishida’s sympathy with these opinions is deeply related to his later philosophy founded on the key concept of “acting intuition,”which means intuitive grasp of an object through bodily action as poiesis. As Nishida has stated, “Every conceptual knowledge is stemmed from the historical reality grasped by acting intuition and must be proved on this ground.” From such a viewpoint, he criticizes the law of excluded middle in logic following Brouwer’s analysis of the π-sequence and evaluates the development of quantum physics as “genuine returning to the intuition of bodily self.”
We may call Nishida’s philosophy of sciencein his later stages “anti-realism”because his view of science does not presuppose an ideal scientific world independent of scientists’activities. To put it another way, the natural world is not furnished with an unchanging and everlasting structure, but is malleable to the various operations including scientific measurements and experiments. This position is expressed best by Nishida when he quotes de Broglie’s following words: “as de Broglie said, before analysis by prism there are seven colors in the colorless ray. But they exist in the sense that if we make an experiment, they come out.”From this passage, we realize that the structure of reality itself is involved in the historical formation by acting intuition and bodily poiesis. Nishida also characterizes his position as “radical positivism.”
Nishida’s philosophy of science occupies an indispensable part of his later philosophy, as stated above. However, his achievements of grounding sciences have been unjustly neglected. If we intend to understand the core of Nishida’s philosophy as a whole, we must revaluate his philosophy of science from a contemporary viewpoint.
The standpoint at the Kitarō Nishida’s philosophy has an extremely strong religious color, especially in relation to Buddhism. That is truly Eastern form of thought, i.e. ‘holistic monism,’which is of a different nature than the Western form, especially with regards to the dualism characteristic of the Latin Western tradition. This monism describes a transcendentally single principle which, while preserving to the end its transcendence, develops itself by arising within itself, is a logic which transforms all things from within, and is a whole from which all origination of development is derived. In other words, we can say that this principle is a logic of ‘substance(tǐ)and function(yòng).
It should also be noted, however, that the ‘transcendent unity’of this holistic monism, while we can say that it is transcendent, is not something externally transcendent. In this sense it can be contrasted to that which is featured by the Latin tradition of Western thought in its assumption of an external, personal, singular, divinity which stands outside of that which it transcends. The Eastern transcendent unity of which I speak is, to the utmost, an ‘internal transcendence.’
However, Nishida’s philosophy has inexhaustible depths to offer. We can see this depth in his notion of “oppositional correspondence(gyaku-taiō)”emphasized in his later years.
What Nishida tried to teach via his logic of oppositional correspondence is that “the self is itself insofar as it transcends itself.” To put this in other words, we can say that the self which turns its back to God is, just as it is, enveloped within God’s love, or that the self full of desires which cannot cleanse itself of its sin, is, just as it is, receiving the salvation of divine mercy. The paradoxical situation which Nishida describes is that while the individual self is separate in relation to the absolute self, that individual self remains, at the same time and just as it is, unified with the absolute self in deep reality. In short, Nishida’s logic is none other than a “logic of immanence and transcendence.”
While transcendence remains utterly within the absolute Other, it is precisely there that the relative existent being is something utterly finite. While there is an absolute division between these two, in the depths they are unified. The finite relative self, in the depths of itself, finds ‘transcendence,’and it is here that such a kind of perspective opens towards the absolute other. This problem of the ‘transcendental other’ at the root of the relation between self and self constitutes the centre of Nishida’s thought.
Under the theme of “Philosophy and Art”, my task is to consider the relationship between philosophy and the logic of architecture.
From the viewpoint of philosophers, Aristotle and Plato, regarded architecture in Greek as representing technology which could control all types of technologies, and architect as a man with both theory and practice. In Idealism in Germany, architecture as art and architectural space became subject of philosophy. In phenomenology, especially by M. Heidegger, architecture became considered from human and living.
As to architectural theory, Keiichi Morita (1895-1983)is the pioneer, introducing Vitruvius, who established the logic of architecture in B.C. 30, insisting that architect should learn all of the studies. Morita achieved his original logic of architecture based on studies of Vitruvius and other Western aesthetics. He also referred to architectural space. In his theory, architecture Should represent architecture itself, and should be considered in total. His followers developed various theories referring to aesthetics, space,
They seem to trend opposite to Morita’s theory, but the principle of their architectural theory has been the same as that of Morita’s based on something occurring among human and architecture. Reviewing the logic of architecture and comparing it with Nishida’s theory, they seem to resemble each other, particularly considering the original point of these theories.
In our era of Hegel’s “end of art” thesis, I shall dare to consider creating art of a sort out of philosophy, taking the risk of being called anachronistic. The clue lies in the efforts of philosophers who employed styles close to those of literature. For example, the writing styles of moralists such as Montaigne, Pascal and Alain will serve as reference. The issue is what precisely “writing style” means. While there are cases where even Nishida’s philosophy has been called “philosophical essayism or essayistic philosophy”and criticized for it, I will instead put this factor in a positive light. Therefore, the “artisticbeauty” to be focused on here will on here will mainly be the beauty inherent in the prose. I consider that the locus for the realization of such beauty is where the prose can be said to be alive, and where the words can be said to have life. This can only be when they become entities with bodies. This state cannot be achieved when the style is something that could merely be called logical. What is the issue then? I shall try to develop the issue manifestly as a story of “language and the body.”That is to say, I am engaging in Nishida’s clearly stated argument of “language as the body of thought.”In addition, I shall clarify how this argument is actively linked with the factors Nishida tried to develop in his later years as “creative monadology.”I shall demonstrate that “creative monadology”is what enables us to elegantly enter the so-called “hermeneutic cycle,”which is generated from the obvious situation that “although individual words constituting prose cannot be understood within the work made from the assemblage of prose without grasping the whole of what is known as the assemblage, the whole also consists of individual words.”In doing so, I shall state the possibility of gaining a hint as to the place of “active intuition,”using as a clue the fact that the active point of departure for Nishida in his commentary on art is the body’s being transcended in the direction of the body, and by examining what is called “thought,” which can be possessed by a flesh-and-blood human being, i.e., by an entity with a body. Finally, I shall suggest that, by expanding the discussion from prose to the world, it will become possible to thematize the situation where the world is formed by monads, and that, in fact, this situation of “formation”itself is the part that should be called the quintessence of “creative monadology.”
Nishida Kitaro, summarizing his viewpoint of his earlier period, wrote that his standpoint was close to that of Fichte’s “consciousness”. And from this standpoint he treated the problem of differences and relations between knowledge, feeling, will, and then the world of art and that of moral. In his book ‘Art and Moral’he analyses the concepts of “aesthetic feeling”and “aesthetic imagination”by discussing the theories of Th.Lipps and H.Cohen. The principle which unites the “empathy”of H.Cohen and “anticipation of perception”is the principle of “anticipation of will” or “anticipation of action”by Nishida. According to Nishida, the real existence becomes cultural phenomenon when connected with the principle of “anticipation of action”as empathy, and then the real existence works freely. Thus aesthetic feeling is provided as working of actual will or as the expression of the stream of life in the artistic creation. From this definition come out two directions, that is “the standpoint of absolute will”and “action as an artistic creation”. The latter is connected with the concept of “active intuition”, which means “to see by working”. This concept can also be understood by the method of Japanese artistic training “KATA”or “ideal form”, or Buddhistic concept “GEDATSU” or “Nirvana through training”. In Nishida’s later writings, all the spiritual human activities and cultures are based on religious existence and woven into history.
We can see how unique philosopher Nishida Kitaro’s grasp of art was by examining his analysis of Konrad Fiedler, the 19th century philosopher of art. Instead of merely absorbing Fiedler’s aesthetics, Nishida explored its fundamental “religious”nature. According to Nishida, only art that is fundamentally “religious”can be true art.
In this sense, a study of his aesthetics may lead us towards a broader and deeper understanding of Nishida’s philosophy. Therefore, we cannot treat aesthetics as an auxiliary discipline to philosophy. Nishida saw how the realms of religion, philosophy, art, and morals all centered on human “Life”and explored their ideal forms accordingly. In the end, he defined this ideal form as “religion”in his philosophical work.
In this paper, I try to make a clear picture of the reflective world of Nishida and Miki to grasp the essence of Nishida philosophy through three dialogs between master and pupil. They converse on culture, humanism, and ethics in the texts introduced in this paper. At first, the subject is focused upon Japanese culture. Nishida suggests that musicality is characteristic of Japanese culture and has the capacity to draw worldwide attention. This research inquires as to how it would be following mainly along Nishida Philosophy. Secondly, “the ground of Action”in Nishida philosophy is reflected from the viewpoint of humanism, and “the logic of Nothingness” is deliberated as a principle of Nishida philosophy. Subsequently, “nature”is considered as a derivation of “the logic of Nothingness”in Nishida philosophy. This “nature”manipulates our actions. It requires a proper direction in order to be that which makes this world preferable. Therefore an inquiry is made as to what ethical point this “nature”leads us to.
The aim of this study is to reveal the influence of Aristotle’s concept of ‘hypokeimenon’ upon Nishida Kitaro’s logic of locus.
In An Inquiry into the Good, Nishida discussed two characters of pure experience: (1) Pure experience does not refer to the contents of the ‘that-clause’ which is the object of knowledge as expressed in discursive judgment, rather pure experience refers to the event (or state) of seeing something, hearing something etc., (as it is, prior to discursive discrimination). (2) Pure experience is the original source of our knowledge, which we then proceed to elucidate via judgment(or propositions).
In the process of developing his logic of locus, Nishida adopted (1) as a base, and modified aspects of (2) in light of this. He found in Aristotle’s thought about the ‘hypokeimenon’ an argument that knowledge of perception of objects with non-conceptual content is justified by reference to the individual object itself, prior to(discursive)judgment. Under the influence of this aspect of Aristotle’s thought, Nishida came to develop his logic of locus as a means to locate events within the sphere of reason.
However, there is a crucial difference between Aristotle and Nishida. Nishida was concerned not with the ‘hypokeimenon’ as a means to interpret knowledge of objects with non-conceptual content; but rather with what he termed ‘locus’. With it, Nishida attempted to relate knowledge to our various forms of commitment to the world, thus making it possible to consider knowledge from a practical, rather than purely theoretical, point of view.
In this paper, I will examine 1) problems concerning the first-person perspective, especially its epistemological uniqueness, 2) Nishida’s idea of practical reasoning in a concrete historical reality, and 3) the latter’s complex relations to the former. I will first clarify the notion of the first- person authority, and the so-called rationality thesis on this epistemic problem in contemporary analytic philosophy. I will investigate Tyler Burge’s specific argument, and how it is based on a certain picture of practical rationality. I will then examine Nishida’s idea of an“inference,” more specifically, his notion of a universal of syllogistic inference( 推 論 式 的一般者). This concept has a few distinct features, but I will focus on its practical aspect. Nishida explicates the concept’s phenomenal complexity, examining an“inference”both as a logical necessitation of reason, and as a practical deliberation in a historical reality. The former is called its “constitutive” aspect, while the latter is its“intuitive”aspect. Examination of this latter aspect leads to his sceptic argument, which seriously questions assumptions of the rationality thesis on the first-person authority. I will also argue that Nishida’s ideas concerning “syllogistic inferences” are closely related to his noumenal self (叡智的自己), or noumenal world (叡智的世界).
Having faced the upturning time from the seclusion through the opening of Japan and China, Nishida Kitarō and Mou Zong-san had studied critically and closely on“history”in line with their respective traditions. In the course of receiving Western philosophy, they both employed“Eastern”intellectual thoughts, including Zen and Confucianism to usher their philosophical movements. It is without doubt that there are political, economic and cultural differences embedded in their respective understanding of“history”. They did, however, at the same time emphasize“rationality”as a kind of methodology for studying“history”. For Nishida, instead of highlighting the“particularity”(tokushusei 特殊性), a universal“logic”(ronri 論理)or a strict scholarly method(genmitsunaru gakumontekihōhō 嚴密なる學問的 方法)should be stressed while examining“history”. For Mou,“rationality” in history refers to“the logic of events”(shili 事理), in which“shi”signifies human affairs(renshi 人事)instead of physical events(wulide shi 物理的事) and li denotes its meaningfulness. Mou argued that li should be understood in the way of dialectic logic(bianzhengde li 辯證的理)and dialectic intuition (bianzhengde zhiguan 辯 證 的 直 觀 ). In this short essay, we examine how “rationality”correlates to“history”and how it influenced the formation of Nishida’s and Mou’s philosophy of history. On top of the overwhelming comparative studies between the West and Japan, or the West and China, it is believed to be the time for reviewing the possibility and problematic of philosophical interchange between Japan and China.
In this paper, I shall discuss the notion of sympathy in Nishida Kitaro’s philosophy, with special attention to the difference between empathy and sympathy, and the problem of the other. Insights will be borrowed from Max Scheler’s phenomenological analysis on the essence of sympathy. I shall argue that Nishida’s philosophy of other, which is neither a theory of analogy nor empathy, can be understood in a phenomenological way. This understanding of the phenomenon of sympathy may enrich future philosophical dialogues, such as those between Chinese and Japanese speaking regions.