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By Bret W. Davis

Spotting the significance of the Kyoto university and its impression on philosophy, politics, faith, and Asian reviews, jap and Continental Philosophy initiates a talk among jap and Western philosophers. The essays during this cross-cultural quantity placed Kyoto university thinkers in dialog with German Idealism, Nietzsche, phenomenology, and different figures and colleges of the continental culture equivalent to Levinas and Irigaray. Set within the context of world philosophy, this quantity deals serious, cutting edge, and effective discussion among one of the most influential philosophical figures from East and West.

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When one simply hears the word “emptiness,” even if one knows that its core meaning is that of Mahāyāna Buddhism’s śūnyatā, one can freely put in play other possible connotations, such as: (1) futility, vacuity, and nihility; (2) the sky,6 and in particular a vast blue sky. Nishitani speaks of the sky as the invisible infinite become visible, as the visible eternal, and of the open expanse (kokū)7 as an image of the fundamentally invisible infinite. He suggests that “the blue sky is this open expanse as it appears in visible form to human sensibility,” and that “the sight of the blue sky with the eyes of the body is directly transferred to the sight of the open expanse with the eyes of the mind/heart”;8 and finally (3) the wind, which is closely related to emptiness and the sky for Nishitani.

Emptiness is an abyss for the abyss of nihility. ” And yet, because it is more to the near side of us than we ourselves are, “we fail to realize that we stand more to the near side of ourselves in emptiness than we do in self-consciousness” (NKC 10: 110–11/RN 98). The question is whether, in the bottomless self-awakening that leaps into nothingness, the nihility that endlessly nihilizes our being-in-the-world is itself emptied and converted into the emptiness that lies open underfoot. ” The endless futility of the hollow vacuum and the bottomless brightness of the open expanse are two revolving sides of the 360-degree modulations of emptiness.

The Mahāyāna and especially Zen ideal is then expressed as that of becoming a “true person existing in the coming and going of life-and-death” (shōjikyorai-shinjitsunintai). 5. Translator’s note: For Nietzsche’s notebook writings on European nihilism, see Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage, 1967), 7–82. , Die Philosophie der KyōtoSchule (Munich: Alber, 1990). 6. Translator’s note: In Chinese and Japanese “sky” is written with the same character as “emptiness” (Ch.

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