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By Robert Wilkinson

Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945) is crucial jap thinker of the final century. His consistent objective in philosophy used to be to aim to articulate Zen in phrases drawn from Western philosophical assets, but in spite of everything he stumbled on that he couldn't accomplish that, and his inspiration illustrates a conceptual incommensurability on the private point among the most line of the Western culture and one of many major strains in jap thought.This e-book is a piece of comparative philosophy. consciousness is given to the results of Nishida's metaphysics within the components of ethics, aesthetics, the philosophy of faith and particularly the consequences of Nishida's instance for the query of pluralism. This examine of Nishida brings into sharp concentration the query of no matter if, confronted with a conceptual incommensurability at as deep a degree as that manifested by way of Zen, the alternative among it and its Western substitute should be fully rational.

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Nishida was forty-one years old, and he had been working on it for a number of years. T his would be evident without independent evidence, from the content of the book alone: it is the first articulation of a philosophy already complete in its essentials, and Nishida was to spend the rest of his life refining it.  In his book Nishida does indeed put forward some views in moral philosophy, but not until he has set out a complete metaphysics designed to serve as a foundation for his ethical standpoint.

26–7. 16 ������������������ B ird 1986, p. 82. 11 Radical Empiricism and Pure Experience 35 restraint. Within this restraint he must, and he does, argue that knower and known are, each, elements of pure experience, either the same element counted twice over in different contexts or two elements of the experience of the same subject, with conjunctive transitional material between them. 17 H e explains reference to an object in terms of a distinction between knowledge in transit and knowledge completed and confirmed.

T hese two elements together make up the self of everyday 22 Nishida and Western Philosophy experience. A principal contention of Zen thought is that this self, and the self/notself distinction derived from it (like all conceptual distinctions), are non-ultimate: the assumption we ordinarily make that they are ultimate is a central instance of the condition of spiritual blindness called avidya. A t the moment of satori, this self falls away and what is revealed is the non-cognitive awareness described at various points above.

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