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Displaying: 1-6 of 6 documents


1. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 3
James W. Heisig Tanabe Hajime’s Elusive Pursuit of Art and Aesthetics
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In philosophical circles at home and abroad, Tanabe’s work has attracted far less attention than that of others in the Kyoto School. The rarefied and abstract cast of his prose often impedes contact with the underlying, existential questions that drove him. This is nowhere more apparent than in the way he treats art and the mind of the artist in his mature work. After a review of Tanabe’s comments on aesthetics in his Collected Works, the premises in his general philosophy on which they rely and the questions they neglect, this article suggests that that we cannot stop at accusing him of failing to draw direct, essential con­nections between artistic sensibility and the guiding principles of his logic, but must attend to the dimly felt presence of an aesthetic at work beneath the surface of Tanabe’s very mode of thought.
2. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 3
Shigenori Nagatomo Dōgen’s “Do No Evil” as Nonproduction of Evil”: An Achievement and Its Micro-Macrocosmic Correlativity
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Dōgen’s treatment of evil starts with a reflection on four statements found in the Pali Buddhist Cannon, namely, “Do no evil, Do good, and Purify the mind. This is the teaching of the Buddhas.” In order to grasp his philosophical reflection on evil, we must cast our inquiry within the wider issues that conceptually frame these four statements; namely, the idea of karmic retribution and an agent trapped in it. This requires us to clarify why “do no evil” precedes “do good,” and why there is a demand to “purify the mind.” The first two injunctions deal with an issue of human nature, and the third with the practice of Zen meditation, which is Dōgen’s method for “purify[ing] the mind.” His reflection on medi­tation experiences enabled him to discover how “do no evil” changes into “nonproduction of evil.” Dōgen’s contention then is that “do no evil” as an ethical imperative transforms into “nonproduction of evil.” Therefore, an ethical imperative as understood by an ordinary person is not the true intent of the above injunction for a practicing Buddhist. This is because the practice of meditation renders a practicing Buddhist inca­pable of producing evil. “Nonproduction of evil” describes an achieved state of personhood. It is for Dōgen a term of achievement, that is, a transformative process reached from a prescriptive imperative to a state descriptive of embodied, meditational experience. With this transforma­tion, one comes to understand “the teaching of the Buddhas.”
3. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 3
Rein Raud Casting off the Bonds of Karma: Watsuji, Shinran, and Dōgen on the Problem of Free Will
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The article approaches the interpretation of the principle of karma as suggested in a sideline in Watsuji Tetsurō’s early reading of the phi­losophy of Dōgen: Karma is the historic, conditioned origin of how our being is enacted at every single instant, of which each individual is the constantly renewed product. In a sense, any sentient existence in the world is thus karmic because it has a history. The consequences of the problem thus posed are explored in the context of the question of subjectivity, causality, and free will, reformulated here as the prob­lem of “genuine choice,” the position where different inputs, such as desires, moral codes, and duties, prompt a person to choose between contradictory courses of action. The results of this analysis are then used to develop a rationalistic reading of one of Dōgen’s key terms, shinjin datsuraku (“casting off the bodymind”), building on Tsujiguchi Yūichirō’s recent work, as the refusal of a person to succumb to her primary karmic determination or to follow the most readily available course of action that her biological, social, and mental structures propose to her.
4. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 3
Eiji Suhara Is Shōmyō Nembutsu Magic?: Reconsidering Shinran’s Nembutsu Debate in Japanese Scholarship from a Multidimensional Perspective
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This research offers a fresh perspective helpful in navigating the debate in modern Japanese scholarship of the so-called nembutsu = magic debate. According to the majority of scholars, Shinran had no need to embrace the practice of “magical” recitation in his Pure Land soteriology that emphasized faith, but chose to keep it only because of his respect for Hōnen. I argue, on the contrary, that Shinran was following Hōnen’s intention to make use of the “magical function” of recitation practice, brought about through Pure Land metaphors and syntactic rhetorics, as a tool for training people incapable of performing the mental act of contemplation practice.
5. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 3
Takeshi Mitsuhara Nishida and Husserl between 1911 and 1917
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This article clarifies the role Husserl’s philosophy plays in the development of Nishida’s philosophy between 1911 and 1917. During this period, Nishida formulates his thought against Rickert’s and Takahashi’s view that sharply distinguishes the transcendence of meaning from mental process. In doing so, showing the mutual dependence of the “transcendent” and the “immanent” was neces­sary. Nishida believes that Husserl’s idea of the mutual dependence of act-matter and act-quality could highlight the mutual dependence of the “transcendent” and the “immanent.” Consequently, Nishida attempts to develop his thought with the help of Husserl’s philoso­phy, which brings about a change in Nishida’s thought. First, Nishida develops his philosophy on the basis of the mutual dependence of act-matter and act-quality in intentional experience. Second, Nishida tries to elucidate the qualitative difference in self-awareness with the concept of act-quality. In addition, Nishida understands the qualita­tive difference as that of various worlds based on Husserl’s view of the constitution of various worlds. Finally, Nishida argues for the unity of worlds through the will, under the influence of Husserl’s assertion concerning the connection of various worlds through the “I.”
6. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 3
Steve Odin Hallucinating the End of History: Nishida, Zen, and the Psychedelic Eschaton
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