Volume 7, 2021
Special Issue on Taiwanese Philosophy
Hung Yao-hsün and Japanese Philosophy
Hung Yao-hsün is the founder of philosophical research in Taiwan. He is strongly inf luenced by Mutai Risaku, who is a disciple of Nishida Kitarō and the first philosophy professor at Taihoku Imperial University. I will discuss how Hung developed his thoughts and philosophical research in Taiwan, and what the role of Japanese philosophy was. In his first essay titled “Philosophical Problems Today,” Hung Yao-hsün praised Heidegger’s philosophy of “existence.” However, Hung later criticized Heidegger’s philosophy, claiming that contradiction and negativity in dialectics are not sufficiently considered. This criticism shows Hung’s influence from Mutai Risaku. In “Art and Philosophy (Especially on Their Relationship to Historical Society),” Hung emphasizes the importance of a real foundation (species as substratum) in the development of literature and art. This is based on Tanabe’s “logic of species.” The significance of Hung Yao-hsün’s thought does not lie in his understanding of Tanabe’s notion of species as a mere logical mediation, but in the interpretation of the species as an “actual foundation of life” and in the idea of cultural creation based on the historical and social characteristics of Taiwan.