Volume 7, 2021
Special Issue on Taiwanese Philosophy
The Continuity between Hung Yao-hsün’s Early and Late Philosophy
Hung Yao-hsün (1903–1986) is one of the most creative, albeit long overlooked, thinkers in Japanese-ruled Taiwan (1895–1945). This paper’s aim is threefold. It first argues that while Hung’s early philosophy was rooted in the Kyoto school, he is a key founder of the Sit-chûn movement of Taiwanese philosophy. It next shows that during Taiwan’s martial law (1949–1987), Hung’s thought features a “Buddhist turn,” in which Zen is incorporated within existentialism. Third, while this turn is a sharp contrast to his prewar philosophical activism, Hung’s last work stressed Abraham Kaplan’s (1918–1993) view that philosophy should be connected to one’s life experience, echoing Hung’s prewar usage of fūdo in justifying Taiwan’s cultural subjectivity. In other words, there is an implicit continuity between his early and late philosophy.