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Journal of Japanese Philosophy

Volume 5, 2017

Maximilian Gregor Hepach
Pages 43-65

A Phenomenology of Weather and Qi

The following article aims to answer the question: “How do we experience weather and qi?” Answering this question addresses two problems: (i) Both the phenomena of weather and qi elude classic phenomenological paradigms such as thing-perception and Dasein, brought forth by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, respectively. If phenomenology is concerned with giving an account of experience starting with the “things themselves,” weather and qi necessitate a different phenomenological paradigm, which comprehensively accounts for the experience of both. This article demonstrates that inconspicuousness, as it has been recently phenomenologically accounted for by Günter Figal, is such a new paradigm. (ii) Philosophy done across different languages and cultures is often faced with the problem of untranslatability. This article further demonstrates, following Hisayama Yuho’s work, how phenomenology can present a ground for such philosophy: Instead of discussing qi through its mistranslations into English, I approach the phenomenon by discussing the similarity of phenomenological accounts of qi from Japanese philosophy with my own account of the phenomenology of weather. Both phenomenological accounts mutually elucidate each other. A phenomenological analysis of weather and qi thus both illustrates a largely unthematized facet of human experience in phenomenology, namely, the immersion in media of perception and experience, and demonstrates the philosophical productivity of intercultural philosophy.