Volume 1, 2008
Aesthetics and Philosophy of Arts
Montserrat Crespín Perales
Nishida Kitarô's First Notion of Beauty
Although we cannot find any Aesthetics system in the works of NISHIDA Kitarõ (1870-1945), the most significant and influential Japanese philosopher of the twentieth-century, one of his central themes is the role of art and aesthetics in relation with morality and religion. His aesthetics approaches are magnificent examples of his aim to overcome the innate dualism that sustains modern epistemology and a door, apparently hidden, to a better understanding of all his speculative scheme of philosophy. This paper attempts to throw light to the importance of the first aesthetic approximation developed by Nishida eleven years before the publication of Zen no Kenkyû [ 善 の 研究 ] (An Inquiry into the Good) (1911) and twenty-three years before the publication of the more accurate system of aesthetics that we read in Geijutsu to dôtoku [芸術 と 道徳] (Art and Morality) (1923). We will analyze the small essay entitled "Bi no Setsumei" [美 の 説明] ("An explanation of Beauty") (1900) and Nishida's first definition of beauty as muga [無我] (self-effacement or ecstasy).