Buddhism: Zen: The Kyoto School
Zen Buddhism: The Kyoto School
The main purpose of this book is to offer to philosophers and students abroad who show a great interest in Japanese philosophy and the philosophy of the Kyoto school major texts of the leading philosophers. This interest has surely developed out of a desire to obtain from the thought of these philosophers, who stood within the interstice between East and West, a clue to reassessing the issues of philosophy from the ground up or to drawing new creative possibilities. The material available in translation to realize such intellectual dialogue is, however, far too scarce. This book is intended to remedy that situation by presenting selected texts of representative philosophers of the Kyoto school such as Nishida Kitaro, Tanabe Hajime, Miki Kiyoshi, Nishitani Keiji, and others, in works that paint a comprehensive image of the School. Those interested in Japanese philosophy or specifically the philosophy of the Kyoto School can survey a comprehensive representation from this book. These texts are, of course, quite difficult and cannot be well understood without sufficient preliminary knowledge. Expository essays have therefore been included after each text to provide guidance. In each of these commentaries a scholar of our time with deep understanding of the philosopher in question has provided an account of his life, intellectual journey, and the significance of the text included here.
The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Philosophy, edited by Michiko Yusa. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.
Clarifying the significance of Japanese philosophy as an academic discipline, this collection of essays examines the current vibrant trends in Japanese philosophical thinking. Situating Japanese philosophy within the larger context of global intercultural philosophical discourse and pointing to new topics of research, this Handbook covers philosophy of science, philosophy of peace, philosophy of social justice and healing. Introducing not only new readings of well-known Japanese philosophers, but also work by contemporary Japanese philosophers who are relatively unknown outside Japan, it makes a unique contribution by offering an account of Japanese philosophy from within and going beyond an objective description of it in its various facets. Also featured is the work of a younger generation of scholars and thinkers, who bring in fresh perspectives that will push the field into the future. These critical essays, by leading philosophers and rising scholars, to the past and the present of Japanese philosophy demonstrate ways of doing engaged philosophy in the present globalized age. With suggestions for further reading, a glossary, a timeline and annotated bibliography, this volume is an ideal research guide to understanding the origin, transformation, and reception of Japanese philosophy in the 21st century.
The Kyoto School: An Introduction by Robert E. Carter. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2013.
This book provides a much-needed introduction to the Kyoto School of Japanese philosophy. Robert E. Carter focuses on four influential Japanese philosophers: the three most important members of the Kyoto School (Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime, and Nishitani Keiji), and a fourth (Watsuji Tetsurō), who was, at most, an associate member of the school. Each of these thinkers wrestled systematically with the Eastern idea of “nothingness,” albeit from very different perspectives. Many Western scholars, students, and serious general readers are intrigued by this school of thought, which reflects Japan’s engagement with the West. A number of works by various thinkers associated with the Kyoto School are now available in English, but these works are often difficult to grasp for those not already well-versed in the philosophical and historical context. Carter’s book provides an accessible yet substantive introduction to the school and offers an East-West dialogue that enriches our understanding of Japanese thought while also shedding light on our own assumptions, habits of thought, and prejudices.
The Formless Self by Joan Stambaugh. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999.
Gathering and interpreting material that is not readily available elsewhere, this book discusses the thought of the Japanese Buddhist philosophers Dogen, Hisamatsu, and Nishitani. Stambaugh develops ideas about the self culminating in the concept of the Formless Self as formulated by Hisamatsu in his book The Fullness of Nothingness and the essay "The Characteristics of Oriental Nothingness," and further explicated by Nishitani in his book Religion and Nothingness. These works show that Oriental nothingness has nothing to do with the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western concept of nihilism. Instead, it is a positive phenomenon, enabling things to be. Joan Stambaugh is Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Her books include The Real is Not the Rational; The Finitude of Being; and The Other Nietzsche. She is also the translator of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, all published by SUNY Press.
Kitaro Nishida (1870 – 1945)
Hajime Tanabe (1885 – 1962)
Shuzo Kuki (1888 – 1941)
Tetsuro Watsuji (1889 – 1960)
Keiji Nishitani (1900 – 1990)
Masao Abe (1915 – 2006)