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By Christopher Goto-Jones

Political Philosophy in Japan specializes in the politics of Japan's pre-eminent philosophical university - the Kyoto institution - and especially that of its founder, Nishida Kitar? (1870-1945). current literature on Nishida is dismissive of there being critical political content material in his paintings, and of the political stance of the broader institution. Goto-Jones contends that, faraway from being apolitical, Nishida's philosophy used to be explicitly and deliberately political, and right political studying of Nishida sheds new mild at the controversies surrounding the alleged complicity of the Kyoto institution in jap ultra-nationalism. This ebook bargains a different and very likely arguable view of the topic of Nishida and the Kyoto university.

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Additional info for Political Philosophy in Japan: Nishida, the Kyoto School and co-prosperity (Routledge Leiden Series in Modern East Asian Politics and History)

Sample text

Skinner cites the example of ‘obsequiously’, which was used approvingly in Europe until the end of the sixteenth century and disapprovingly thereafter. The third strategy, and the most important in the context of Nishida Kitarō’s work, is for the intellectual to challenge the conventional empirical application of existing evaluative-descriptive terms. This strategy represents a linguistic sleight-of-hand, since it does not involve the generation of any new terms, or even the internal manipulation of an existing system of evaluative-descriptive terms, rather it demands that the dissenting intellectual manipulates the relationship between the world of ideas and language and its conventional reference points in the socio-political world of everyday existence.

In particular, the text does not successfully resolve the questions of whether harmony can be enforced on the people of Japan or whether it actually indicates a principle of tolerance;21 the text is ambiguous about whether harmony is a value particular to Japan or of universal applicability; the text is unclear about the relationship between the (particular) Japanese emperor and the (universal) Mandate of Heaven; and finally it is rather vague when it comes to specifying how harmony should be achieved in practice.

Skinner cites the example of ‘obsequiously’, which was used approvingly in Europe until the end of the sixteenth century and disapprovingly thereafter. The third strategy, and the most important in the context of Nishida Kitarō’s work, is for the intellectual to challenge the conventional empirical application of existing evaluative-descriptive terms. This strategy represents a linguistic sleight-of-hand, since it does not involve the generation of any new terms, or even the internal manipulation of an existing system of evaluative-descriptive terms, rather it demands that the dissenting intellectual manipulates the relationship between the world of ideas and language and its conventional reference points in the socio-political world of everyday existence.

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