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Nishida Kitaro

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Template:Japanese name

Japanese philosophy
20th century philosophy
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Name: 西田 幾多郎 Nishida Kitaro
Birth: May 19, 1870
Death: June 7, 1945
School/tradition: Kyoto School
Main interests
Zen Buddhism, Moral philosophy
Notable ideas
Logic of Basho (non-dualistic concrete logic), Absolute Nothingness
InfluencesInfluenced
Henri Bergson, William James, Kant, Hegel, Josiah Royce, Edmund Husserl... |
Hajime Tanabe, Nishitani Keiji, Shin'ichi Hisamatsu, Watsuji Tetsuro, Kuki Shūzō, Shimizu Hiroshi, Morita Shiryu, Kimura Bin,Nakamura Yujiro...

Kitaro Nishida (西田 幾多郎 Nishida Kitarō; 1870, Ishikawa Prefecture – 1945) was a prominent Japanese philosopher, founder of what has been called the Kyoto School of philosophy. He graduated from The University of Tokyo during the Meiji Era in 1894 with a degree in philosophy. He was named professor of the Fourth High School of Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1899 and later became professor of philosophy at Kyoto University. Nishida retired in 1927. Later in his retirement, in 1940, he was awarded the Cultural Medal of Honor. Nishida Kitaro died at the age of seventy-five of a renal [infection. His grave is located at Reiun'in, a temple in the Myoshin-ji compound in Kyoto.

Philosophy Edit

Having been born in the third year of the Meiji Era, Nishida was presented with a newly unique opportunity to contemplate eastern philosophical issues in the fresh light that western philosophy shined on them. Nishida's original and creative philosophy, incorporating ideas of both Zen and western philosophy, was aimed at bringing the East and West closer. Throughout his lifetime, Nishida published a number of books and essays including "An Inquiry into the Good" and "The Logic of the Place of Nothingness and the Religious Worldview." Taken as a whole, Nishida’s life work was the foundation for the Kyoto School of Philosophy and the inspiration for the original thinking of his disciples. The most famous concept in Nishida's philosophy is the logic of basho (Japanese: 場所; usually translated as place or topos), a non-dualistic 'concrete' logic, meant to overcome the inadequacy of the subject-object distinction essential to the subject logic of Aristotle and the predicate logic of Kant, through the affirmation of what he calls the 'absolutely contradictory self-identity', a dynamic tension of opposites that, unlike the dialectical logic of Hegel, does not resolve in a synthesis, but rather defines its proper subject by maintaining the tension between affirmation and negation as opposite poles or perspectives.


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