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Nothingness Beyond God

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Nishida Kitaro Second Edition

Robert Edgar Carter

256 pages
Paragon House
When we hear the term "Japanese philosophy" we think of Zen Buddhism or the Shinto scriptures. Yet one of the great 20th century interpreters of Western philosophy, Nishida Kitaro, lived and wrote in the Japanese islands all his life, laboring at an ultimate synthesis of oriental thought and Western hermeneutics. To be sure, Nishida's aim was to understand his own cultural influences in relation to the Western world. What distinguished him, however, was his passion for rendering oriental metaphysics understandable in the language of Western philosophy, and his attempts to contrast the paradoxicality of Buddhist logic with the logical strategies of Aristotle, Kant, or Hegel. Featured in this book is an interpretation of Nishida's writings. Professor Carter focuses on the Japanese thinker's notion of "basho," a concept of nothingness as field, place or topos as borrowed from Plato's Tim'us. Expounding on the logical foundations and archaic elements in Nishida's work, and carefully explaining Nishida's critical approach to the questions of God, religion and morality, and pure existence, this discerning book offers students of Western philosophy and oriental thought alike a highly readable introduction to the teachings of a true world philosopher.