An Inquiry Into the Good

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Yale University Press, Jan 29, 1992 - Philosophy - 184 pages
2 Reviews
An Inquiry into the Good represented the foundation of Nishida's philosophy--reflecting both his deep study of Zen Buddhism and his thorough analysis of Western philosophy--and established its author as the foremost Japanese philosopher of this century. In this important new translation, two scholars--one Japanese and one American--have worked together to present a lucid and accurate rendition of Nishida's ideas. -The translators do an admirable job of adhering to the cadence of the original while avoiding unidiomatic, verbatim constructions.---John C. Maraldo, Philosophy East and West

-More accurate and critical than the first translation into English of Nishida's earliest book. . . . An important addition to library collections of twentieth-century philosophy, Japanese intellectual history, and contemporary Buddhist thought.---Choice

-A welcome new translation of a work by probably the most original and influential of modern Japanese philosophers.---Hide Ishiguro, Times Literary Supplement
-Undoubtedly the most important work for anyone in the West interested in understanding modern Japanese thought. This work premiered Japanese philosophy as modern but has also shown unusual staying power. In the late twentieth century Japanese thinkers, both religious and secular, insist on its importance and relevance.---William R. La Fleur, University of Pennsylvania
 

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User Review  - Me-chan - LibraryThing

Really bad. Constant use-mention errors don't help. Prejudicial view of science and adherence to concepts like human nature and essentialism in favor of religious sentiments is there to slap you on ... Read full review

Contents

4 Intellectual Intuition
30
God as Reality
79
THE GOOD
85
Conduct 1
87
Conduct i1
92
The Freedom of the Will
95
A Study of Conduct in Terms of Value
100
Theories of Ethics 1
103
The Motivation of Good Conduct The Form of the Good
132
The Goal of Good Conduct The Content of the Good
136
Perfect Good Conduct
142
RELIGION
147
The Religious Demand
149
The Essence of Religion
153
God
158
God and the World
167

Theories of Ethics n
107
Theories of Ethics 1n 11 1
111
Theories of Ethics 1v
115
The Good Energetism
122
The Good as a Unity of Personality
127
Knowledge and Love
173
Select Bibliography
177
Index
181
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Generally considered Japan's first major modern philosopher, Nishida Kitaro was the founder of an approach to philosophy that usually is identified as the Kyoto School. Born near Kanazawa, where he was a childhood friend of D.T. Suzuki, Nishida attended Tokyo University and upon graduation became a country high school teacher. During this time, he was drawn to Zen Buddhism as both a philosophy and a way of life. Simultaneously, he deepened his readings in Western philosophy, especially German idealism, psychology, and American pragmatism. In 1910 he took an appointment at Kyoto University, where he taught until his retirement in 1928. His first work, Zen-no-kenkyu (A Study of Good) (1911), features his early ideas, explaining the relationships among thought, reality, ethics, and religion. He continued to write books, mainly in the form of related essays, until his death in 1945. Nishida's philosophy often is classified into three periods. In the early period (1910-1917?), he emphasized the analysis of "pure experience", attempting to show a common drive to unity in the experiences underlying the formation of science, art, morality, and religion. In his second, transitional period (1917-1927?), he studied the philosophies of the German Neo-Kantians and turned to an interest in the logical structure of judgment instead of the psychological roots of experience. Fine-tuning his ideas in Intuition and Reflection in Self-Consciousness (1917) and The Problems of Consciousness (1920), he concluded that the ultimate basis of consciousness is "absolute free will." This shift led to his third period (1927-45), during which he developed his "logic of place," a systematic attempt to characterize the contextual structures within which judgments (empirical, idealistic, and ethical-aesthetic-religious) are formed. He later extended this view to cover the historical world. Although sometimes criticized for his artificiality, and, despite various twists and turns in his philosophical career, Nishida consistently strove to articulate a philosophical system that would incorporate the insights of both Western and Asian thought.

A student of D. T. Suzuki, Hisamatsu Shin'ichi, and Nishitani Keiji, Abe Masao is the member of the Kyoto School who has been most active in personally interacting with Western philosophers and theologians. His essays draw on a variety of sources in an effort to make East and West more intelligible to each other and to push both traditions to new philosophical and religious insights.

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