The Newsletter 54 Summer 2010

Confucian thought in early Nishida

Dermott Walsh

The work of the Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945) has come to be seen as an attempt to create a system that incorporates both Western philosophy and insights gleaned from the Zen Buddhist tradition. However, this interpretation fails to account for the variety of infl uences that lead Nishida to formulate his unique insights. In his early work Nishida refers extensively to the Confucian tradition as well as to Buddhism, a fact which becomes especially important when we turn to Nishida’s interpretation of key problems in ethics.

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