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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the 1970s, Hiromatsu Wataru, Sakabe Megumi, Ōmori Shōzō, and Inoue Tadashi each taught at Komaba, a campus of the University of Tokyo. Retrospectively, we can view these four figures as sources of our philosophical thinking in contemporary Japan. They did not form a “school,” having as they did different tendencies and styles, yet their relatively independent philosophies cohere in a manner analogous to a musical quartet. They were each aware, for example, of using the Japanese language as a resource for their philosophy. Specifically, each of the four philosophers developed his thinking by reflecting on the association between koto (こと, occurrence) and koto (こと, word or language), an association enabled by the homonymy of the two words in Japanese. The “philosophy of koto,” in which occurrence and language are inseparable, can be considered the common horizon of their thinking.

Keywords: Hiromatsu Wataru, Inoue Tadashi, Sakabe Megumi, Ōmori Shōzō, koto (occurrence), kotoba (word, language), koto-teki sekai-kan (relational worldview), tachiaraware (emergence), utsuri (copying, transferring)

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