Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Dōgen Kigen (1200–1253) was the founder of the Sōtō school of Japanese Zen Buddhism, and he is widely held to be the most significant philosopher in the Zen tradition. The kernel of his thought is expressed in his most famous text, Genjōkōan, rendered here as “The Presencing of Truth.” This chapter explicates the key ideas of this text, offering in particular an interpretation of its epistemological implications. It argues that Dōgen’s view of enlightenment as an ongoing practice of enlightening, as an unending path of discovery, implies an egoless perspectivism. It is a perspectivism insofar as reality is understood to only ever show itself one aspect at a time. In delusion, this perspective gets narrowly determined by the will of the ego. In the practice of enlightenment or enlightening, however, the self “forgets itself” in the “total exertion” of a participatory engagement in the world, and truth presences in and through such nondual events of interconnectivity.

Keywords: Dōgen, Zen Buddhism, Genjō kōan, perspectivism, epistemology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.