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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter’s content centers on the question “Is there an ultimate context for conceptualizing everything, every being in the world, and even the world itself?” This question, a central concern of Nishida Kitarō in the mature stage of his philosophy, led him to develop a novel alternative to the ways that philosophers distinguish self and world and seek ultimate grounds for them. Nishida’s alternative was the notion of “the place of absolute nothingness” that underlies all distinctions and contextualizes all grounds. This article explores the significance of Nishida’s alternative and points to the positive role that obscurity and context play in making distinctions.

Keywords: distinctions, externalism, internalism, Kyoto School, Nishida Kitarō, nothingness, obscurity, place (basho), Zen, Zhuangzi

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