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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the comparative philosophies of two premier comparativists of postwar Japan, Nakamura Hajime and Izutsu Toshihiko. Both were known as accomplished scholars within their respective fields—Buddhist studies and Indology for Nakamura, and Islamic studies for Izutsu—when they initiated their comparative projects. Each had a distinct vision of what comparison entails and the sort of philosophy it would produce. Nakamura’s project was a world history of ideas that uncovers basic patterns in the unfolding of human thought. Izutsu aims to reconstruct Oriental philosophy on the basis of certain key concepts common to the traditions. The chapter covers the aims, methods, and philosophical achievements of their comparative projects. In their juxtaposition, it makes evident significant differences in their projects, methods, and results.

Keywords: Nakamura Hajime, Izutsu Toshihiko, Japan, language, thought, Orient, essence, existence, articulation, ontology

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