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Journal of Japanese Philosophy

Volume 7, 2021
Special Issue on Taiwanese Philosophy

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1. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7

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2. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Masakatsu Fujita

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Hung Yao-hsün is the founder of philosophical research in Taiwan. He is strongly inf luenced by Mutai Risaku, who is a disciple of Nishida Kitarō and the first philosophy professor at Taihoku Imperial University. I will discuss how Hung developed his thoughts and philosophical research in Taiwan, and what the role of Japanese philosophy was. In his first essay titled “Philosophical Problems Today,” Hung Yao-hsün praised Heidegger’s philosophy of “existence.” However, Hung later criticized Heidegger’s philosophy, claiming that contradiction and negativity in dialectics are not sufficiently considered. This criticism shows Hung’s influence from Mutai Risaku. In “Art and Philosophy (Especially on Their Relationship to Historical Society),” Hung emphasizes the importance of a real foundation (species as substratum) in the development of literature and art. This is based on Tanabe’s “logic of species.” The significance of Hung Yao-hsün’s thought does not lie in his understanding of Tanabe’s notion of species as a mere logical mediation, but in the interpretation of the species as an “actual foundation of life” and in the idea of cultural creation based on the historical and social characteristics of Taiwan.

3. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Chin-Ping Liao

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Before Being and Time was published, Heidegger’s philosophy had been introduced to East Asia by Tanabe Hajime, one of the founding fathers of the Kyoto school of philosophy. The very first idea introduced to Japanese academia was the new turn from Husserl’s phenomenology of pure consciousness to Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the process of reception and transformation of Heidegger’s philosophy in Tanabe Hajime’s and Hung Yao-hsün’s philosophy, and to unveil the historical episode of the heterogeneity of Heidegger’s philosophy in East Asia.

4. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Yoshinobu Shino

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Hung Yao-hsün is one of founders of modern Taiwanese philosophy. He was educated in philosophy in Japan, the suzerain, and published several articles in Japanese. He developed his study under the influence of contemporary Japanese scholars such as Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime, Watsuji Tetsurō, Mutai Risaku, and so on. His main concern resided in the ontological relation between the individual and the world, and “existence” was a keyword throughout his life. However, he avoided using it in his articles entitled “Art and Philosophy” and “On Climatic Surroundings and Culture,” written in 1936. In these papers, alluding to an idea of Tanabe, Hung discussed the role of “the specific substance” which served to mediate the individual and the world. Referring to the analysis of Watsuji on fūdo (climatic surroundings and culture), he mentioned the specific status of Taiwan in this context, but he could only find its historical peculiarities. This meant an approval of Japanese rule on Taiwan at that time. It is perhaps in order to avoid this conclusion that Hung introduced the idea of “the logic of the expressive world” by Mutai, who criticized Tanabe’s logic of the specific. After these two papers, Hung returned to devote himself to the problem of existence. The development of his study reflects the contemporary discussion of Japanese scholars and provides a perspective for rethinking the “Japanese philosophy.”

5. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Tzu-Wei Hung

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Hung Yao-hsün (1903–1986) is one of the most creative, albeit long overlooked, thinkers in Japanese-ruled Taiwan (1895–1945). This paper’s aim is threefold. It first argues that while Hung’s early philosophy was rooted in the Kyoto school, he is a key founder of the Sit-chûn movement of Taiwanese philosophy. It next shows that during Taiwan’s martial law (1949–1987), Hung’s thought features a “Buddhist turn,” in which Zen is incorporated within existentialism. Third, while this turn is a sharp contrast to his prewar philosophical activism, Hung’s last work stressed Abraham Kaplan’s (1918–1993) view that philosophy should be connected to one’s life experience, echoing Hung’s prewar usage of fūdo in justifying Taiwan’s cultural subjectivity. In other words, there is an implicit continuity between his early and late philosophy.

6. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Yao-hsün Hung

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book review

7. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Feng-Wei Wu

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8. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Mara Miller

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conference report

9. Journal of Japanese Philosophy: Volume > 7
Ralf Müller

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The conference in a nutshell: philosophy in times of crises returned to a crisis in philosophy. The pandemic throws us back on our feet and makes us rethink the question raised at the Davos Disputation between Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer in 1929: “What is a human being?” While both had agreed that the initial question was the crucial question to tackle, neither of them could put forth a solution to the question given that their own thought paths proved to have led them into a dead end and to the necessity to turn in a new direction in order to overcome a philosophical crisis. So, in 2020, why not move beyond the scope of this German–German disputation in Davos, and even beyond the horizon of Europe to look for new pathways of thought?