Nishida Kitarō: Self, World, and the Nothingness Underlying Distinctions

John C. Maraldo

in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780195328998
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Nishida Kitarō: Self, World, and the Nothingness Underlying Distinctions


This article provides an introduction to the philosophy of Nishida Kitarō. Nishida, widely recognized as the most important Japanese philosopher of the twentieth century and the founder of the Kyoto School, authored some twenty volumes of essays influenced by Buddhist thought and deeply informed by the Anglo-European philosophy that was just beginning to be introduced to his country. Nishida began his work with the notion of “pure experience,” the moment prior to any distinction between experiencing self and experienced object, as it founds the systematic development of our thinking about the world. After lengthy diversions into German and French dialectical thinking and Neo-Kantian philosophy to explain the nature of self-awareness, he returned to early Greek philosophy and Buddhist thinking and developed a novel alternative to the ways that philosophers have distinguished self and world and sought ultimate grounds for them.

Keywords: Japanese philosopher; Japanese philosophers; Nishida Kitarō; Kyoto School; Buddhism; Buddhist philosophy

Article.  5920 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy

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