The Japanese Philosophy Blog

News and discussion of ancient and modern Japanese philosophy

April Roundup

No fooling, it’s April already, and that means it’s time for our monthly roundup post. Here are some of the recent items in Japanese philosophy:


  • Frattolillo, Oliviero. A Standpoint in International History: South-East Asia’s Fūdosei in Watsuji Tetsurō’s Geocultural Appraisal. Dialegesthai 14. 2012.

  • Hoffman, Michael. Review of A History of Japanese Political Thought, 1600-1901, by Hiroshi Watanabe. Translated by David Noble. Japan Times. (Via WW&W)

  • YAMAUCHI Tomosaburō. Some Aspects of Humanism that Combines East and West: MacArthur, Shôwa Tennô, and Justice Pal. 大阪教育大学紀要 第I部門 第61巻 第2号 75 〜 89頁(2013年2月).

    The Pacific War waged by Allies and Japan in the Second World War was usually considered as a war between the countries of democracy and fascism. Yet this view of war would be changed when one looks the matter from the viewpoint of today’s environmental crisis and environmental ethical views. Although the views of nature are so different between East and West, there is a hope that all human kind will, once people would think rationally, converge in that humanity survive the crisis. In this paper I will mention General MacArthur, Shōwa Tennō, and Justice Pal, and investigate that they could, in spite of all the different of views, converge in humanity. If people could let humanism override such other intuitive moral principles as derived from human interests, economic profit, and political notions of state sovereignty, rights and justice, then there would be a hope of converging people from different cultures, which would hopefully save humanity from environmental crisis.

Blog posts

Several good posts over at The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy blog:


  • Park, Peter. Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy. SUNY Press, June 2013.

    In this provocative historiography, Peter K. J. Park provides a penetrating account of a crucial period in the development of philosophy as an academic discipline. During these decades, a number of European philosophers influenced by Immanuel Kant began to formulate the history of philosophy as a march of progress from the Greeks to Kant—a genealogy that supplanted existing accounts beginning in Egypt or Western Asia and at a time when European interest in Sanskrit and Persian literature was flourishing. Not without debate, these traditions were ultimately deemed outside the scope of philosophy and relegated to the study of religion. Park uncovers this debate and recounts the development of an exclusionary canon of philosophy in the decades of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. To what extent was this exclusion of Africa and Asia a result of the scientization of philosophy? To what extent was it a result of racism?

    This book includes the most extensive description available anywhere of Joseph-Marie de Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie, Friedrich Schlegel’s lectures on the history of philosophy, Friedrich Ast’s and Thaddä Anselm Rixner’s systematic integration of Africa and Asia into the history of philosophy, and the controversy between G. W. F. Hegel and the theologian August Tholuck over “pantheism.”

    “Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy is a welcome addition to a neglected area in the history of ideas. Philosophy has long suffered from exclusions that keep us from fully appreciating the contributions to our field from Africa and Asia. Park’s book uncovers some of the sources of philosophy’s exclusionary practices. The historical detail is impressive.” — Elizabeth Millán, author of Friedrich Schlegel and the Emergence of Romantic Philosophy


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