Abstract: In Nishida Kitarō’s An Inquiry into the Good and The Logic of Locus and the Religious Worldview , written respectively at the beginning and at the end of his philosophical career, one can find remarkably similar references to mysticism which nevertheless give opposite evaluations of the phenomenon: while mysticism is highly praised in the former, it is disparaged in the latter. This essay is a reflection on the nature of and the reasons for these opposing evaluations, focusing on the changes in Nishida’s ideas of God and ultimate reality. This, perhaps, is a starting point to an assessment of the evolution of Nishida’s thought and its import for the problem of religion. It is argued that the rejection of mysticism by Nishida later in life corresponds to a narrowing of the horizon of his philosophy, and, regardless of its depth and truth-value, this reduces its importance as a philosophy of religion. For Nishida’s narrowing scope makes his later philosophy unfit to provide an understanding of religious experience as such, as it has grown constricted to the interpretation and apologetics of a particular religious mindset.
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 14, 2014
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