Let us remember the philosopher Watsuji Tetsurô on the anniversary of his birth, March 1, 1889.
Robert Carter and Erin McCarthy write for The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Watsuji Tetsurô was one of a small group of philosophers in Japan during the twentieth century who brought Japanese philosophy to the world. He wrote important works on both Eastern and Western philosophy and philosophers, from ancient Greek, to Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Heidegger, and from primitive Buddhism and ancient Japanese culture, to Dōgen (whose now famous writings Watsuji single-handedly rediscovered), aesthetics, and Japanese ethics. His works on Japanese ethics are still regarded as the definitive studies.
Influenced by Heidegger, Watsuji’s Climate and Culture is both an appreciation of, and a critique of Heidegger. In particular, Watsuji argues that Heidegger under-emphasizes spatiality, and over-emphasizes temporality. Watsuji contends that had Heidegger equally emphasized spatiality, it would have tied him more firmly to the human world where we interact, both fruitfully and negatively. We are inextricably social, connected in so many ways, and ethics is the study of these social connections and positive ways of interacting…
Read the full SEP bio of Watsuji Tetsurô here
… and learn more from and about this philosopher who thought and wrote so deeply about personhood and our place in the world, and one who bridged Eastern and Western thought:
Climate and Culture: A Philosophical Study – by Watsuji Tetsurô
Summary / SUNY Press page for Rinrigaku (Ethics) by Watsuji Tetsuro (translation by Seisaku Yamamoto and Robert E. Carter) – The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Tetsurô’s Ethics as ‘the premier work in modern Japanese moral theory [which] develops a communitarian ethics in terms of the “betweenness” (aidagara) of persons based on the Japanese notion of self as ningen, whose two characters reveal the double structure of personhood as both individual and social.’ (p 449)
Watsuji Tetsurō: Japanese Philosopher and Historian – in Encyclopædia Britannica
Watsuji Tetsuro – in New World Encyclopedia
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