Nishida tetsugaku to tendai bukkyō (Nishida's philosophy and Tiantai Buddhism)

Nishida Tetsugakukai Nenpo 12:151-165 (2015)
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This paper attempts to show the characteristics of Tiantai’s perfect teaching (yuanjiao) in Nishida’s philosophy of basho. This is an alternative to a certain type of Nishida interpretation that emphasizes influences from Huayan Buddhism and the Awakening of Faith in Nishida’s metaphysics, especially in his later notion of absolutely contradictory identity. These Buddhist doctrines as well as Yogācāra Buddhism are classified by Tiantai Buddhism as distinctive teaching (biejiao), not perfect teaching. This paper clarifies that the characteristics of the theory of basho cannot be found in distinctive teaching although Nishida’s theory of cognitive act indeed shows similarities to Yogacara Buddhism. Following Mou Zongsan’s (1909―95) and Ando Toshio’s (1909―73) interpretation, I argue that Tiantai Buddhism, in its elucidation of the ontological stratum as the envelopment of cognitive act, has the same metaphysical structure as that found in Nishida’s logic of basho, which further crystallizes into the principle of contradictory identity.



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Tomomi Asakura
University of Tokyo

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