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The Logic of Nothingness: A Study of Nishida Kitaro
256pp. May 2005
The Logic of Nothingness: A Study of Nishida Kitaro
Author: Wargo, Robert J. J.;
The writings of Nishida Kitarô, whose name has become almost synonymous with Japanese philosophy, continue to attract attention around the world. Yet studies of his thought in Western languages have tended to overlook two key areas: first, the influence of the generation of Japanese philosophers who preceded Nishida; and second, the logic of basho (place), the cornerstone of Nishida’s mature philosophical system.

The Logic of Nothingness addresses both of these topics. Robert Wargo argues that the overriding concern of Nishida’s mature philosophy, the attempt to give a reasonable account of reality that includes the reasonableness of that account itself—or what Wargo calls "the problem of completeness"—has its origins in Inoue Enryo’s (1858–1919) and Inoue Tetsujiro’s (1855–1944) preoccupation with "the problem of standpoints." A translation of one of Nishida’s most demanding texts, included here as an appendix, demonstrates the value of Wargo’s insightful analysis of the logic of basho as an aid to deciphering the philosopher’s early work.

Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture Series
Published in association with the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nanzan University
“Represents a truly significant moment in the development of Nishida studies. [This] book elucidates a key transition in the philosophy of Nishida, a transition that lays the foundation for much that follows in the latter phases of his philosophical undertakings.” —Journal of Japanese Studies (33:2, 2007)

"An erudite, technical study of the thought of Nishida, the main thinker of the Kyoto School." —Choice

"Wargo actually makes sense of Nishida’s notoriously difficult way of thinking. His is the rare gift of presenting Nishida’s often tangled and meandering path of argumentation. Just as important, he thinks along with Nishida, showing where his questions came from and precisely how he went about answering them. . . . The comparisons and contrasts with Nishida’s predecessors, the two Inoue’s, with Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, as well as with Wittgenstein and Quine, are relevant and illuminating." —John C. Maraldo, University of North Florida

Author: Wargo, Robert J. J.;
Robert J. J. Wargo is professor in the Department of International Studies, Meisei University, Japan.