The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism (Suny Series in Modern Japanese Philosophy)

The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism (Suny Series in Modern Japanese Philosophy)

Keiji Nishitani

Language: English

Pages: 276

ISBN: 0791404382

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"It will be mandatory reading for an understanding of both Nishitani's thought and the problem of nihilism. Scholars and other persons interested in nihilism, in Nietzsche, and/or in contemporary Buddhist or Japanese philosophy, will greatly profit from a study of this book." -- John C. Maraldo, Department of Philosophy, University of North Florida

"This is a fine translation of an important work in the corpus of Nishitani's early writings. The translation is timely both because of the Western interest in Nishitani as a preeminent contemporary Japanese philosopher and because of the continuing Western perplexity about the problems Nishitani addresses. Nishitani is one of the world's greatest living philosophers and even in this early work of his that brilliance shines through." -- Thomas P. Kasulis, Department of Philosophy, Northland College

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within the subject. Marx says that the essence of human being is not "something abstract" that exists within the individual (his so­ called abstract-isolated human individual), but is rather the totality of social relationships. However, does this not amount to a dissolv­ ing of the essence of human being into its real basis, that is, "the totality of the various forces of production, elements of capital, and From Realism to Nihilism 27 social intercourse," just as Feuerbach had dissolved the

This "ring of time" turns out to be nothing other than will itself and life . Nietzsche's eternity is a this-worldly eternal life: "Th is life­ ,, this eternal life . 29 As Zarathustra says: "That was life? Well then! Once again please!" The will to will this way makes time curved and eternal in nature, and lets one live time in its ful l temporality. Here the eternal recurrence, the self-overlapping of ring-like time, opens up the standpoint of the will to affirm life absolutely, the wil l t o

freedom, once arrived at humanitarian liberal­ ism, goes to the of making humanity everything and the individual person nothing. We are deprived of everything and our Lumpen-condition is made complete. A radical reversal now be­ comes possible: If we want to attain the nature of ownness we must first de­ cline even to the most shabby, the most destitute condition- The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism 116 because we must remove and foreign to the self. discard everything that is (139/153) The

hyperconsciousness or rebellion, however. One senses in both Dostoevsky and his protagonists a pro­ found Dickensian humanism in which tears of sorrow come out in the form of humor. Devushkin writes to the lover who is slipping away from him : " I shall die-I shall certainly Had he been able to find within himself the strength of rebellion to return to life from this ultimate despair, a standpoint like that of the underground man as a "retort-made man" might well have come to the fore . The

against this depravity. (II) In short, the underground world is one in which the "retort-made man" who has strayed from normal humanity rediscovers himself as normal . In contrast, so-called normal men who live above ground, men of " straightforward activity," have some kind of solid ground them . They accept some kind of goal in life, or feel some value or ideal, as an absolutely consistent basis of support of which they are readily convinced . This is why such persons are able to act-and also

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