Intuition and Reflection in Self-Consciousness

By Kitaro Nishida
Translated by Valdo H. Viglielmo, Takeuchi Toshinori, and Joseph S. O'Leary

Subjects: Philosophy, Asian Religion And Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780887063701, 230 pages, January 1987
Hardcover : 9780887063688, 230 pages, July 1987

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Table of contents

Foreword by Joseph S. O'Leary
Preface to the Revised Edition

Part One: Introduction

Sections 1 to 3. Self-Consciousness: Some Problems
Sections 4 to 6. Meaning and Existence

Part Two: Properties of Systems of Experience

Sections 7 to 10. A System of Pure Thought
Sections 11 to 13. Transition from a System of Pure Thought to an Experiential System
Sections 14 to 16. A System of Perceptual Experience
Sections 17 to 20. Problems of Consciousness
Sections 21 to 23. Consciousness of Rectilinearity
Sections 24 to 25. The Impossibility of Reflection

Part Three: How Experiential Systems Are Combines

Sections 26 to 29. Various A Priori as Grounded in the Mind's Demand for Objectivity
Sections 30 to 32. From Number to Space
Sections 33 to 34. Consciousness of Rectilinearity
Sections 35 to 39. Spirit and Matter

Part Four: Conclusion

Sections 40 to 41. Absolute Free Will
Section 42. Thought and Experience
Section 43. Various Worlds
Section 44. Meaning and Fact



Nishida Kitaro's reformulation of the major issues of Western philosophy from a Zen standpoint of "absolute nothingness" and "absolutely contradictory self-identity" represents the boldest speculative enterprise of modern Japan, continued today by his successors in the "Kyoto School" of philosophy.

This English translation of Intuition and Reflection in Self-Consciousness evokes the movement and flavor of the original, clarifies its obscurities, and eliminates the repetitions. It sheds new light on the philosopher's career, revealing a long struggle with such thinkers as Cohen, Natorp, Husserl, Fichte, and Bergson, that ended with Nishida's break from the basic ontological assumptions of the West. Throughout labyrinthine arguments, Nishida never loses sight of his theme: the irreducibility and unobjectifiability of the act of self-consciousness which constitutes the self. Extensive annotation is provided for the first time in any edition of Nishida's work.

Historians of Japanese philosophy and culture, and all those interested in the interaction of Eastern and Western thought-forms, now have a document which highlights many of the cultural, psychological, and intellectual dynamics that have shaped Japanese intellectual life in one of its most fascinating and ambitious manifestations.


"This translation is an outstanding piece of work. Nishida is a world-class philosopher of the 20th century, and Intuition and Reflection in Self-Consciousness is a primary source of considerable historical and philosophical interest. " --David A. Dilworth, State University of New York at Stony Brook