This essay from 1926/27 provides the first systematic articulation of Nishida’s philosophy of “place” (basho). This is the essay that initiated the philosophical system of basho that eventually came to be known as “Nishida philosophy” (Nishida tetsugaku). Hence it is indispensable to understanding not only Nishida’s philosophy but the entire Kyoto school of thought that took off from Nishida’s thoughts on basho. In formulating his theory of basho Nishida aims to overcome the dualism assumed by traditional Western epistemology, especially neo-Kantianism, e.g., the dichotomies of subject–object, idealism–realism, experience–reality. The essay seeks to articulate an alternative to the solutions to dualism offered by Henri Bergson, Edmund Husserl, G. W. F. Hegel, as well as William James, with the concept of basho as designating one’s concrete lived situation, in the whole of its dynamic structure, wherein one finds oneself implaced “always already” before any bifurcation between subject and object arises.
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