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Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. A Peculiar Journey: Confucian Philosophy in German Thought 2. The Problem of Life in China and Europe: Zhang Junmai, Eucken, and Driesch 3. Resentment and Ressentiment: Nietzsche, Scheler, and Confucian Ethics 4. Technology and the Way: Daoism in Buber and Heidegger 5. Heidegger, Misch, and the "Origins" of Philosophy 6. Phenomenology, Eurocentrism, and Asia: Husserl and Heidegger 7. Encounter, Dialogue, and Learning: Martin Buber and Zen Buddhism 8. Nothingness, Language, Emptiness: Heidegger and Chan Buddhism Conclusion: Toward an Intercultural Philosophy Bibliography Index

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A detailed account of the context, motivations, and hermeneutical strategies of early twentieth-century European thinkers' interpretation of Asian philosophy.

About the Author

Eric S. Nelson is Associate Professor of Humanities at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong.


Eric Nelson's book has the great merit of drawing our attention to the experiences of some great forerunners in intercultural philosophy in Weimar Germany from the end of World War I to the rise of National Socialism in 1933. Nelson's book is not merely a work on some historical episodes of intercultural philosophy but also a work showing the how of intercultural philosophy in itself ... [A] very rich and detailed reconstruction of the intercultural openings undertaken by German philosophers. * Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
Nelson shows great erudition in bringing together a wide variety of thinkers from both East and West, including importantly some lesser known, but very relevant thinkers from both the Western tradition and Eastern philosophy. * Global Intellectual History *
This book offers lots of valuable information and entries for further research. It is well-written and has all the tools for easy reference and an impressive bibliography. * Phenomenological Reviews *
A remarkably well-researched, thoughtful, and timely book. Its content lives up to its informative and wonderfully provocative title ... One of Nishitani's central claims is that nihilism can be overcome only by way of stepping back all the way through it ... we can thank Nelson for reintroducing us to this insight and for demonstrating how to heed it. * Research in Phenomenology *
The breadth of Nelson's knowledge and the deftness with which he winds his way through so many figures and their respective conceptual vocabularies is mesmerizing ... a book unlike any other [which] raises the bar for anyone who teaches or writes comparative philosophy. -- David Chai * Philosophy East and West *
This book is a revelation, tracing how ideas have traveled more than we have generally recognized. The dialogues between east and west have often been interpreted primarily as a one way exchange about how the East has learned from the West. It is time to appreciate the ways in which multiple journeys have occurred and how Eastern thought has, as a matter of fact, informed and been taken up in Western thought, particularly in German philosophy as illustrated in this work. This book is one of a kind and exemplifies all that we need to engage, to learn, and to become philosophers in the twenty-first century. * Robin R Wang, 2016-17 Berggruen Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Stanford University, USA and author of Yinyang The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture *
In this groundbreaking study, Eric S. Nelson examines the impact of Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy on 20th Century German Thought. Through illuminating chapters on Buber, Heidegger, Misch, and others, Nelson sheds a unique light on the development of German Philosophy in the 20th Century, as well as on contemporary Comparative philosophy. This is an original and important work which reveals the influence of Asian Philosophy on Contemporary Continental thought, and which opens new perspectives for intercultural and comparative philosophy. * Francois Raffoul, Professor of Philosophy and French Studies, Louisiana State University, USA *
This is a landmark study in comparative thought. By tracing Chinese and Japanese influences on modern German philosophy, Eric S. Nelson examines a pressing question of our troubled times: is there a common ground for universal wisdom? Is there a path forward? Perhaps the most satisfying outcome of this book is that the careful consideration of Asian sources sheds light on the ideas in Heidegger's later work. By explaining how these influences clarify key contentions in German philosophy, Nelson breaks new ground. * Martin Schoenfeld, Editor, Journal of Global Ethics and Professor of Philosophy, University of South Florida, USA *
Nelson has written an important ... riveting book. * Philosophy *

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