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Japan's Missing Alternative: "Weak Thought" And The Hermeneutics Of Slimness

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Chapter Summary

The harsh economic reality that has confronted the humanities in Western universities during the past few decades is literally threatening the survival of fields of knowledge whose immediate applicability to the market is increasingly less apparent. The mythology of truth was broadly welcomed in so far as it provided the world with clarity, stability, and certainty. "Weak thought" alerts one to the fact that all hermeneutical attempts aiming at deciphering or unmasking a text are premised in a deeply rooted belief that strong truths do indeed exist. The field of aesthetics played a major role in the formation of modern nations, since it managed to bring to order the confusion of particularity under the heading of universality. This chapter outlines the relationship between metaphysics, a strong subjectivity, and violence. This relationship becomes all the more clear when look at works written by Japanese aestheticians in the thirties and forties.

Keywords: aesthetics; Japanese hermeneutics; metaphysics; weak thought



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