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On Japanese Things And Words: An Answer To Heidegger's Question

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Chapter Summary

This chapter will elicits from the voices of a few Japanese philosophers answers to Martin Heidegger's question that Tezuka did not explore and that were most probably unknown to Heidegger himself-answers that might have encouraged Heidegger to write the dialogue differently without, however, changing the main thrust of his argument. In a sense, the Japanese language was finding itself in the same position as the German language had found itself at the time of Goethe and Hegel. The difference between mono and koto has also been addressed by one of Japan's leading psychopathologists, Kimura Bin, in the book Jikan to jiko. Human beings are mono, like anything else with the potential of becoming the object of someone's gaze. On the other hand, "Things" (koto) bring with themselves a high degree of anxiety since they cannot be reduced to the fixed pattern of an object (mono).

Keywords: Japanese philosophers; Martin Heidegger



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