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A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer: Kuki Shūzō’s Version

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about the "Dialogue on Language Between a Japanese and an Inquirer" which the German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) wrote in 1959, and which appears in On the Way to Language. The dialogue begins with a reference to the Japanese philosopher Kuki Shūzō (1888-1941), who had met Heidegger in 1927 at the house of Heidegger's teacher, Edmund Husserl. However, author believes that it is possible to elicit Kuki's critique of Heidegger from Kuki's writings, although he was too polite to confront the venerable master in any direct way. The chapter elicit this critique using the poetry which Kuki wrote during his extensive stay in Europe from fall 1921 until December 1928. The challenge that Kuki's thought presented to the homogeneity of Western constructions of the other was actually based on a series of deconstructions which were quite in tune with Heidegger's project of dismantling metaphysics.

Keywords: inquirer; Japanese; Kuki Shūzō



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