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Japanese Aesthetics: The Construction Of Meaning

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows the role played in medieval Japan by self-contradictory modes of interpretation that privilege both the fluidity of Becoming and the metaphysical presence of Being. When observe the map of the contemporary process of capital accumulation, one cannot fail to notice a concerted effort by unpretentious structures of economic/political manipulation to draw a chart of dispersal in which the consumer is led to believe in his/her own personal empowerment. The Western epistemological tradition of legitimizing knowledge by grounding it in transcendence has been strongly resisted by exponents of "weak thought" through the centuries. The empathy with nature of mystics such as St. Francis and St. Bonaventure is an instance of the aesthetic relationship between reality and transcendence. The struggle on the part of contemporary Japanese philosophers to "harmonize" the inconsistencies of the two systems into a native post-postmodern epistemology is far from complete.

Keywords: epistemology; Japanese aesthetics



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