« Ki as a phenomenon of feeling »
Yukiko KUWAYAMA (Université de Hildesheim, Allemagne)
In the presentation, I would like to introduce a part of the main thesis from my dissertation’s project. The main aim of my dissertation is to point out a possible connection between current debates in the philosophy of feelings (“Philosophie der Gefühle” in German) and the concept of Ki (Qi), a Sino-Japanese term for breath, sense, feeling, atmosphere, mood, smell, intention etc. The concept of Ki has a broad and flexible range of meanings, including its transformative character between materiality and immateriality or its being both at the same time. In my current research, the main thesis is concentrated on the following three points: 1. To assert
feelings as both bodily and mental phenomena. 2. To see feelings as intersubjective phenomena which are grounded in their interpersonal contexts and situatedness in a place (both in a way which can be seen analogous to atmosphere or mood, and also in an interactive working of affection, intentionality or ki). 3. To be able to assert that feelings that happen in our everyday life are not closed, personal and private phenomena with an obvious belongingness and a starting point. But rather to say that they occur in a medial way in a concrete situation where the people involved are always already formed by their bodily, mental being and their historicity, culture and customs etc. That I say that feelings occur “in a medial way” means that I have an interest to show a dimension in which the question of the causality of feelings or the difference between pure activity and pure passivity in affection doesn’t make sense anymore because in this dimension we cannot say if we are actively feeling or passively embraced by a feeling. Yet this doesn’t mean that this aims a blind acceptance of pathetic chaos or a blind belief in the so called determination of “nature”, “god” or even reason. On the contrary, my goal is lead by an interest in finding a starting point to pose the question how we should and can cope with this undefinability of pure activity and pure passivity in feeling. This dimension, in which the causality of activity and passivity in affections doesn’t matter anymore, can already be seen in the definition of affections and affects in the third book of Spinoza’s Ethica, as a representative work on feelings from the modern age in European philosophy.
The concept of Ki, which is introduced in comparison with the classic Greek word “pneuma” and a Sanskrit term “prajna” by Yamaguchi Ichirō, covers those three points I mentioned.2 In the presentation, I will illuminate the previous three points with argumentations and examples from my current research on Ki (気), emotions (感情) and mood (風情) or feeling-reason (感ずる理性) introduced by Nishida, Watsuji and Ōmori Shōzō.
« The Soku-Structure of the Boudary »
Francesca GRECO (Université de Hildesheim, Allemagne) «
The aim of my presentation is to explore the relation between Nishida´s use of the expression soku (即) in his late works and the phenomenological structure of the ‘boundary’ concept. By approaching the problem with a transformative phenomenology I will call into question the role of the opposition, the relatedness and the contradiction inherent to a certain logic of soku in Nishida´s thinking. Afterwards I will try to apply this logic to the phenomenon of the boundary (ὁρισμός, horismós; ὁρίζω, horizo).
I will begin by analyzing the appropriation of soku by Nishida in order to point out how the development of this concept affords him to mature his thinking and open new paths of philosophying. The central idea is that soku has been used by Nishida as a method that can spell out the contradictions and interceptions of the world. Putting soku into practice in his ‘logic of place’ Nishida is drifting away from Hegel, even if he keeps using his formulations and terminologies. Moreover, in my opinion, Nishida approaches more and more Heidegger´s and Derrida´s thinking, on whom I will refer to interpreting soku as structure. The guiding thread is that soku represents not only a non-dual logic, but a more complex structure of thinking, almost a method of analysis of phenomena.
Furthermore my intent is to develop a short phenomenology of the boundary and show the difficulties that it introduces. Boundaries have the ambivalent function to create identities by enclosing an existence’s field of something and at the same time the task of differentiating it from something else. But the simultaneity of this operation slips us often away, not only because the boundary forces us to observe two different actions at the same time. The main difficulty in this simultaneity is that in its acting the boundary is opening a new field of thinking: the boundary in itself is not neutral, it is in turn a thing. The boundary occupies a particular space: it is a leeway that essentially modifies the relation between opposites; between the inside and the outside, identity and difference. The boundary functions as horizon in which we are trying to grasp a thing as that very thing.
My purpose is to show how the function of the boundaries as leeway is rather polyvalent than only ambivalent and that because of what I will call soku-structure. Employing the soku-structure to interpret the phenomenon of boundary I will show how this is indeed the threshold that brings to overcome the dualism and open a new thinking of relationality based on Nishida use of soku.