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Heidegger and East Asia: Continuing the Dialogue

MCDOUGALL, UISDEAN,EDWARD,GEORGE (2012) Heidegger and East Asia: Continuing the Dialogue. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores and extends the dialogue between Martin Heidegger and East Asia. It asks
whether East Asian thought, particularly philosophical Daoism, can adequately address the problem
of modern nihilism as conceived by Heidegger. It aims to clarify the vague prospect: which
Heidegger termed the 'new beginning' by showing how East Asian thought offers a distinctive
model of the sacred that can antidote modern nihilism.
Chapter One grounds the overall thesis by outlining the basic phenomenological principles
of Heidegger's thought, particularly his notions of Being (Sein) and world. This basis is extended by
Chapter Two which examines the Later Heidegger's notions of earth and Seyn. Chapter Three sets
out modern nihilism as it is understood in Heidegger's philosophy. Chapter Four looks at the basic
hermeneutical difficulties of Heidegger's dialogue with East Asia. Building on this introduction to
Heidegger’s thought, Chapter Five discusses Daoism and Shintoism as models for the sacred,
comparing them with Heidegger’s notion of dwelling. Chapter Six examines what it means for the
Dao to be ineffable, comparing the Dao with Seyn and showing how the poetic mysticism of
Heidegger and the Daoist thinkers differs from both esoteric knowledge and quietism. Chapter
Seven considers the interplay between yin and yang in relation to Heidegger's thought, comparing
the dichotomy with Heidegger's earth and world and looks at the history of Western metaphysics in
the light of this comparison. Then, moving away from ontology to applied philosophy, Chapter
Nine discusses the Daoist ethos of wu wei and to what extent this can provide Heideggerian thought
with a model for living in the modern Western world. The final section brings the other chapters
together, arguing that Heidegger's later thought sets out a non-doctrinal-religious ethos in response
to modern Western nihilism.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Heidegger, Daoism, Shintoism, Hermeneutics, East Asia, modernity, religion, phenomenology, Being, Dao, Nishitani, shrine, art, iki, mysticism, comparative philosophy, China, Japan, ontology, technology,wu wei, Zhuangzi, Laozi, Leizi, Edo Period, Warring states period China, nihilism, Kami, Yin and Yang
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Philosophy, Department of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Nov 2012 08:26

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