Watsuji on Nature

E-book – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-4048-6

Cloth Text – $99.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-4047-9

Paper Text – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-4046-2
Publication Date
August 2019
Trim Size
6 x 9

Watsuji on Nature

Japanese Philosophy in the Wake of Heidegger
David W. Johnson

In the first study of its kind, David W. Johnson’s Watsuji on Nature reconstructs the astonishing philosophy of nature of Watsuji Tetsuro (1889–1960), situating it in relation both to his reception of the thought of Heidegger and to his renewal of core ontological positions in classical Confucian and Buddhist philosophy. 

Johnson shows that for Watsuji we have our being in the lived experience of nature, one in which nature and culture compose a tightly interwoven texture called fudo. By fully unfolding Watsuji’s novel and radical claim that this is a setting that is neither fully external to human subjectivity nor merely a product of it, this book also sets out what still remains unthought in this concept, as well as in the relational structure that underwrites it. Johnson argues that what remains unarticulated is nothing less than the recovery of a reenchanted conception of nature and an elucidation of the wide-ranging implications of a relational conception of the self for questions about the disclosive character of experience, the distinction between fact and value, and the possibility of a place-based ecological ethics.

In an engagingly lucid and deft analysis, Watsuji on Nature radically expands our appreciation of twentieth-century Japanese philosophy and shows what it has to offer to a global philosophical conversation.
About the Author

DAVID W. JOHNSON is an assistant professor of philosophy at Boston College.

“David Johnson has done a masterful job of presenting Watsuji in clear and accessible prose, always grounded in the primary sources and alert to the wider intellectual history of Japan. The contrast with Heidegger is illuminating and helps him to center on the remarkable novelty of Watsuji’s thought.” —James W. Heisig, author of Nothingness and Desire

 "This pathbreaking book opens up an area of inquiry at the intersection of philosophy and practical disciplines like architecture, geography, and climate studies that focus on the interactions between humans and environment. Avoiding jargon and abstract discussion, it presents Watsuji’s philosophy, in conjunction with Heidegger’s, in clear, step-by-step explanations and relevant, novel examples." —John C. Maraldo, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, University of North Florida