Zen and the Art of Postmodern Philosophy: Two Paths of Liberation from the Representational Mode of Thinking

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Editorial Reviews

Olson (religious studies, Allegheny College) compares various canonical post-modernists (Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, et al.) with writings of medieval Zen teacher Dogen and modern Japanese philosopher Nishitani. Under the theme of liberation from representational thinking, the discussion ranges over language and play, skepticism, time and death, nihilism and metaphysics. It ends with a critique of recent writers who, Olson feels, cast Zen too much in a post-modernist light. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791446546
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Signing In
Eye to Eye
A Work of Art
Zen Buddhism and Postmodernism
Comparative Philosophy and Cross-Cultural Dialogue

2. Language, Disruption, and Play
Words and No Words
Ludic Encounters and Dialogues
Performative Language
Concluding Remarks

3. Ways of Thinking
The Way
The Call
Concluding Remarks

4. Radical Skepticism and Doubt
Necessity for Methodological Doubt
Genealogy and Difference
Concluding Remarks

5. The Body
Body and World
Body and Consciousness
Body and Perception
Time and Body
Body, Limitation, and Boundary Symbol

6. The Self and Other
Presence and Absence
Kenosis and
Concluding Remarks

7. Time and Death
The Nature of Time
Being and Time
Experience of Time
Death Divine
Concluding Remarks

8. Nihilism and Metaphysics
An Apology for Nihilism
Reaction of Nishitani to Nihilism
End of Philosophy
Différance, Difference, and Buddha-Nature
Concluding Remarks

9. Signing Out
The Present Simulacrum
Past Dialogical Summary
Results of Dialogue for Representational Thinking
Zen Through the Prism of Postmodern Philosophy
The End of a Conclusion


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