Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Subscribe now for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

On the Brink of Universality: German Cosmopolitanism in Japanese Imperialism

On the Brink of Universality: German Cosmopolitanism in Japanese Imperialism This contribution examines how the Kyoto School philosopher Miki Kiyoshi sought to justify Japanese imperialism as a project in "cosmopolitan liberation" in his anonymously authored treatise The Principles of Thought for a New Japan . It traces how Miki adopted and critiqued Immanuel Kant's political philosophy and theory of subjectivity and argues that he unwittingly moved toward a view that he explicitly rejected, Hegelian cultural universality. Miki attempted to justify Japanese imperialism through a logic of cultural mediation by which the cultures of East Asia were to be mediated—or, more plainly, subjugated—by the putative "nothingness" of Japanese culture. However, by denying a positive essence to Japanese culture, Miki merely inverts the Hegelian narrative of European cultural development as arising out of "being," or "Spirit." This article shows that a logical slippage arises in his argument in which Japan, as ostensibly the most mediated modern culture, becomes the site for all cultural mediation without undergoing further mediation by its East Asian colonies. This logic of mediation masks Japanese colonial violence in the form of a transhistorical philosophical argument. This article concludes by arguing that Miki's logic of mediation is the operative principle underlying contemporary multiethnic imperialist projects, such as that of the United States. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

On the Brink of Universality: German Cosmopolitanism in Japanese Imperialism

positions asia critique , Volume 17 (1) – Mar 1, 2009

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/on-the-brink-of-universality-german-cosmopolitanism-in-japanese-veYDsU6l3W

References (12)

Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2008-026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This contribution examines how the Kyoto School philosopher Miki Kiyoshi sought to justify Japanese imperialism as a project in "cosmopolitan liberation" in his anonymously authored treatise The Principles of Thought for a New Japan . It traces how Miki adopted and critiqued Immanuel Kant's political philosophy and theory of subjectivity and argues that he unwittingly moved toward a view that he explicitly rejected, Hegelian cultural universality. Miki attempted to justify Japanese imperialism through a logic of cultural mediation by which the cultures of East Asia were to be mediated—or, more plainly, subjugated—by the putative "nothingness" of Japanese culture. However, by denying a positive essence to Japanese culture, Miki merely inverts the Hegelian narrative of European cultural development as arising out of "being," or "Spirit." This article shows that a logical slippage arises in his argument in which Japan, as ostensibly the most mediated modern culture, becomes the site for all cultural mediation without undergoing further mediation by its East Asian colonies. This logic of mediation masks Japanese colonial violence in the form of a transhistorical philosophical argument. This article concludes by arguing that Miki's logic of mediation is the operative principle underlying contemporary multiethnic imperialist projects, such as that of the United States.

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2009

There are no references for this article.