Welcome to the study group! We’re glad that you’re here.

<aside> 🙌🏻 You can find the link to the official channel for any announcements or discussions here. It’s free and easy to access. For any questions or issues, just contact Matthew at [email protected].


<aside> 💻 We meet fortnightly on Saturdays at 7 AM (Pacific) / 10 AM (Eastern). We use the same video meeting link every time we meet, which you can access here.


⛩️ What is the Kyoto School?

The Kyoto School is a post hoc construction of a “school” of Japanese philosophers in the 20th century who engaged in constructive work with Western philosophy. Thinkers such as Watsuji Tetsuro or D. T. Suzuki are at times included, but the giant who stands at the center is Nishida Kitaro. The other two primary thinkers were his students at Kyoto Imperial University, Tanabe Hajime and Nishitani Keiji. All three were practitioners of Zen Buddhism, but they also read deeply in Western philosophy. Nishitani, at Tanabe’s insistence, even studied at Freiburg with Martin Heidegger for a few years.

🎯 What is the aim of this study group?

The goal of this study group is to read and wrestle with the work of the Kyoto School, especially Nishida, but also Tanabe and Nishitani, as theirs was an attempt to bring the treasures and resources of the East into a full confrontation with the project of Western philosophy. As such, their work represents a clearing to see ourselves through a radically different lens. Together, we will critically re-evaluate our practice of philosophy through an engagement with the Kyoto School’s project, and see what we can learn about consciousness, thinking, and the relationship between philosophy and religion.

📚 Proposed readings

This list is an initial draft of which texts to read during the course of this study group. This list is not comprehensive, so proposals for additions and modifications are always welcome!

Nishida Kitaro

Tanabe Hajime

Nishitani Keiji

There are other thinkers sometimes included under the Kyoto School umbrella, and we can decide whether or how much we want to read of their work as well. Here are a few examples of these other thinkers:

📆 Our reading schedule

This reading schedule will remain under constant revision throughout the course as we make progress in the texts, and decide what and how much we want to read. Matthew will take responsibility for ensuring that this schedule reflects the group’s most up to date decisions about how best to proceed.