An Inquiry into the Good
|Original title||Zen no kenkyū|
With An Inquiry into the Good, Nishida began to articulate a system of thought based on the Zen Buddhist experience in terms borrowed from French, German, and Anglo-American philosophy, psychology, and natural science. Drawing on William James and Henri Bergson, he developed a philosophy based on "pure experience" as that which underlies the subject-object relation.
Pure experience does not contain any cognitive perception of oppositions such as those of subject and object, body and mind, and time and space. Nishida aimed to use the concept to define the value of religious experience. By transcending the dichotomous standpoint, Nishida opens a new metaphysical passage to the consideration of immediate experience absent all intervention by judgmental reflection. Nishida, who did not consider ethical problems separate from the problem of self for each individual, understood pure experience to be the realization of true selfhood. The good is the perfection of true individuality, the only foundation for the well-being of all humanity.
Influence and reception