ABSTRACT. Rapid advancement in science and technology has brought us not only accessibility and comfort but also serious environmental problems and conflicts resulting from close interactions of people with different modes of thinking. Thus, suffering and conflicts are, in many ways, no longer confined to distant parts of the globe. As such, recently, there have been ongoing attempts to develop new approaches to philosophy focusing on compassion while nurturing awareness about our interdependent mode of existence. To that end, this article focuses primarily on recent writings on compassion by Ōhashi Ryōsuke, a contemporary Japanese philosopher in the tradition of the Kyoto School. This paper seeks to accomplish the following: (1) elucidates the inner workings of the pathos of coexistence that Ōhashi develops out of the concept of ‘emptiness,’ and (2) attempts to critically examine a view of emptiness by which Ōhashi’s compassion is supported, discerning its possibilities and limitations.

Keywords: Ōhashi; Kyoto School; compassion; emptiness; Mahayana Buddhism

How to cite: Fukui, N. (2022). Compassion as our origin: Examining a Kyoto School approach. Knowledge Cultures, 10(1), 123-140.

Received 26 January 2022 • Received in revised form 04 March 2022
Accepted 04 March 2022 • Available online 01 April 2022

Nanae Fukui
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Kyoto University
Kyoto, Japan

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