Document Type

Contribution to Book

Source Publication

Polyphonic Thinking and the Divine

Publication Date

Winter 2-10-2013

Editor

Jim Kanaris

Publisher

Rodopi

City

Amsterdam and New York

Series

Value Inquiry Book Series

ISBN

978-90-420-3621-5

First Page

89

Last Page

96

Abstract

The concept of Sorge, as developed in Martin Heidegger’s (1889–1976) classic work, Sein und Zeit (1927), describes an existential-ontological state characterized by “anxiety” about the future and the desire to “attend to” the world based on our awareness of temporality. In Japan, this concept was borrowed and critically developed by Watsuji Tetsurō (1889–1960). In Rinrigaku (1937–49), Watsuji argued that Heidegger’s Sorge remains overly reliant on the philosophical structures of Western individualism and subjectivism, and thus neglects the social dimension of human being. In turn, Watsuji’s contemporary, Tanabe Hajime (1885–1962), developed an alternative theory of “concern” in his reflections on “metanoesis” (zange), especially as found in his magnum opus, Zange toshite no tetsugaku (1948). This paper analyzes the concepts of Sorge and zange as developed in the work of these three thinkers, with special focus on “concern” as both an ontological category and a foundation for ethics.