Contribution to Book
Polyphonic Thinking and the Divine
Amsterdam and New York
Value Inquiry Book Series
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.
Shields, James, "Zange and Sorge: Two Models of 'Concern' in Comparative Philosophy of Religion" (2013). Faculty Contributions to Books. 94.
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