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Reviewed by:
  • Phänomenologie der Natur (Phenomenology of nature)
  • Graham Parkes
Phänomenologie der Natur (Phenomenology of nature). Edited by Kah Kyung Cho and Young-Ho Lee. Freiburg and Munich: Verlag Karl Alber, 1999. Pp. 281.

Phänomenologie der Natur (Phenomenology of nature), edited by Kah Kyung Cho and Young-Ho Lee, is a collection of sixteen essays (six in English, ten in German) that brings an unusually diverse set of perspectives (mostly phenomenological, many Heideggerian) to bear on the topic of nature. Of the seventeen contributors, five are Korean, four Japanese, five German, one Austrian, and two American.

The first of the three sections bears the same title as the book, although, as Kah Kyung Cho remarks in his introduction, the originally proposed title, "Phenomenology of Physis," might be in some respects more apposite. Indeed, although two of the essays deal with Professor Cho's work—"Die Frage nach dem 'Natursein' bei Heidegger aus der Sicht von Kah Kyung Cho" (The question of "nature-ness" in Heidegger from the perspective of Kah Kyung Cho), by Helmut Vetter, and "How the Japanese 'Edition' of Bewusstsein und Natursein [Consciousness and Natureness] Was Born," by Kiyoko Shimizu—it is a pity that there is not a longer essay by Professor Cho himself, especially since his masterpiece, Bewusstsein und Natursein: Phänomenologische West-Ost-Diwan, is not available in English.

The other contributions in this section are "Lebenswelt und Natur: Grundlagen einer Phänomenologie der Interkulturalität" (Life-world and nature: bases of a phenomenology of interculturality), by Klaus Held; "Natur-Entzug im Da? Oskar Becker und Eugen Fink auf dem Ost-West-Diwan" (Nature-withdrawal in the There? Oskar Becker and Eugen Fink on the East-West Diwan), by Hans Rainer Sepp; "A Critical Consideration on the View of Nature in Japanese Buddhism," by Aiko Ogoshi; "Phänomenologie und Metaphysik der Natur" (Phenomenology and metaphysics of nature), by Toru Tani; and "Das An-sich-Sein und die verschiedenen Gesichter der Welt" (Being-in-itself and the various faces of the world), by Nam-In Lee. These discuss the phenomenon of nature from the points of view of such thinkers as Schelling, Husserl and Heidegger, Oskar Becker and Eugen Fink (whose work is relatively unknown in Anglophone circles), Laozi and Zhuangzi, and Merleau-Ponty. One disappointment is the absence of such thinkers as Kūkai and Dōgen from the discussion of Japanese Buddhism, since their non-anthropocentric ideas can make a significant contribution to current debates about the environment.

The second section, "Dialogue and Language," shifts away from the topic of nature to some extent, with contributions by Otto Pöggeler, "Noch einmal: Heidegger und Laotse" (Once again: Heidegger and Laozi); Bernhard Waidenfels, "Antwort auf das Fremde: Grundzüge einer responsiven Phänomenologie" (Answering the foreign: outlines of a responsive phenomenology); Hwa Yol Jung, "Difference and Responsibility"; and Seung-Chong Lee, "Heidegger's Phenomenological Archeology of Language." It is a particular pleasure to see the latest of Professor Pöggeler's long-standing engagements with the topic of Heidegger and Laozi. [End Page 560]

The last section, "Epistemology, Logic, and Science," contains "'Logik der Philosophie' in der Philosophie Nishidas" (The "logic of philosophy" in Nishida's philosophy), by Yoshihiro Nitta; "Über den Philosophiebegriff des 19. Jahrhunderts und seine Auswirkung auf die Gegenwart" (On the nineteenth-century's conception of philosophy and its effects on the present), by Ernst Wolfgang Orth; "Quantum Phenomenology," by Harry P. Reeder; "The Constitution of Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Phenomenological Hypothesis," by Lester Embree; and "Heideggers Deutung des 'Unterwegs'" (Heidegger's interpretation of the 'underway'), by Jae-Chul Youm.

This collection performs the service of bringing to the attention of Western readers the important developments that phenomenology has undergone in Korea and Japan, while the contributions dealing with the topic of nature constitute a valuable complement to current philosophical thinking about environmental issues. [End Page 561]



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