The Structure of Reality in Izutsu’s Oriental Philosophy

This paper aims at elucidating the structure of reality in Toshihiko Izutsu’s “Oriental Philosophy” by discussing the main characteristics of his philosophical perspective of reality and consciousness. From semantic perspectives, Izutsu attempted to construct Oriental Philosophy by a creative “reading” of variegated traditional Oriental thought, which has developed in the Orient since ancient times. His philosophical reflection is characterised by his unique semantic theory, whose sphere ranges from East Asian philosophical traditions to Middle Eastern ones. On the basis of his “reading” of Oriental thought, he undertook the “synchronical structuralisation” of varieties of Oriental thought by artificially creating “an organic space of thought,” which could structurally incorporate all these traditions. An important characteristic of this Oriental Philosophy consisted in the way Oriental philosophers opened the dimension of depth-consciousness as their own experiential facts. Thus, Izutsu developed his semantic theory of Oriental Philosophy characterised by a multi-layered correlation of reality and consciousness.

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