Faculty Colloquium I-Eric S. Nelson (HKUST)


woensdag 20 jan 2021, 17:00


woensdag 20 jan 2021, 18:30


In this first edition prof. dr. Eric S. Nelson will give the lecture 'Nothingness, Emptiness, and Heidegger's Entanglements with East Asian Philosophy'. Prof. dr. Jos de Mul will be the host. 

Abstract: After the 1927 publication of Being and Time—with its analysis of the existential anxiety (Angst) of being-towards-death (Sein-zum-Tode)—and his 1929 Freiburg inaugural lecture “What is Metaphysics?”—with its analysis of the loss of all orientation and comportment in the face of the impersonal self-nihilating nothingness (das Nichts nichtet), Heidegger’s thinking was identified by numerous European and East Asian thinkers with the project of a “philosophy of nothingness” (Philosophie des Nichts or Nichts-Philosophie). Heidegger’s thinking of nothingness would be contrasted in the 1930s and 1940s in both Germany and Japan with nothingness in Daoism, Buddhism, and Nishida Kitarō and the Kyōto school. In this paper, I will trace how Heidegger’s reflections on nothingness and emptiness (das Leere) become entangled with East Asian discourses in the early reception of his thought and in his own writings such as “Evening Conversation in a Prison Camp in Russia” (“Abendgespräch in einem Kriegsgefangenenlager in Rußland”), “The Thing” (“Das Ding”), and “A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer” (“Aus einem Gespräch von der Sprache. Zwischen einem Japaner und einem Fragenden”).

Biography: Eric S. Nelson is Professor of Philosophy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He works on Chinese, German, and Jewish philosophy. He is the author of Daoism and Environmental Philosophy (Routledge, 2020), Levinas, Adorno, and the Ethics of the Material Other (SUNY Press, 2020), and Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought (Bloomsbury, 2017). He has published over seventy-five articles and book chapters and is the editor of Interpreting Dilthey: Critical Essays (Cambridge University Press, 2019).