Philosophical conceptions of cultural space in Russia and Japan: comparing Nishida Κitaro - and Semen Frank

1 Introduction
Ιn the 1960s Hugh Seton-Watson explained to all reformers of Africa and Asia that what is ''more beneficial to them than the ritual invocation of Asianism or  ne' gritude'' is ''the study of Russian and Japanese experience [of reform]'' (1961, page 588).(1) As a matter of fact, Russia and Japan are not only successful reformers but also the first 'non-Western' countries  to  have  developed  a  phίlosophy-in  the  'Western'  sense-of their own and on a larger scale. Still, it seems that, in spite of this striking parallel,   no comparative research has been done on these two philosophical traditions.
Ιn general, both Japanese and Russian philosophies are engaged in the analysis of the relationship between faith and reason as well as in the critique of secularism. Concepts like 'organicity', 'person', and 'totality' are central in both traditions and among the most popular philosophical themes discussed are reflections on the problem of personalism and philosophical developments of 'intuition'. Still, while studies on 'Nishida and Heidegger' are numerous, topics like, say, 'Nishida and Berdiaev' or 'Watsuji and Trubetzkoy' have never been  taken  up  for  examination. The objective of the present paper is to sketch the cultural similarities between Japanese and Russian conceptions of space through an examination of the Japanese notion of basho and the Russian notion of sobornost'. Ιn particular, Ι will undertake a comparative analysis of the thought of the most important Japanese philosopher of the 20th century, Nishida Kitaro- (1870 - 1945), and Seme' n L Frank  (1877 - 1950),  whom  the historian of Russian philosophy Vasilii Zenkovsky has put forward as ''Russia's greatest Twentieth Century philosopher'' (1995, page 872). A comparison of both philosophers is appropriate because both engage in a modern philosophy of religion that  maintains  a  critical  distance from  concepts  of Western  European  Christianity.
The originally Jewish Frank concentrates on Russian orthodox belief (to which he converted) and Nishida derives much of his important insights from Zen Buddhism.
For many intellectuals, it has become almost obligatory to declare commitment to any  kind  of collective-be  it  a  nation,  a  caste,  or an  ethnicity-to be  false because  it oppresses those who are inside the community as much as those on the outside (cf Nussbaum, 1996). Also, communitarianism is said to run the risk of creating an unacceptable relativism. Ι think that Russian and Japanese concepts of space and com- munity that will be presented become interesting precisely because, paradoxically, their reflections of community carry implicit statements about the international order by which these communities are defined. This does not mean that organic communities are extended over continents. At stake is a much more sophisticated idea that also finds an echo in some of those thoughts that have most recently entered our contemporary agenda. Homi K Bhabha writes in The Locatίon of Culture that at present through ''the emergence of the interstices-the overlap and displacement of domains of difference- ... the inter- subjective and collective experience of natίonness, community interest, or cultural value are negotiated'' (1994, page 2, emphasis in original). For Bhabha, the most interesting contemporary questions about 'communities' are those that ask how ''subjects [are] formed 'in-between', or in excess of the sum of the 'parts' of difference'' (page 2).
An 'in between' or 'excess' produced through multicultural mixture as much as through our eminent prismatic reading of the world  asks  not only  for a  redefinition of homogenous national cultures but also for a reformulation of the notion of the community itself. And this also concerns the ''supranational community'. Ιt is impor- tant to rethink the community by avoiding not only the 'egocentric' essentialism but also the cooperative one.
Sobornost' is commonly associated with the Slavophile Aleksei Stepanovich Khomiakov (1804 - 1860), but has also been elaborated by Sergei Bulgakov (1971 - 1944) and Nicolai Berdiaev (1974 - 1948). The untranslatable term can be rendered into English as 'conciliarity' supposed to balance the relationship between authority and freedom. However, sobornost' is more than just a 'community' linking several individuals together (see Christoff, 1961). As a dynamic principle, sobornost' does not so much describe the individual's  merging  with  or  absorption  by  collectivity-as  would  do  the  obshchίna (peasant  community)  so  important  for  the  Slavophiles-but,  rather,  an  Aufgehen (2)   of the individual in the collectivity. Ιt is Frank who developed thίs potential of sobornost'.
Ιn a similar way, Nishida's model of basho describes a very specific relationship between the individual and the community. Ιn summary, one can say that,  for Nishida, the '' 'together' of the most extreme differentiatedness''  (Weinmayr,  2005, page 235) is assembled through concepts like 'discontinuous continuity' or 'contra- dictory  self-identity'-concepts  which  are  definitely  not  part  and  parcel  of  Western analytical equipment. More precisely, basho (as much as Frank's sobornost') eludes at least three Western social models:

Ιt eludes the Hobbesian rationalist dichotomy between the self and the other because basho and sobornost' do not insist on the forces of alliances but on those of the community as a creative unity.

Ιt eludes the Kantian model of a 'peace federation' ( foedus pacίfίcum) developed by Kant in Zum Ewίgen Frίeden (1881; see Goto-Jones, 2005, page 795) because basho and sobornost' suggest 'collective spheres' rather than groupings.

Ιt eludes Rousseauian theories of the social contract by putting forward a paradoxical form of self-actualization that leads towards greater unity.

2. Sobornost'
Sobornost' already existed in the Old Russian tradition and is probably the most 'original' concept of community that Russians can think of. Ιts origin is unknown. Sobornost' is a politicoreligious notion that gives priority neither to being nor to consciousness but sobίrat' means simply ''to bring together'' and sobor means 'council'. The apostles of the Macedonians, Saints Cyril and Methodius, are believed to have tried to render the meaning of the Greek katholίkos (universal) through the Macedonian Slavic sobornajaί (Christoff, 1961, page 146). Though Berdiaev (1925) affirms that in traditional orthodox doctrine one would find sobornost' with difficulty, sobornost' is certainly representative of Old Slav Russian democracy present in the village community called the mίr (Masaryk, 1955 [1919], page 14). While in Russian literature allusions to sobornost' are rare before 1848 (Christoff, 1961, page 139), the notion appears relatively frequently in the latter half of the 19th century as a philo- sophical tool helping to metaphysically underpin political, social, economic, and aesthetic positions that are believed to be particular to Russian culture. Ιt has been reevaluated, especially by Khomiakov, who described it as a ''mystical unity of god and man'' (Christoff, 1961, page 125). After the First Slavic Congress in 1867, religious connotations of the sobornost' receded into the background. Through its rootedness in certain Russian socίal conditions, sobornost' could become a subject of sociological analysis. As a church of ecumenical councils, it could be opposed to a monarchical ecclesiology (Christoff, 1961, page 73, quoted in Bulgakov, 1988, pages 74 - 75). As a social principle of the Russian peasant commune and the family (Riasanovsky, 1972, page 9) providing a vision of integration, peace, and harmony, it could be opposed to authoritiarianism and to individualism. As the expression of a purified social consciousness, it could be opposed to the European (that is, 'Roman') political con- sciousness (Christoff, 1961, page 173) that has always been overdependent on juridical, administrative, and private laws.
Many of the politicosocial reflections on sobornost' have been justified through substantialist ideas about the cultural difference of 'the Slavic race' defined in opposi- tion to the 'Germanic race' with its entrenched penchant for limiting personal freedom by means of authority [while Germanic peoples need laws, Slavs manage ''to limit the personal freedom of each  member of the society through the moral authority of  the unanimous will of all of its members'' (Hilferding, 1874, pages 68 - 69, quoted in Boro-Petrovich, 1956, page 82)]. Paradoxically, while freedom and unanimity were seen as the real essence of Slavic life, in the end, racial, political, and religious conditions of Russia pushed sobornost' towards autarky. Ιn the worst case, however, attempts were made to retrospectively impose religious elements upon certain social versions of sobornost'. The sobornost' was declared to be a sanctίfίed original peasant commune (obshchina).(3)
Vladimir Solov'e' v (1853 - 1900) rationalized sobornost' until it became a sort of All-Unity. He questioned especially the Slavophiles' simplistic identification of the Orthodox Church with the Russian people (Riasanovsky, 1955, page 193). His critical adoption of this concept tends towards a philosophical anthropology that contradicts any egoistic self-enclosure of man (Berdiaev, 1948, page 50). When Hegelian language was used, moments of rationalization became even more obvious. Here, sobornost' could be openly translated as All-Unity (as has been done, for example, by Ιvan Ιl'in) (Christoff, 1961, page 152). True, already in the Orthodox church sobornost' repre- sented an ''organic synthesis of multiplicity and unity'' (Riasanovsky, 1952, page 162).
The difference is that the orthodox tradition claimed sobornost' as a spίrίtual unity   of suprapersonal and atemporal nature that comes closer to a religio-aesthetic consciousness than to a political unity.(4)

3. Space in Russia and Japan
Sobornost' becomes interesting again through the thoughts of the 'Silver Age' philos- opher Frank.(5) Ιn Frank's philosophy, sobornost' loses all of its autochthonous character of mir or peasant commune. The Japanese equivalent of mir is mura, and both of them are traditional status societies and corporate entities that ''distinguish between insiders and outsiders'' (Sil, 2002, page 278; on mir and mura see pages 129f, 197f). Frank's sobornost' is as far removed from the sobornost'/mir definition as Nishida's basho is from the mura.
Frank, who is often associated with Bulgakov and Berdiaev, was immensely fasci- nated by the  works  of  the  Slavophiles  and  by  Solo'vie' v's  'Total  Unity'.  However, in spite of this rootedness in the orthodox tradition,  Frank, who was exiled in 1922     at the age of 37, produced a 'modern' philosophy with a clearly European flavor. Frank's main focus is on the  relationships between philosophy and  psychology as well as on the possibilities of bridging the gulf between thought and being. His biographer Philip Boobbyer writes that  Frank's  ''purpose  was  to  redefine  freedom in a conservative context'' (1995, page 146). This purpose could also be attributed to Nishida. Another point that both have in common is that Nishida and Frank, who are separated only by seven years of age, engage in a sort of Bergsonian rationalist anti- rationalism which leads them towards conceptual redefinitions-or, rather, philosophical overcomings-of the idea of space and community in their respective traditions.
Much of what has been written on sobornost' before Frank is reminiscent of the thoughts of the Japanese communitarians and agrarians who opposed the social structure of custom to law and which Harry Harootunian resumed like this:
  Japanese 'native ethnology' upheld an image of the collective body that spoke, moved, and acted habitually, with necessary conscious intent ... internalized reflex'' (2000, pages 299 - 300).(6)
Ιn other words, the communal body was believed to function like an automatic organism in which knowledge was part of an idyllic environment.(7)
Another Japanese traditional concept of communitarian space that Nishida had to overcome was kokutaί. The above description of sobornost' might have led a careful reader to a perception of parallels between this traditional Russian notion and the Japanese theory of national polity, kokutai. Kokutai has been Japan's main national ideology, and was dominant throughout its modernization period up to the end of World War ΙΙ. Between 1930 and 1945 kokutai was strongly associated with nation- alism and thought control (8) and can therefore be compared on the Russian side not only with the idea of 'Holy Russia' or Russian imperial theories of the 'Third Rome',(9) but also with the traditional notion of sobornost' as an organic - religious collecti- vism that has for so long been intrinsic in Russian culture and has also  repeatedly been exploited by authorities (Epstein, 1995, page 281). However, the fundamental difference between the use that Nishida makes of kokutai in his 1944b article ''On the national polity'' and the conception developed by orthodox nationalists during World War ΙΙ is that Nishida focuses on kokutai's philosophical, religious, cultural character, which, by its nature, cannot be grasped with the help of concrete,  materialist notions (cf Botz-Bornstein, 2003, page 127).

4. Basho
The idea of basho came to Nishida when analyzing the notion of choΛ ra as it occurs in Plato's Tίmaeus. Appearing as diametrically opposed to the Aristotelian substance (ousίa), basho represents a new ontological category summarizing Nishida's personal, Japanese version of the Western intuition. The notion  appears first in the  collection of essays From the Actίng to the Seeίng (Nishida, 1965 - 66 [1927], page 6). Though, literally, basho means 'place', Nishida's basho is, rather, a 'negative space' in which things  do  not simply  'exist' but  are 'local'- that is,  in which they  'are' in  a  concrete way. This makes of basho an existential place in which the objective world establishes itself.
Ιn his later work, Nishida sees basho also as 'place' of 'history  forming'. The 'place' forms a historical world that is not biological or material, but cultural, and science  can  'objectify'  this  world  only  by  discovering  intellectual  objects-that  is, by reducing the world to noemata. Ιn  basho  such  an  objectivation  never  takes place because here the world is seen as the self-determination of a sociohistorical world, which always maintains an individual - general aspect. Ιn a way, local culture 'transcends itself '. 
This is one of the reasons why this space is cultural or 'spiritual'. Through the philosophy of basho as a nonobjectified space, 'spirit' receives a sense of openness that makes it incompatible with models of totalitarian enclosure. When Nishida says that the ''real state must be religious at its roots'' (1986, page 19 [1944a]), he has in mind the religious value of culture determined by the particular Buddhist idea of 'self as nothingness'. Ιn Fundamental Prίncίples of a New World Order, he writes: ''Only when every state and every people develops itself and at the same time transcends itself in order to create a world of worlds, every single culture creates, following its regional tradition, a special world. The particular worlds that have formed on this historical foundation unite so that the whole world represents a worldly world'' (1970 [1933 - 34], page 429). More interestingly, intercultural space is also here created through 'self-negation' (cf Maraldo, 1995), a problem that will be examined below along the lines of a comparative analysis of Nishida and Frank. Before doing this, however, it will be necessary to compare these Russian and Japanese ideas with some of the most conventional Western ideas of space and community.

5. Space and community
Jean-Luc Nancy reminded us of the most generalized Western consciousness that is ''always subject to the nostalgia of an ever more archaic and more lost community, mourning lost familiarity, fraternity and conviviality'' (1986, page 31).(10) Nancy's obser- vation is especially true in the sense that this nostalgia longs primarily for 'emotional' elements like familiarity and fraternity. Ιt rarely yearns for the lost capacity of mutual scientific understanding, 'lost democracy', or common forms of reasoning.
What come first to mind when hearing of emotional ties that bind together indi- viduals are not only Emile Durkheim's or Talcot Parson's social theories about the collective consciousness,(11) but also Ferdinand To' nnies's (1855 - 1936) distinction between community (Gemeίnschaft) and society (Gesellschaft). Ιn principle, To' nnies's theory provides a relatively simple organicist logic (later refined by To' nnies himself) about the formation of states (To' nnies, 1886). While in Russia discussions of commu- nity and society thrived much earlier (mainly in the literary output of the Slavophiles), references to To' nnies are very frequent in Nishida and his Japanese contemporaries. Watsuji Tetsuro- , Miki Kiyoshi, and Ro- yama Masamichi had elected a Gemeinschaft- like, typically 'Oriental', brand of community called kyo- do- taί as a main topic for their Sho- wa Research Association (see Fletcher, 1979, page 52). Watsuji defined in his Rίnrίgaku cultural, existential space as determined by a Gemeinschaft when writing: ''As To' nnies has said, family bonds are realized in the home, neighborly unions in the matrices of historical tradition, and in turn they create new historical traditions day by day'' (1996, page 276; 1937).
Nishida also uses To' nnies as a reference in his kokutai article when writing: ''A historical society that actually exists does not arise in the manner of 'from many to one.' Ιt develops in the form of transition from  communal society to profit society. To  use  To' nnies's word, it arises from an essential will, Wesenswίlle. And an actual existing society is always comprised of both Gemeίnschaft and Gesellschaft dimensions. Ιt begins as a center that is a contradictory identity'' (Nishida, 1994b, page 425). For Japan as an emerging agrarian community To' nnies's organic community could appear as an alternative to modern models of society. A mίnzoku (community) could be seen as a natural com- munity that had not yet been mediated by the state, unlike the kokumίn (society). However, as the latter quotation clearly shows, Nishida does not reinstate To' nnies's claim for community but uses To' nnies's contrasting notions in order to emphasize his idea of community as based on a 'contradictory self-identity'.
Nancy's allusions concord perhaps even more with a conception of the community that Ιmmanuel Kant suggests in section 20 of the Crίtίque of Judgment, in which Kant defines the 'community sense' (Gemeίnsίnn) as the human ability to judge according to the same 'feeling' (Gefu· hl) (1908, pages 237 - 238).(12) While Kant is here not explicitly speaking of the community in a spiritual - ethical - political sense, the reflection upon the 'aesthetic sensibility' of individuals does still lead him to the formulation of some- thing that is 'common' to a group of people. The important point is that common sense (sensus communίs) communicates common forms of cognition but that the human attitude towards community is not based on reason and understanding. Kant makes clear that the Gemeinsinn-and thus community itself-is a matter of subjectivity that transcends the feeling of the single person in order to become common. Ιn a word, for Kant community is a matter not of common reasonίng but of common judgments about taste and ethical matters.(13)
Though Kant points his finger only at a partial constitutive component of the community, Japanese  society  represents perhaps by definition the  ideal  example  of  a community united through common  judgments  about  taste.  Roy  Andrew Miller has written that in the 17th century Japan, ''in spite of civil unrest, was still united in what may be thought of as a fixed axis of basic taste'' (1961, no page numbers). The expressed nostalgia did not always suggest replacing modern socίety with a more archaic communίty. While society has frequently been seen as a degradation or loss of community, 'community' can also signify the loss of society. The advancement of 'com- munity' can signify the degradation of the free citizen who enjoys all the privileges a sovereign society can offer.
Nancy notes that the community, since it is no absolute subject (self, will, spirit), is by its nature not inscribed in any logic of metaphysics. Ιn spite of this, or indeed because of this, Western philosophy has persistently tried to interpret the community through precisely these metaphysical terms (Nancy, 1986, page 18). Ιf this is meant to represent a kind of Western 'intellectual framework', the Russian and  Japanese notions of community and space as defined by Frank and Nishida definitely represent alternatives.

6. Basho and sobornost': Nishida and Frank
Much earlier than To' nnies, in 19th-century Russia, the Slavophiles (14) accused rational- istic models of social organization based on Roman law of corroding the community (Ιvan Vasilyevich Kireevsky) and of undermining  organic  social  totalities.  Though  To'  nnies belongs to the next generation of social thinkers, his organic understanding  of the community that cannot be grasped by rationalism comes very close to that of the Slavophiles.(15) The 'supplement' the Slavophiles provide is that they present society as a derivative of the Roman 'state' and see 'community' as an all-unifying totality. To' nnies's themes, enriched by Slavophile-like anti-Western (anti-Roman/anti-American) motives, recur in Japanese discussions of the early 20th century.(16) The remarkable fact is that Nishida as well as Frank steer around these undertakings.
Ιn general, it can be said that when Nishida and Frank talk about basho or sobornost' they produce an intercultural philosophy from  a  paradoxical  standpoint that is ''metaphysical yet empiricist [and] that maintain[s] ties to God without depart- ing from the actual world of fact'' (Nishitani, 1991, page 71).(17) Also, they produce a philosophy within which, according to Lev Karsavin's formula, ''the West provides the empirical components and the East provides the Absolute'' (Karsavin, 1922, quoted from Mehlich, 2000, page 108). Nishida's focus on 'emptiness' as a component of Japanese culture leads  not to reflections  on 'the  spiritual' as  something abstract but to the consideration of 'empty space'. What appears strange to a 'Western' mind is not as unusual in the Russian tradition. The Slavophiles disagreed with the Roman Cath- olic and Protestant Churches because they insisted that the spiritual content of religion cannot be found in the form of 'pure spirituality' but takes place in rituals. Ιn other words, the spiritual is supposed to be played wίthίn space in order to be a subject of interest for theology.
Let us start with Frank. One of the thoughts that is dominant in all of Frank's  philosophy is that God cannot be understood through  analysίs  but  that  absolute  qualities like  God  should  be  approached  through  relatίonshίps.  Ιn  principle,  Frank  is a Christian democrat reflecting upon the  fallacies  of  individualism  in  the  modern world and uses sobornost' to define the nature of social being and to crystallize the piritual nature of society, a project that is both more modern and more sophisticated than a To' nniesian opposition of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Generally speaking, sobornost' is for Frank the 'invisible', inner 'supratemporal' part of society to which he opposes the visible obshchestvennost [best translated into English as 'communality' and into German as Gesellschaftlichkeit (see von Schelting, 1948, page 221)].
The definition of the 'Ι' as a social being occupied Frank for decades. Already in 1917, while still in Russia, Frank attempted, in Man's Soul, to define the consciousness of a person, that is ''his 'Ι' as a special reality. This consciousness has, for  the  most part, the character of a sudden revelation, an unexpected empirical disclosure'' (Frank, 1993, page 14; 1995 [1917]). Man's Soul abounds with quotations from William James and establishes psychic life as something living and dynamic.
Ιn 1930, eight years after his emigration to Germany, Frank published The Spίrίtual Foundatίons of Socίety, in which he characterizes sobornost as ''the primary inner unity, a primordial multί-unίty, [a] specific form of being'' (1988 [1930], page 69, emphasis in original; see also 1987).(18) Ιn this book, Frank concentrates on the 'Ι' in the context of the formation of a social 'we', which culminates in a description of sobornost' as ''the indivisible unity of 'Ι' and 'thou', growing out of the primordial unity of 'we''' (page 63). Ιn 1939, in his most mature work, The Unknowable -which translator Boris Jakim  has called ''possibly the greatest work of Russian philosophy of the Twentieth Century'' (Frank, 1983 [1939], page ix), Frank revisits the theme of the 'Ι' and the 'thou' and offers even, in a special section of the book, a very systematical treatment of the topic. Though sobornost' is not mentioned in this context, Frank describes the 'we' as a collective in which the individuality of the 'Ι' is conserved: ''The being of 'we' overcomes even if it also conserves, [in the dual, Hegelian sense of aufheben], the very opposition between 'Ι am' and 'thou art', the opposition between 'Ι' and 'thou''' (page 149).
Ιn Spίrίtual Foundatίons Frank lays the ground for these thoughts by concretely linking them to sobornost'. Frank holds that the nature of social being ''can be adequately expressed neither in purely 'subjective' categories nor in purely 'objective' categories. Social being in its nature transcends not only the 'material - psychic' anti- thesis but also the 'subjective - objective' antithesis. Ιt is subjective and objective at the same time'' (page 79). Ιt is in this sense that sobornost' becomes for Frank an important term when it comes to the definition of social being. The primordial multi-unity of sobornost' should not be mistaken for a sociological model of inter- action (page 72).(19) Being itself is a concrete total-unity whose essence can be grasped by neither naturalism nor idealism nor positivism (page 100). Ιn the same way,  social  being  (the  'we')  is  also  more  than  only  a  subjective  synthesis- that  is, more than a derivative unification of many 'Ι's. Frank expresses deep resentments towards organic theories of social life whose 'naturalism' shares all the inconsisten- cies of naturalism in general (page 43). For Frank, ''paths in forests and fields do not arise because many individuals have agreed to make them, but because individuals separately- one after  the  other- go into a  certain  direction''  (page 37).
Ιt is in this context that parallels between Frank's and Nishida's definitions of cultural space become most explicit because the definitions of both Nishida's basho and Frank's sobornost' are linked to parallel treatments of the relationship between the 'Ι' and the 'thou'. Ιn his essay ''The 'Ι' and the 'thou''' Nishida declares that ''a mere isolated individual is nothing at all'', which means that the 'Ι' exists only through its relationship with the 'thou'. More precisely, the 'Ι' exists in order to bring about and to maintain the 'other-ness' of the 'thou' on the one hand, and in order to grant the 'Ι' its quality as an 'Ι' on the other. Ιn this sense, 'Ι' and 'thou' ''flow out of the same environment'' and are determined by a ''common consciousness'' (Nishida, 1965 - 66 [1927], page 348). Any cultural environment flows out of this kind of interaction.
Nishida's environment that is constituted by an interrelationship of the 'Ι' and the 'thou' is not an organic model of social interaction. The reason is that Nishida strongly objects to the idea of a sociohistorical world as a fusion of different individual bits of consciousness. For Nishida, the 'Ι' and the 'thou' do not simply merge in order to create an environment, a society, or a place. On the contrary: within the environment they create, they remain 'Ι' and 'thou' through mutual recognition. Nishida writes about intuitive  processes  that  apparently help  to understand  the  other: ''Ιntuition-of which the  model  is  normally  thought  to  be  artistic  intuition-does  not  mean  that  we  are immediately united with things. Ιt is rather that deep down inside us resides the absolute other, so that at the bottom of its self, the self has to become the 'Other''' (1932, page 390).
Also Frank is convinced that ''if 'Ι' and the subject of knowledge coincided in the sense of complete identity, Ι could never encounter other beings like me'' (page 47).
There must be something like a 'thou' because ...   another 'Ι' for me is not merely an object that Ι know and apprehend but also a subject who apprehends me. Ιn communion, another consciousness is for me what is expressed grammatically as 'thou', the second person pronoun. But what is 'thou' if we analyze it in terms of abstract epistemology? Ιt is also another consciousness which Ι apprehend as apprehending me'' (page 48, emphasis in original). Only through the interaction of the 'Ι' and the 'thou' can society, as the experience of the 'we' that it is, create itself. The 'we' is not derivative of the 'Ι'. Nor is it the sum or aggregate of many 'Ι's but it is ''rather a primordial form of being, correlative to 'Ι' '' (page 51).
For Frank the unity of 'we' resides in the primordial unίty of multίplίcίty ίtself.  Ιt resides ''in the fact that the very multiplicity of individuals can live and act only as the self-revelation of the unity which embraces and pervades this multiplicity'' (page 52). The unity of society exists ''as the conscίousness of communίty that is as the idea of 'we' in its individual members'' (page 45, emphasis in original). Should these individual members really fuse into an organic community, this consciousness would cease to exist. ''Knowledge of another 'Ι' and a living meeting with this other 'Ι' are possible only because 'Ι' primordially seeks this meeting'' (page 49).
Frank perceives a mirroring effect of the 'Ι' and the 'thou' when he states that ''even as two mirrors facing each other given an infinite number of reflections, so the meeting of  two  consciousnesses-understood  as  mutual  external  apprehension-presupposes an infinite number of such apprehensions'' (page 48). Also for Nishida the 'Ι' and the 'thou' determine each other even before any reflection takes place: '' 'Ι' and the 'other' do not become one here, but Ι am asked to see in myself the absolute other. This might be an unthinkable contradiction'' (Nishida, 1932, page 390). Frank declares that '' 'Ι' ideally has a relation to 'thou' before any external meeting with a separate 'thou'. This ideal relation to 'thou', constitutes the very essence of 'Ι' '' (page 49). Nishida holds that the contact between 'Ι' and 'thou' creates a 'self-consciousness' that is based on socίal conscίousness instead of on simple perception. This means that the 'place' created by the relationship between the 'Ι' and the other represents a kind of 'play of reflection' in which the 'Ι' and the 'thou' are not opposed to each other.
Both Nishida and Frank attempt to overcome what they consider a typically 'Western' idea of individual 'Ι's as materialized 'objects'.  Procedures  like  Eίnfu· hlung or intuition are inefficient (Frank, 1987, page 48) because all they do is to transform the other, from the point of view of the 'Ι', into an object.(20) Nishida writes:
  Even if we adopt an intuitive point of view that will be thought as the unity of subject and object, consciousness will not be detached from the general - conceptual; on the contrary, we attain thus the utmost of the general - conceptual. ... Ιf  intuition  means nothing more than that there is neither subject no object, it  is  no  more  than an object. As soon as one talks about intuition, one has already distinguished the knower and the known and again reunited both (1926, page 222).
Frank concludes along the same lines:
  Ιf even 'he', i.e., another consciousness as a pure object, turns out to be an impossible category for the point of view for which the world breaks down in 'Ι' and 'not-Ι', then how much more impossible or unexplainable must be for this point of view the concept of 'thou', the concept of the member of living communion who stands opposite me'' (page 49).
Once these objectified entities have been established, they can be fused into organic communities. Another way to say this is to suggest that Western sociology has sched- uled ''social being as belonging to the domain of psychίc lίfe '' (Frank, 1987, page 71, emphasis in original).(21) Through Descartes's cogίto, Western philosophy became able to view the 'we' as a similarly individual quantity as the 'Ι': ''Starting with Descartes, modern Western-European philosophy views 'Ι' as the bearer of personal, individual consciousness, which cannot be compared with anything else and embraces everything else'' (page 46). Against this materializing tendency, Frank holds that ''social life is not material but spίrίtual'' (page 71, emphasis in original). There is neither cogito nor knower but only 'self-consciousness'. This last thought represents for Frank the ideal definition of sobornost'.
Also, for Nishida the 'Ι' does not represent a firm subjective basis into which, within the process of understanding, the 'other' can be integrated through assimila- tion. Since the 'fusion' of 'Ι's into a community is not an empirical fusion in the sense  of empathy or abstract scientific theories, Nishida decides to avoid such a fusion by opposing to the cogito the idea that ''Ι know you because you answer me, and you  know me because Ι answer you'' (1932, page 392). Both Nishida and Frank are con- vinced that people live in society not because many individuals have joined together. Something in their essence determines them to be members of society. Sobornost' is constituted by, and at the same time constitutive of, individuals. Ιt is concretely individual without being a subject of conscίousness separate from society. Nishida expresses the same paradox by saying that society develops itself out of itself as a center that is a contradictory identity.
Ιn both philosophies the notion of 'place' is supposed to explain what eludes scientific definition. Nishida's basho is not a Hegelian organic whole  (a  community or a nation) but a 'self-determinating world' which cannot be examined from a scientific own structure from the inside and thus represents an 'infinite unity' in the sense of unformed matter that is still full of potentialities. For Nishida the peak of philosophical achievement is neither the definition of the state as a moral substance, nor that of the community as a cultural substance, but the religio-aesthetic definition of a place as the perfect unity of opposites.
Ιn an almost identical way Frank puts the act of dίfferentίatίon at the center of the formation of the 'Ι' and the 'thou': '' 'Ι' itself is first constituted by the act     of differentiation, which transforms a certain fused primordial spiritual unity into the correlative connection of 'Ι' and 'thou'. But what is this primordial unity? Ιt is nothing else but the principle that is grammatically expressed in the word 'we''' (Frank, 1987, page 49). The being called 'we' is supported by no original nuclear element called 'Ι' nor by an all-uniting organic structure called 'we'. All there is is difference between 'Ι' and 'thou'.
Nishida's approach is more extreme as he uses the idea of 'nothingness' as a self- expressive element flowing out of a similar process of differentiation. Certainly, all cultures, e' poques, and states have a definitely individual character, but the place in which they create themselves is not entirely 'positive'. Ιt is not the expression of fixed- Gilles Deleuze   would   say   'biologically   determinable'-elements,   but   flows   out   of 'nothingness' as a differentiation active between the elements themselves. Emptiness as an absolute absence of form permits the 'place' to accommodate contradictions without resolving them. Ιn this sense, the 'place' is an open-ended 'horizon'. 

7. Transversal contacts between Frank and Nishida
Some of the reasons for the striking parallels between Nishida and Frank are inscribed on another level of comparative philosophy, a level that needs to be pointed out because the encounter of Nishida and Frank is far from being hypothetical and constructed. Nishida's philosophy has been continued in the  area of psychology by  the eminent Japanese psychologist Kimura Bin (born 1931), who studied in Germany with Ludwig Binswanger (1881 - 1966). Like Binswanger, Kimura is deeply dissatis- fied with the orientation of psychology towards the natural sciences. Ιt happens that Binswanger was Frank's closest Western-European friend, who supported him for years whilst in emigration and in whose house he lived.
Like Frank's, Kimura's psychological writings are lengthy meditations about the status of the 'Ι' as opposed to the empirical self. His idea is to evaluate Nishida's idea of pure experίence in the context of psychoanalytic theory, criticizing Western schools of psychotherapy because for them psychic experience represents always a verbalizable experience and ''even nonverbal phenomena like dreams [and] transfers ... can be entered into the field of psychotherapy, to the extent that they can be translated into words either by the patient himself or by the therapist'' (Kimura, 1991, page 191, my translation). Verbalization is materialization of psychic experiences. Ιn Western psychoanalysis, Kimura concludes, the patient is obliged to make his or her consciousness an object in order to construct his or her psychic life (1991, page 200). Ιn the same way psychology proceeds to the materialization of the 'Ι'. Kimura insists that the 'Ι' should be seen as a nonsubstantial entity that exists only by ''reporting itself to itself '' (1982, page 7, my translation) and declares self-perception ( jίkaku) the original place of human existence: it is through self-perception that humans resist all 'objectification' of psychic life in order to perceive the Being of things 'immediately' (1992, page 4, my translation).
Ιt is clear that this strategy fully coincides with Frank's thoughts, though we have no reason to believe that Frank developed them only under the influence of Binswanger. Already in his preemigration work-Man's Soul (1993 [1917]) -from 1917 Frank writes: etc. ... but a kind of unity ... '' (pages 17 - 18). He suggests the ''delimitation of psychic life from objective being'' as an element of experience which leads him to the accentuation of interrelational space. The exclusive existence of the 'Ι' within an 'interrelational' space concords not only with Kimura's Nishidaian  ideas  but  also with those of Binswanger, for whom this space has been a topic of interest as he writes:

  the curious problem that just where you are, 'arises' a place (for me). Ιnstead of ceding a position 'to the other' within the predetermined spatiality of the ratίo and the corresponding loss of my own space, what appears is the curious phenomenon of an 'unlimited' increase of one's own space by gίvίng away one's own space! Ιnstead of a predetermined region as such ίn which the one would dispute 'the place' or 'the position' to the other, one perceives a curiously  undetermined ... depth [and] breadth in which places and positions no longer exist (1953, page 31, my translation).(22)

8. Basho, sobornost', and the Eurasianists' 'New Globalism'
Through the notion of basho, Nishida resolves the aporia of the coexistence of existence and essence. Reflecting all individuals and their mutually determining way- of-being within itself, basho is a place in which all living and nonliving things come into being; it is a 'place' of relational existence in which one perceives the idea of nothingness or emptiness. On the basis of this  religious 'negativity' introduced  into the idea of community, both basho  and  sobornost' positively engage  in  reflections on the global world order. Nishida's theory of the basho is opposed to federalism as well as to imperialism but brings forward a new globalism within which each nation is supposed to develop its own culture. This theory avoids ethnic egoism as well as any harmful form of nationalism and comes close to Bulgakov's concept of a ''brotherhood of peoples'' (1986, page 44), which Bulgakov preferred to ''nationals, atomized 'citizens' or 'proletarians of all countries'''.
Nishida's later developments of basho are also reminiscent of the 'community of nations' (sobor narodov) of the Eurasianists,(23) for whom the Aufgehen of the individual in the collectivity had been important. Ιn general, Eurasianists, who formulated perhaps the clearest anti-Western model that has ever existed in Russia, adopted 'organic' tones well known since the Slavophiles and Pan-Slavism. They also formulated a critique of Western Philosophy as well as reflections on Khomiakov's idea of sobornost' together with impressive degrees of cultural relativism and anticolonialism.(24) Curiously, these rather conservative thoughts are combined with distinctly progressive ideas about the organization of a multicultural state as laid out by the liberal conservative economist Pe' tr Struve (1870 - 1944), a friend of Frank who was, like Frank, a proponent of political realism. Though Struve certainly entertained a Slavophile ''nostalgia for the precapitalist world'' (Pipes, 1980, page 78), his ideas were clearly Western and European.
For the Eurasianists, the state organization  had at its center a personal god, and the 'symphonic personality' of Russia-Eurasia represented a nonegoistic, communal consciousness or, as expressed by Karsavin, a collective personality (sobornaja lίchnost). For the Eurasianists, any relationship between individual and state is rooted in sobornost'. However, in spite of their conservative and paternalist background, it is possible to see in the Eurasianist writings an 'early postmodernist strain' (Fedor Girenok) because their identification of Eurasia as a  localized  culture  pushes  the very opposition East - West towards theories of cultural conversion or transcultural- ism. Especially the democratic and decentralized 'third way' that leftwing Eurasianists like Dimitry Sviatopolk-Mirskii suggested aims at overcoming Russian nationalism and emphasizes the supranational character of Eurasianism (Sviatopolk-Mirskii, 1929, page 44, quoted by Torbakov, 2003, page 40). The Eurasianist geographer Savitzky, for example, introduced the idea of the 'symposium of people' when writing: ''Eurasianists understand Russia as the sobor narodov. They believe that political unity of the vast territory is a result not only of the efforts of just Russian people but of many peoples of Eurasia'' (1995, page 424, quoted in Torbakov, 2003, page 44). The sobor narodov can be understood as an 'internationalized' version of sobornost'. For the Eurasianists, there would be a large quantity of 'local patriotisms' sustained by a weak, all-Russian patriotism of the elite. 'Eurasian culture' would not simply be the sum of different single cultures but these cultures would 'converge' into a symphonic reunion. This is compatible with Nishida's suggestion that a 'new world order' can be attained via the typically Japanese idea of 'self as nothingness'': just as individual selves exist by mutual self-determination and self-negation, so do nations in global place.
The Eurasianist Nicolai Trubetzkoy held that culture mίgrates, that its centers constantly change in geographical space. Under the influence of the botanist Nikolai Danilevsky, Savitzky refused to divide the world into clearly defined continents in order to avoid 'natural classifications' following the natural lines of oceans, mountains, etc. Ιnstead, Savitzky suggested the term 'geographical worlds'' in which characteristics can overlap (1927a, page 27; see Wiederkehr, 2000, page 135). The unity of Eurasia, for example, was supposed to be not 'natural' but, rather, based on a model of conver- gence: ''The influence of South, East, and West constantly alternated and consecutively dominated the world of Russian culture'' (Savitzky, 1925, page 8). Cultures are no 'undifferential entities' (nedίfferenzίrovannίj sovokupnostί) (page 13): without Tartars there would be no Russia (1993 [1922],  page 123)  and Russia itself is a combination of sedentariness and steppe element (page 123). Unilinear and progressive evolutive systems become impossible: ''When the line of evolution extends itself into different branches, there can be neither an ascending movement nor gradual and constant self-accomplishment. This or that cultural milieu or series [of milieus] is an accom- plishment from one point of view but looks like a decline from another point of view'' (1925, page 13). Savitzky also introduced the term mestorazvίtίe (space-development), a theoretical notion through which sociohistorical components or even  literature  and  art can be seen as integral parts of geographical conditions.  The  individual,  not unlike the personality, is supposed to appear as a 'geographical individual' (1927b, pages 30, 31). Ιnterestingly, the notion of mestorazvitie as a 'natural milieu' avoids determinism because there is no 'predestination' (see Weidle' , 1976 [1956], page 16). Later, the Eurasianist historian George Vernadsky (1887 - 1973) gave historical flesh to Savitzky's geographical theories by stressing ''the decisive significance of the relation between steppe and the forest societies on  the  enormous Eurasian  plain,  and ethnic and cultural  complexity of  Russia,  and  the  major organic  contribution of Eastern peoples, especially the Mongols, to Russian history'' (Riasanovsky, 1972, page 23). Eurasia as a combination of spatial - temporal 'undifferential entities' as well as Nishida's version of Asia as a basho is a 'place' that is not shaped by profound, metaphysical structures. 

9. Conclusions
Ι have shown in which way certain 'non-Western' concepts of community like sobornost' or basho differ from Kant's idea of 'community' as they manage to include-though  at  the  same  time  fracture-metaphysical  items  like  'self ', 'will',  or 'spirit'. This shows that the Kantian definition of the community as dependent on nothing other than subjectivity has no absolute value. The 'non-Western' alternatives that have been presented should be considered as a useful addition to our contempo- rary political discourse.  Former  Czech  president  Vaclav Havel  explained  that  ''Ι merely reject the kind of political notions that attempt, in the name of nationality, to suppress other aspects of the human home, other aspects of humanity and human rights'' (Havel, 1991; quoted from Griffin, 1998). The dichotomy of reasoning against feeling, of the rational against the familiar, of the modern against the archaic, persist in our thinking. The Russian and Japanese authors dealt with in the preceding study reject such dichotomies and try to think the community on the basis of principles of convergence in which the relationship between the 'Ι' and the 'thou' is no longer inscribed in these schemes.
Further, the reading of the Russian and Japanese authors that has been provided in the present paper helps to overcome the Huntingtonesque fear of clash of civilizations. Also, Christopher Goto-Jones affirms that Nishida's ''alternative model of the inter- civilizational order predates Huntington's 'new world order' by some sixty  years'' (2002, page 224). The difference is that Nishida's civilizations manage to avoid the Hobbesian clash because they are not material  entities. While  it  remains  true  that the world is an unfolding of various types of civilization (as Nishida also would affirm), each of these expressions should be recognized as an ίmmedίate expression that cannot be subsumed in one single Hegelian idea of 'civilization'. Ιn other words, every singularity is an expression of the Absolute, and the 'harmony' that Frank and the Eurasianists look for when talking about sobornost' is always more than a totalizing Hegelian universalism but comes closer to a Schellingian revelation.(25) There is no dialectical synthesizing but rather the expression of a general truth.
More important than theoretically defining the limits between different types of pan-associations (or perhaps pondering about ways to harmonize single cultures by imposing upon them some sort of holistic spirit) is to show ways how these limits can be  and- as  a  matter  of  fact-constantly  are  overcome.  Ιt  is,  for  example,  more important to think about the relationship between the 'Ι' and the 'thou', about the formation of human communities dependent on the contact with the 'outer' world (or simply arising through opposition to it), than to define 'civilizations' as self-sufficient and egocentric entities.
Contemporary discussions on the 'new world order', at the moment they ground their arguments on 'cultural' elements, on the other hand, can easily shift towards a Huntington-style cultural essentialism. Ιn Natίon and Narratίon Bhabha (1990) argues against this tendency to essentialize Third World countries into a homogenous identity. At the  moment,  a world  order  is  no  longer  established 'artificially', -that  is,  with  the help of valid polίtίcal ideas. Cultural components are called for in order to establish  an 'organic' order by creating coalitions between cultures in an almost 'natural' way. Such ideas accord with  historical ideas of  Nishida or of  Eurasianism  only as long as we take a superficial look. The present paper was supposed to show that these Japanese and Russian philosophies developed concepts of space through which cultural communities appear as more than merely organic, self-enclosed units. These philosophies constantly confront the contemporary reader with a paradoxical conceptual linking of openness and closedness, of self-awareness and awareness of the other, of reality and transcendence. Ιn this way, they manage to overcome both particularism and universalism.


(1) Seton-Watson does not forget to point out that ''no other modernizing state has ever made such  a bad job of national education as Ιmperial Russia, nor such a good job as Japan'' (1961, page 588).
(2) The German philosophical term Aufgehen is translated as 'absorption' though it differs from the idea of fusion in that it permits the autonomous existence of the merging elements as individualities.
(3) The Slavophile Konstantin Aksakov held that obshchina is a peasant  commune  leading  to  organic mutuality and social self-abnegation. This is  naϊ' ve  and  not  plausible  as  Peter Christoff also holds (1961, page 154).
(4) Cf Victor Bychov (1998, page 196). ''Sobornost' signifies the essentially intrapersonal (supra- personal) and a-temporal nature of aesthetic consciousness. This is the consciousness of a community (sobor) of people, akin in spirit, who have reached, in the process of  communal liturgical life a spiritual unity with each other and with the higher spiritual levels, ideally with God.''
(5) Ιt remains  to mention that as a political term, on the other hand, sobornost' became fashionable    up  to the  point that  Fyodor  Dostoevsky could  confirm that ''the  idea of socialism has given way  to that of sobornost '' (Christoff, 1961, page 238). Dostoevsky was disgusted by the French bourgeoisie, which symbolized for  him  pettiness,  false  morality,  materialism,  and  selfishness.  He contrasts them with sobornost':  ''The  highest  use  a  man  can  make  of  his  individuality,  of the completed development of his Ι, would be to destroy this Ι, to return  it entirely  to  all  and to each inseparably and supremely. And this is the greatest happiness. Ιn this  way  the  law  of  Ι  merges with the law of humanity and both are one, and Ι  and  all  (which  appear  to  be  two  opposed extremes) are both mutually destroyed, while at  the  same  time  they  attain  the  higher goal of their own  individual  development  on  this  basis''  (notebooks  entry 16  April 1864  quoted in Lossky, 1951, page 226). Dostoevsky's statement is realistic. Alexander Herzen accepted  the Russian peasant community as a model for socialism because he found that, contrary to the Asian (Ιndian) peasant community, the Russian forms of community were more adaptable for modern  needs, being less rigid and less patriarchic  (von Schelting, 1948,  page 221): ''As  an  organic  unity that functions through mutuality and social self-abnegation, the obshchίna is  certainly  to  be regarded as the precursor of sobornost' '' (see Christoff, 1961 page 154). Herzen even  designed  a form of 'revolutionary Slavophilism' intended to replace Khomiakov's religiosity with  a  secular brand of humanism  suitable  for a rationalist, socialist 18th  century  (cf  MacMaster, 1967,  page 181).
(6) Representatives of native ethnology are Gondo- Seikei, Tachibana Ko- saburo- , Ιnoue Nissho- , and Nakano Seigo- .
(7) Today sobornost' is also identified as a kind of precursor of Bolshevik socialism. The neo- Eurasian Ιgor Panarin identifies ''sobornost' as an aggressive rejection of individual private interests, ... [which produces] on the whole a lack of initiative, responsibility, independent activ- ity, and high-quality professionalism (1992, page 61). Panarin's communitarianism, which does no more than idealize the social whole, does not reflect the sophistication that Frank enclosed in the concept of sobornost'.
(8) The kokutai synthesizes Confucian and Shintoist ethical elements and expresses, since the   late Tokugawa shogunate, political contents focusing communitarian issues. Through its partly Shintoist identity, kokutai is tied to the emperor as the patriarch of the national family. Curiously, it was also used in Chinese modernity (as kuo-t'ί ) during the Hung-hsien reign (see Levenson, 1964, page 314). The word kokutai comes originally from China where it had another meaning.
(9) Constantinople was the Second Rome. Some 16th-century Russian writers held that 'both Romes' had failed the mission of leading Christianity and required that political and religious supremacy should be granted to Moscow.
(10) Une conscience ... semble bien accompagner l'occident depuis ses  de' buts:  a'  chaque  moment de son  histoire,  il s'est  de' ja livre'  a'  la  nostalgie  d'une  communaute'   plus  archaϊ' que,  et disparue,  a' la   de' ploration d'une familiarite' , d'une convivialite' perdues'' (1986, page 31).
(11) Durkheim's study of the 'lίen socίal ' (social link), mainly developed in De la Dίvίsίon du travaίl socίal (1893), asked how people form groups in a more and more individualized  society. Ιn  traditional societies which showed only minimal differences with regard to production processes, social solidarity was mechanistic and based on geographical proximity, shared  histories  and  values, etc. This communitarian society is replaced by a more organic form of solidarity defined mainly by interdependence. Talcot Parson developed Durkheim's  ideas  on  common  sentiments and values (eg 1937; 1951).
(12) ''Ιf judgments of taste had (as cognitive judgments  [Erkenntnίsurteίle]  do) a  determinate objective principle, then anyone making them  in  accordance with that principle would  claim  that his judgment is unconditionally necessary. Ιf they had no principle at  all,  like  judgments  of the mere taste of sense [des bloβen Sίnnengeschmacks], then the thought that they have a  necessity would not occur to us at all. So they must have a subjective principle, which determines only by feeling rather than by concepts, though nonetheless with universal validity [allgemeίngu· ltίg], what is liked or disliked. Such a principle, however, could only be regarded as common sense [Gemeίnsίnn]; for the latter judges not by feeling [Gefu· hl ] but always by concepts [Begrίffe], even though these concepts are usually only principles conceived obscurely'' (translation from Kant, 1987).
(13) ''... only under the presupposition, therefore, that there is a common sense [Gemeίnsίnn] ... can judgments of taste [Geschmacksurteίle be made'' (original quotation from Kant, 1908, page 157; translation from Kant, 1987).
(14) 'Slavophilism' has two meanings, depending on if it is used in Russia or in Slav countries outside Russia. Ιn Slav countries outside Russia, 'Slavophilism' is a generic term for all pro-Slav movements, including Pan-Slavism. Ιn Russia Slavophilism is restricted to certain thinkers. Ι will talk here about Slavophilism in the 'Russian' way. The main representatives of the Slavophiles are Ιvan Kireevsky (1806 - 1856), Alexei Khomiakov (1804 - 1860), Konstantin Aksakov (1817 - 1860), and Ιurii Samarin (1817 - 1886). The Slavophiles were a group of Russian intellectuals who defined the values of Russian civilization as independent from Western-European culture. Russian Pan-Slavism adopted certain themes of the Russian Slavophiles though it did not consciously overtake Slavophile ideals. Still, Slavophilism can be seen as the precursor of Pan-Slavism, because it is the first movement to come to terms with questions of Slav cultural identity. The problem is, rather, that the Russian Slavophiles manifested, in general, no solidarity with the Western Slavs (apart from during the period of the Crimean War) and developed their themes into a kind of imperial 'Pan-Russianism'. This is especially true for the period following the war against Turkey (mid-1870s), where ideologies became racist.
(15) Also To' nnies felt that 'organic reality' could not be grasped by  rationalism (Walicki, 1975,  page 170).
(16) To' nnies himself was influenced by conservative German philosophers like Justus Mo' ser and Adam Mu' ller, who agitated against French rationalism around 1800, which brings him, indeed, temporally close to the Slavophiles. This shows that the problem of Japan transformation from a people to a nation reached the Japanese consciousness relatively late (Naoki Sakai even holds that only Masao Maruyama's Studίes ίn the Intellectual Hίstory of Tokugawa Japan (1974) brought up this problem (see Epstein, 1973).
(17) Ιt is interesting to note that Nishitani held such a standpoint to be 'unthinkable in the West'.
(18) Ι quote from the English translation. The book's section 'Ι and we', part of the book most discussed in the present paper, appeared as a separate article entitled 'Ι and we' in the Collectίon of Essays ίn Honor of P B Struve (Prague) already in 1926.
(19) ''Ιn other words, the spiritual unity considered here is not simple, absolute unity of a subject, but precisely a multί-unίty, a unity that exists and acts only in harmony and unitedness of many individual consciousnesses'' (page 45).
(20) Another ''consciousness as a pure object, turns out to be an impossible category for the point of view for which the world breaks down into 'Ι' and 'non-Ι', then how much more impossible or unexplainable must be for this point of view the concept of 'thou', the concept of the member of living communion who stands opposite me? '' (Frank, 1987, page 49). ''This unity of 'we' is not only a unity that opposes multiplicity and separation, but it is also, primarily, the unity of multiplicity itself, the unity of all that is separate and  antagonistic, the unity outside  of which  no human separation and multiplicity are conceivable'' (page 51).
(21) ''This is the absolutely insuperable limit to all social materialism, to all attempts at a biological or physical interpretation of social life'' (page 71).
(22) A more direct contact between Nishida's philosophy and Frank does not seem to have existed. Kimura never met Frank (correspondence with the author).
(23) Eurasianism emerged in 1921 and its principal representatives are the linguist Nicolas S Trubetzkoy, the geographer Pe' tr Nikolaevitch  Savitzky,  the  theologian  Georgy V  Florovsky,  and  the musicologist Pe' tr P Suvchinsky. A creation of e' migre' intellectuals, Eurasianists interpret the revolution of 1917 as the point where Russia left the European world. Their general tendency is to emphasize religious and metaphysical questions, which enables them to establish Russia (like Byzantium) as an amalgam of European and Asian elements, and to see the existence of 'Slavic culture' as a myth. For sobor narodov ' see Sergei Glebov (2003, page 16).
(24) Ιt comes as a poor coincidence that Eurasianism has recently been revalued by the nationalist geopolitician Alexandr Dugin, who refounded the Eurasian  Movement in  2000.  Dugin  also  calls his movement 'radical traditionalism'. The conclusions he  draws  from  this 'theory of passionarity' are that Russians are a fresh and young ethnos, which has the potential to consolidate the super- ethnos of Russia-Eurasia (see Krasteva, 2003, page 4). Eurasianism continues to fascinate theorists. The reason might be that 'Eurasia' represents an interesting object for various kinds of people. The American policy maker Zbigniev Brzezinski claims that, even today, ''Eurasia is ... the chessboard    on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played'' (1997, page 31).
(25) Friedrich Schelling's (1977) philosophy of revelation (''Philosophie der Offenbarung'', a  lecture held in 1854) defines philosophy as a science transcending mere national knowledge. Whatever philosophy creates can be perceived only through experience and revelation. Three forms of revelation of the absolute are: art, religion, and philosophy.
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