Post-Anthropocentric Implications of “World-Expression” in Nishida’s “Life”

Main Article Content

Dean Anthony Brink


This paper examines Nishida Kitarō’s (1870–1945) late essay, “Life,” which develops the process of “world-expression” (世界表現) to situate human and nonhuman agency in ways drawing his thought closer to concerns of posthuman ideals of inter-species commensurability and biosemiotics today. Here he extends his philosophy of a site-specific matrix or basho (場所) so as to incorporate arguments from J. S. Haldane’s The Philosophical Basis of Biology (1931), which poses questions concerning the coordination of organisms and environments. Nishida finds in Haldane support for his own situating of selves, even engaging questions concerning how animals count as selves.

Article Details

How to Cite
Brink, D. A. (2022). Post-Anthropocentric Implications of “World-Expression” in Nishida’s “Life”. Journal of World Philosophies, 7(1), 43–60. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Dean Anthony Brink, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

Dean Anthony Brink is Professor of comparative literature in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. Recent publications include Philosophy of Science and The Kyoto School: An Introduction to Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime and Tosaka Jun (Bloomsbury, 2021); Poetics and Justice in America, Japan, and Taiwan: Configuring Change and Entitlement (Lexington, 2021); Japanese Poetry and Its Publics: From Colonial Taiwan to Fukushima (Routledge, 2018). Other publications include “Eroticized Materiality and Postcolonial Agency in Pierre Guyotat’s Algerian Works,” in Erotic Literature in Adaptation and Translation, ed. by Johannes D. Kaminski, Transcript, 7 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2018); “Rewilding and Neoliberal Territorialities after the Anthropocene: Cybernetic Modeling of the Oriental Stork as Critique,” in Environmental Ethics: Cross-Cultural Explorations, ed. by Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach and Madalina Diaconu (Freiburg/Munich: Karl Alber Verlag, 2020). Current research focuses on explorations of nineteeth-century Japanese agronomist and nativist ethnographer Miyaoi Yasuo’s situating of kami in light of posthumanism; plant and human temporalities in the interwar and wartime forestry of colonial Taiwan; experimental work by the Taiwanese poet Hsia Yü; and the biological and technological sublime in science-fictional presentations of contemporary historical conflicts in Japanese and American filmography.