Investigating Izutsu’s Meta-Historical Method in Comparative Studies

 Reza Gandomi Nasr-Abadi / Associate Professor in Department of Philosophy Farabi Campus Tehran University                                                                                                                            

Received: 2020/06/18 - Accepted: 2020/11/03


Professor Toshihiko Izutsu, the philosopher, linguist, orientalist and Quran researcher, has left some comparative works. He was among the few thinkers that, in addition to comparing philosophies, would pay attention to the philosophy of comparison and methodological discussions in comparative studies, and well and with a deep insight, noticed the fact that the most important and the most principal cause of failure in comparative attempts of the recent era is the methodological poverty in doing such studies. In this article, we are going, in addition to describing the comparative method offered by Izutsu, to state its possible deficiencies and strong points. Using the meta-historical method, Izutsu has attempted to overcome this problem. There are two other problems in comparative method that must be resolved before the aforementioned problem: the problem of language and the problem of plurality of eastern philosophies. The former is resolvable through meta-dialogue or existential sympathy, and the latter through accessing meta-philosophy of the eastern philosophies. In the process of comparing the eastern philosophies with the western ones, Izutsu has used the semantic method in some cases to discover the key and focal concepts in eastern philosophies and achieve a meta-philosophy of the eastern philosophies. The relationship of the meta-historical method with the semantic method in a time based on history is among the subjects that must be dealt with.

KEY WORDS: Izutsu, comparative philosophy, meta-historical method, meta-dialogue, meta-philosophy.

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