Natasha Lushetich

How relevant are dynamics, velocity, rhythm, cadence, emplacement and the forming of patterns and refrains in and to thinking?  Do we grasp thought at the level of direct communication? Or is our attunement to a particular author’s work related to the work’s aesthetics? Borrowing from Felix Guattari’s (1999) ‘existential refrains’ which refer to response mechanisms generated by spatial, temporal and relational emplacement, this paper proposes that the answer to the last question is affirmative.

The paper engages in a comparative aesthetic reading of Jacques Derrida and Kitaro Nishida, both of whom put forth new methods of thinking, not just new sets of ideas. The paper offers three levels of analysis. The first focuses on heritage, i.e. on Derrida and Nishida’s thought’s embedded-ness in the specificity of the epoch, influences, philosophical culture, and culture in general. The second focuses on originality – Derrida and Nishida’s creation of a distinct new thinking style within a particular disciplinary and cultural milieu. The third focuses on dissemination and ramification of what are today known as the Derridian and Nishidian approaches to philosophy. In the final section, I reflect on the relationship between what is usually referred to as ‘content’ and ‘form’ to determine the meaning and relevance of an aesthetic reading of two different yet related forms of thinking.

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