Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/145782
Title: Dōgen’s “Leaving Home Life” (Shukke 出家) : a study of aesthetic experience and growth in John Dewey and Dōgen
Authors: Bender, Jacob
Keywords: Humanities::Philosophy
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Bender, J. (2020). Dōgen’s “Leaving Home Life” (Shukke 出家) : a study of aesthetic experience and growth in John Dewey and Dōgen. Philosophy East and West, 70(1), 42-62. doi:10.1353/pew.2020.0014
Journal: Philosophy East and West
Abstract: This study argues that Dōgen’s “Leaving Home Life” (Shukke 出家) fascicle is not simply about leaving home/lay life to become a practicing monk. At first glance, the fascicle might not appear philosophically significant. To help bring the themes of that work into greater focus, I juxtapose Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō and John Dewey’s later works on aesthetic experience and education. Both the teachings of Dōgen and the later Deweyan works on aesthetic experience are similar in the sense that both describe nature as a radically plural and interdependent world without recourse to an underlying substance ontology or reality antecedent to and outside of experience. Both Dōgen and Dewey also claim that the experience of nature as a precarious, interdependent flux is continually ignored because we neglect the cultivation of certain habits and human potentials. The cultivation practices of Dōgen’s Zen Buddhism are also comparable to Dewey’s experiential melioration or, as Scott Stroud describes it, an orientational meliorism: “the way one approaches and experiences the world can be usefully modified to yield better experience . . . [through] cultivating habits of attention to or absorption in the present situation.”1 Dōgen’s “Leaving Home Life” fascicle could be interpreted in a literal sense: only by literally “leaving home life” and becoming a monk can someone become enlightened.2 However, both the view that a person does not need to practice meditation and the view that a person needs to become a Buddhist monk are mistaken because both are guilty of maintaining the same dualistic understanding of practice and enlightenment.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/145782
ISSN: 0031-8221
DOI: 10.1353/pew.2020.0014
Rights: © 2020 University of Hawai‘i Press. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Philosophy East and West and is made available with permission of University of Hawai‘i Press.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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