Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Philosophy


Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

Steven Skultety

Second Advisor

Michelle Sorensen

Third Advisor

Robert Barnard

Relational Format



Over the years professional philosophy has undergone a number of significant changes. One of these changes corresponds to an increased emphasis on objectivity among philosophers. In light of new discoveries in logic and science, contemporary analytic philosophy seeks to establish the most objective methods and answers possible to advance philosophical progress in an unambiguous way. By doing so, we are able to more precisely analyze concepts, but the increased emphasis on precision has also been accompanied by some negative consequences. These consequences, unfortunately, are much larger and problematic than many may even realize. What we have eventually arrived in at in contemporary Anglo-American analytic philosophy is a complete repression of humanistic concerns. While these were once the very concerns that Western philosophy prized as most important, they are now all but diminished. Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitarō recognized this problem before it even came to complete fruition. He however adds an interesting insight, by explaining how approaches that look to completely separate objective knowledge from practical application of it in our everyday lives ignore a fundamental psychological need of all human beings. This natural need is none other than peace of mind. This thesis presents a historical and comparative approach to the theoretical/practical divide in philosophy, by going from ancient, to contemporary, and finally back to the thought of Nishida. The theme of this work will be to encourage a comparative dialectic.

Included in

Philosophy Commons



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