Reading Hiromatsu’s Theory of the Fourfold Structure

European Journal of Japanese Philosophy 2:229-262 (2017)
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Hiromatsu Wataru’s philosophical thought revolves around an analysis of what he calls the “fourfold structure.” According to Hiromatsu, all phenomena in the world are structured in such a fourfold manner that “a given presents itself as something to someone as Someone,” and these four moments of the phenomenon are not independent elements, but exist only as terms of the functional relationship. This paper surveys and critically examines this theory of the fourfold structure, and shows, in particular, how this theory, while largely presented as synchronic structural analysis, contains some conceptual motifs going beyond the synchronic framework. Specifically, with a focus on the process in which there arises a meaning common to different phenomenal givens and to different knowers, my analysis suggests the way in which phenomena are dynamically structured and thereby displaced in meaning as well as in the knowers’ role relationship.


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