Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Japanese Environmental Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

J. Baird Callicott and James McRae

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456320

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456320.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

Climate Change as Existentialist Threat

Climate Change as Existentialist Threat

Watsuji, Greimas, and the Nature of Opposites

(p.105) Chapter 6 Climate Change as Existentialist Threat
Japanese Environmental Philosophy

Steve Bein

Oxford University Press

Watsuji Tetsurō’s models of ningen sonzai (人‎間‎存‎在‎), fūdo (風‎土‎), and seken (世‎間‎) help us to make sense of why climate change is not merely an existential threat but also an existentialist one: it threatens our mode of being-in-the-world. The semiotic squares developed by Algirdas Julien Greimas, draw the distinction between two types of opposites: antithesis (where X and anti-X annihilate each other) and countermeasure (where X and counter-X push and pull against each other in the act of self-becoming). The human drives toward individualism (nin) and collectivism (gen) are each other’s countermeasure, just as humanity’s existence in and expansion through the lived world (fūdo風‎土‎) plays the role of countermeasure to the lived world itself. Climate change is an existentialist threat because even by the most conservative estimates, it threatens to topple all of those carefully counterbalanced relationships.

Keywords:   Watsuji Tetsuro, ningen, fūdo, seken, Algirdas Julien Greimas, semiotics

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .