Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology

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9780520228542: Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology

Julia Adeney Thomas turns the concept of nature into a powerful analytical lens through which to view Japanese modernity, bringing the study of both Japanese history and political modernity to a new level of clarity. She shows that nature necessarily functions as a political concept and that changing ideas of nature's political authority were central during Japan's transformation from a semifeudal world to an industrializing colonial empire. In political documents from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century, nature was redefined, moving from the universal, spatial concept of the Tokugawa period, through temporal, social Darwinian ideas of inevitable progress and competitive struggle, to a celebration of Japan as a nation uniquely in harmony with nature. The so-called traditional "Japanese love of nature" masks modern state power.

Thomas's theoretically sophisticated study rejects the supposition that modernity is the ideological antithesis of nature, overcoming the determinism of the physical environment through technology and liberating denatured subjects from the chains of biology and tradition. In making "nature" available as a critical term for political analysis, this book yields new insights into prewar Japan's failure to achieve liberal democracy, as well as an alternative means of understanding modernity and the position of non-Western nations within it.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Reconfiguring Nature is a stimulating, original, and timely contribution to contemporary attempts to give modern political thought a global and hybrid genealogy. Thomas’s analysis of Japanese ideas of nature’ helps to raise some fundamental questions about assumptions made in Euro-American political philosophy. Comparativist and specialized at the same time, this book is extremely sensitive to the complex processes through which ideas cross boundaries in time and space." Dipesh Chakrabarty, author of Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference

"Reconfiguring Modernity treats the linked transformations in conceptions of nature, the body, and society in Japan from the mid-nineteenth century through the 1930s: from a static and hierarchical unity of cosmos and society, to a competitive and evolutionary "naturalized" society, and then again to a family state’ and projected unitary culture as the harmonious counterpart, of a benevolent natural world. To this compellingly interesting theme, Julia Thomas brings an impressive range of reading and considerable literary skill. Her argument is frequently original and always discerning. In highlighting the impact and permutations of evolutionary thinking, it is especially important contribution to Meiji intellectual history, which has not been given sustained attention for quite some time in English-language scholarship." Andrew Barshay, author of State and Intellectual in Imperial Japan

About the Author:

Julia Adeney Thomas is Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and winner of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians' award for best article of 1999.

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Descripción University of California Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Julia Adeney Thomas turns the concept of nature into a powerful analytical lens through which to view Japanese modernity, bringing the study of both Japanese history and political modernity to a new level of clarity. She shows that nature necessarily functions as a political concept and that changing ideas of nature s political authority were central during Japan s transformation from a semifeudal world to an industrializing colonial empire. In political documents from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century, nature was redefined, moving from the universal, spatial concept of the Tokugawa period, through temporal, social Darwinian ideas of inevitable progress and competitive struggle, to a celebration of Japan as a nation uniquely in harmony with nature. The so-called traditional Japanese love of nature masks modern state power. Thomas theoretically sophisticated study rejects the supposition that modernity is the ideological antithesis of nature, overcoming the determinism of the physical environment through technology and liberating denatured subjects from the chains of biology and tradition. In making nature available as a critical term for political analysis, this book yields new insights into prewar Japan s failure to achieve liberal democracy, as well as an alternative means of understanding modernity and the position of non-Western nations within it. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780520228542

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Descripción University of California Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover. 260 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.6in. x 1.0in.Julia Adeney Thomas turns the concept of nature into a powerful analytical lens through which to view Japanese modernity, bringing the study of both Japanese history and political modernity to a new level of clarity. She shows that nature necessarily functions as a political concept and that changing ideas of natures political authority were central during Japans transformation from a semifeudal world to an industrializing colonial empire. In political documents from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century, nature was redefined, moving from the universal, spatial concept of the Tokugawa period, through temporal, social Darwinian ideas of inevitable progress and competitive struggle, to a celebration of Japan as a nation uniquely in harmony with nature. The so-called traditional Japanese love of nature masks modern state power. Thomass theoretically sophisticated study rejects the supposition that modernity is the ideological antithesis of nature, overcoming the determinism of the physical environment through technology and liberating denatured subjects from the chains of biology and tradition. In making nature available as a critical term for political analysis, this book yields new insights into prewar Japans failure to achieve liberal democracy, as well as an alternative means of understanding modernity and the position of non-Western nations within it. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780520228542

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Descripción University of California Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0520228545 Special order direct from the distributor. Nº de ref. de la librería ING9780520228542

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