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The wartime body of work known as the Kyoto school has for better or worse become a metonym of philosophy in Japan. While it is often figured as a school of philosophy concerned with nothingness, this chapter rereads this school as offering a philosophy of mediation, or Medienphilosophie, or “media philosophy.” Providing an overview of early debates on mediation and distilling many of the conceptual stakes of media theory that philosophers in 1930s Japan prepared, this chapter resituates the work of central figures such as Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime, Tosaka Jun, and Nakai Masakazu, as well as that of the sometimes marginalized figures of Watsuji Tetsurō and Kimura Bin. It suggests that these thinkers’ work on mediation and in-betweenness is the basis for a media philosophy, and is central to the media theory that came after it.

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