Harry Harootunian is Max Palevsky Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Chicago and Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books, most recently,
Actuality & the Archaic Mode of Cognition
Chapter 4 considers two major philosophic critiques of the fascist move to replace politics with a conception of abstract culture. The philosopher Miki Kiyoshi's critical argument focused on against the claim that fascism was similar to the character of Japanese thought. He aimed to show that there was no basis for this Japanist representation. His solution was called “cultural living,” which disclosed how new imports from abroad combined with established received forms and revealed Japan's historical aptitude for successful cultural adaptation. The Marxian philosopher Tosaka Jun wrote a penetrating analysis of the idealist foundations of knowledge and a devastating critique of how this epistemology had insinuated itself into various political and cultural forms, such as philology, literature, and liberalism. His critique was especially concerned with how this theory of knowledge authorized a method of interpretation (or hermeneutics) that privileged the claims of the unhistorical archaic manifested in the classics.