Asia: a fallacy of misplaced concreteness
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Asia: a fallacy of misplaced concreteness

Abstract

This essay operates from a challenge that is evident in Miyoshi's life and career, a humility of our knowledge system and the quest to exceed it. I suggest that Asia is trapped within a historical framing (as the Orient) that prevents people and places within Asia to extract themselves from that condition of being. The problem is within the conflation of Asia as a relational condition, and the places of Asia, which add materiality to the idea. History and the nation have been the media and form through which this problem has emerged and how many have tried to extract themselves. This circularity, I argue reiterates what Alfred North Whitehead calls a ``fallacy of misplaced concreteness.'' While I don't have a clear answer--I have great respect for those intellectuals who I discuss who were unable to extract themselves from this problematic of modernity--I suggest that a fruitful line of inquiry is evident in Miyoshi's life and writings, the stroll (or wandering), a form of mobility that opens the possibility for heterogeneity, uncertainty, situatedness, and multiple perspectives.

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