Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James Kreines

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Nicolas B Burtson


Hegel radically changed this idealist landscape by proposing a journey/movement based philosophy that remained presuppositionless, beginning simply by sparking our immediate concept of being. From his beginning there, he advocated for a system of philosophy that focused on the journey, but also gave an account of progress. Hegel claimed that contradictions within our concepts push them towards the absolute, despite us not necessarily knowing what the absolute is. His system begins with an account of how the concepts of being and nothing immediately vanish into each other. The truth of their relationship, Hegel claims, is this movement, which he calls becoming. However in Zen Buddhism, contrary to Hegel, Nishida argues through his theory of basho that reality is actually conditioned by an absolute nothing that does not fall back into being like Hegel claims. The focus of my thesis is a defense of Hegel’s system from Nishida’s basho. I argue that Hegel’s argument on the ground and the grounded causes Nishida’s system to internally contradict itself on account of its hierarchical nature. This allows Hegel to rule out Nishida’s concept of nothing, and maintain the truth of becoming.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.