Philosophy Department Faculty

David W. Johnson

Associate Professor




Professor Johnson joined the faculty in the fall of 2013. He has been a visiting researcher at Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany), the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (Nagoya, Japan), the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto, Japan), and Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain). His current research focuses on the themes of life, nature, and sociality in the work of Kimura Bin and Watsuji Tetsurō. His recent monograph, Watsuji on Nature (Northwestern University Press, 2019), unfolds Watsuji’s novel and radical claim that nature and culture compose a tightly interwoven texture that is neither fully external to human subjectivity nor merely a product of it, and elucidates the wide-ranging implications of this notion for questions about the disclosive character of experience, the distinction between fact and value, and the possibility of a place-based ecological ethics. His other research interests include the phenomenology of perception, the nature of expression, and the experience of truth in the work of Nishida, Merleau-Ponty, and Gadamer.