The Search for a New Ontology in the Age of Anthropocene - Focused on the Reinterpretation of Animism and the Nimology of Yi Kyu-bo -

Sunghwan Jo1,*   Namjin Heo2,*   

1Wonkwang University
2Wonkwang University


This essay is an attempt to interpret Nim ontology of Korea as ‘personal ontology’ of new animism and to dialogue with the Western ‘ontological turn’, an academic movement that has been centered around anthropology and religious studies since the 21st century. The ontological turn in the West seeks an alternative philosophy through non-Western cosmology such as new animism. The concept of ‘person’ in new animism, which has recently emerged in the West, has a lot in common with ‘nim’ in Korean. Both of them have great implications in the era of anthropocene in that they regard non-human beings as ‘person’ rather than a mere ‘thing’ or ‘物(mul).’ In this study we briefly introduce the trend of Western New Animism, which is a representative example of the ‘Ontological Turn’ of Western anthropology and point out that it is consistent with the ontology of Korean ‘Nim’. By examining the tradition of Nim ontology in Korean thought through Lee Kyu-bo(李奎報) and Han Yong-un(韓龍雲), we explore the possibility of ‘Nimology.’

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