Knowledge and Philosophy
Spanish philosophy during the XIX century is accused to be a mere copy of Europe’s intellectual production. The “foreign” stamp is evident if one attends to the small production of history of philosophy volumes. One of the few publications that exemplify the rachitic development of this academic genre and the attachment of the Spanish philosophy to the intellectual lending of the enlightened France, is the work of Tomás Lapeña: Essay on the history of philosophy from the beginning of the world until today (1806-1807). But is valuable as a paradigm to evaluate certain “common places” about East Asian philosophy. Lapeña, using what he calls the "selective imitation", transmits into Spanish the entries of the encyclopedic dictionaries of Moreri, or Diderot-D'Alembert, among others, circulating in Europe about the "Philosophy of the Chinese" or "Philosophy of the Japanese." Nonetheless, the transmission is not faithful. Lapeña attributes himself the competence to eliminate what could contribute to give a certain freedom of thinking. This proposal will introduce Diderot’s “Philosophie Des Japonois” in which he exposes the traits of Japanese thought to, afterwards, compared it with the translation of Lapeña. The objective is, first, to study the "peculiarities" that Diderot found in Japanese philosophy. Second, reading Lapeña’s version, to identify the losses, explaining the motivations of the caesuras found. The final aspiration is to clarify the modern pattern of transmission and distortion of non-European philosophies.