Japanese: a nondualistic language? A presentation by Rick Broadaway Adjunct Professor of English at Kanazawa Gakuin University. Descartes’ original cogito (Je pense donc je suis) concludes that a thinking entity, presupposed as the first-person “je” (self) in the statement, must exist in order for thinking to occur. Descartes explains further that this conclusion is based not on deductive or inductive reasoning but on a self-evident proposition, the true basis for scientific understanding. Critics, such as Nietzche, have pointed out that the presupposition of a referent “I” in the statement “I think therefore I am” is unjustified and proposed other linguistic possibilities such as “it thinks” or even “thinking occurs.” Such expressions are in fact a common feature of other languages that depend less on a bond between subject and predicate. Indeed, Descartes himself, in translating his original statement from French to Latin (cogito ergo sum), omits the subject (ego). Similarly, in the Japanese language, considered by linguists to be a topic-comment language rather than a subject-predicate language, speakers commonly omit the first-person pronoun (watashi) from their utterances, feeling them to be an unnecessary reference. In addition to this, there are other, more subtle, Japanese linguistic constructs that seem to de-emphasize self and thus the sense of detachment of self from one’s surroundings. This paper will present these linguistic constructs as evidence of a quality of mind, coined the Interactional Mode of Cognition (I-Mode) by the author, which is a feature of all languages but which is more prevalent in Japanese than in English, a language that uses predominately a Displaced Mode of Cognition (D-Mode). This paper will go on to speculate philosophically on the I-Mode of Cognition as a non-dualistic aspect of the Japanese mind and the D-Mode as a feature, or perhaps a consequence, of the emphasis within Western philosophy to separate mind and body - a dualism that Descartes and others helped to affect."