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Cover of an English translation
|Original title||Zen no kenkyū|
Graham Parkes described An Inquiry into the Good as a "masterpiece" in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2005). He wrote that was made possible by the Japanese interest in western philosophy that began with the Meiji Restoration of 1868. He considered the book "path-breaking" and identified it as Nishida's best-known accomplishment.
Ninian Smart stated in World Philosophies (2008) that An Inquiry into the Good "struck many readers as the first truly creative work by a Japanese that did not merely repeat western ideas, and yet made use of modern thinking and terminology." However, according to Smart, the work was criticized by the philosopher Takahashi Satomi, who found the subjectivism of "pure experience" too psychological.