We analyse the contention that privacy is an alien concept within Japanese society, put forward in various presentations of Japanese cultural norms at least as far back as Benedict in The chrysanthemum and the sword: patterns of Japanese culture. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1946. In this paper we distinguish between information privacy and physical privacy. As we show, there is good evidence for social norms of limits on the sharing and use of personal information (i.e. information privacy) from traditional interactions in (...) Japanese society, as well as constitutional evidence from the late 19th century (in the Meiji Constitution of 1889). In this context the growing awareness of the Japanese public about problems with networked information processing by public sector and commercial organisations from the 1980s (when a law governing public sector use of personal information was first passed) to recent years (when that law was updated and a first law governing commercial use of personal information was adopted) are not the imposition or adoption of foreign practices nor solely an attempt to lead Japanese society into coherence with the rest of the OECD. Instead they are drawing on the experience of the rest of the developed world in developing legal responses to the breakdown of social norms governing interchange and use of personal information, stressed by the architectural changes wrought by networked information processing capabilities. This claim is supported by consideration of standard models of Japanese social interactions as well as of Supreme Court judgements declaring reasonable expectations of protection of privacy to hold in Japan. (shrink)
One of the most important tasks of engineering ethics is to give engineers the tools required to act ethically to prevent possible disastrous accidents which could result from engineers’ decisions and actions. The space shuttle Challenger disaster is referred to as a typical case in almost every textbook. This case is seen as one from which engineers can learn important lessons, as it shows impressively how engineers should act as professionals, to prevent accidents. The Columbia disaster came seventeen years later (...) in 2003. According to the report of the Columbia accident investigation board, the main cause of the accident was not individual actions which violated certain safety rules but rather was to be found in the history and culture of NASA. A culture is seen as one which desensitizedmanagers and engineers to potential hazards as they dealt with problems of uncertainty. This view of the disaster is based on Dian Vaughan’s analysis of the Challenger disaster, where inherent organizational factors and culture within NASA had been highlighted as contributing to the disaster. Based on the insightful analysis of the Columbia report and the work of Diane Vaughan, we search for an alternative view of engineering ethics. We focus on the inherent uncertainty of engineers’ work with respect to hazard precaution. We discuss claims that the concept of professional responsibility, which plays a central role in orthodox engineering ethics, is too narrow and that we need a broader and more fundamental concept of responsibility. Responsibility which should be attributed to every person related to an organization and therefore given the range of responsible persons, governments, managers, engineers, etc. might be called “civic virtue”. Only on the basis of this broad concept of responsibility of civic virtue, we can find a possible way to prevent disasters and reduce the hazards that seem to be inseparable part of the use of complex technological systems. (shrink)
This book takes us on a fascinating journey through the world of thought of Miki Kiyoshi, one of Japan s pre-eminent philosophers before the Pacific War, and thus makes us discover the man behind the philosopher.
An oft-quoted Hadith purports that it is incumbent upon every Muslim to seek knowledge, even if it is to be found as far away as China.1 However, the plethora of knowledge that was discovered there generally has yet to be unraveled by Western academics. If the intellectual tradition of Chinese Muslims may appear to be of minor consequence to the larger field of Islamic studies, this is in part because of our failure to assess their influence. The abundant resources for (...) understanding the Islamic sciences in China have barely been grazed and are awaiting our thorough analytical peregrination. This essay attempts to evaluate (1) the most recent work that explores this intellectual tradition, The Sage Learning of Liu .. (shrink)
By proposing the Microcosm and Macrocosm analogy for dialogue between Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology, the authors of this volume are reviving the perennial positioning of the human condition in the play of forces within and without the human being. This theme has run from Plato through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Modernity, and has been ignored by contemporaries. It now acquires a new pertinence and striking significance due to the scientific discoveries into the "infinitely small" in life, on the (...) one hand, and the prodigious technological discoveries of the "infinitely great" on the other. Both open up undreamt-of prospects for the continuing conquest of cosmic forces. The human person – thrown into turmoil by the new approaches to life and needing to acquire new habits of mind, having lost security of all beliefs – desperately seeks a new clarification of the Human Condition within the unity of everything-there-is, of cosmic forces, and of his destiny. The dialogue between Islamic Philosophy and phenomenology of life can show the way. Papers by: Gholam-Reza A'awani, Mehdi Aminrazavi, Roza Davari Ardakani, Mohammad Azadpur, Gary Backhaus, Marina Banchetti-Robino, William Chittick, Seyed Mostafa Muhaghghegh Damad, Golamhossein Ebrahimi Dinani, Nader El-Bizri, Kathleen Haney, Salahaddin Khalilov, Sayyid Mohammad Khamenei, Mahmoud Khatami, Mieczyslaw Pawel Migon, Nikolay Milkov, Sachiko Murata, Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, Daniela Verducci. (shrink)
Against the Newtonian view of color, according to which the world is colorless and colors are subjective sensations, phenomenologists keep insisting that colors are in the world. In order to defend this view of the “being in the world” of colors, this paper tries to elucidate the essential spatiality of colors on the basis of James’s thesis of the intrinsic spatiality of sensation, Katz’s phenomenological description of various spatial characters of color, and Gibson’s ecological optics. The noticeable correspondence between Katz’s (...) phenomenology and Gibson’s ecological optics indicates to us a possible way to an ecological phenomenology of colors. (shrink)
In the rapidly changing arena of global politics today, nothing looms larger than the framework technology provides in determining the cultural, political, and economic fate of a people. Japanese philosopher Kiyoshi Miki observed already in the early 1940s that technology is not merely a sophisticated manipulation of tools but that it is fundamentally a “form of action” expressing a cultural and political orientation through the means of material production.1 The power of technology, according to Miki, has to do with (...) its ability to make our imagination concrete. But in this process, our values are concretized as well, so while the scientific principles that are used in engineering might be value neutral, the decision-making and actual implementation are always embedded in historical, aesthetic, political, and cultural meaning. If this is true, then a philosophy which claims to theorize about the human condition must also address the realm of praxis mediated by technology. A robust philosophical account of our historical development and political struggles would have to consider the real changes technology makes in material conditions and its long- term impact, as these are clearly existential manifestations of our cognitive grasp of the world. Critical Theory has made an important contribution to analyzing political struggles and examining the various conditions of oppression and cultural transformation. Beginning with the early Frankfurt School thinkers to Marcuse in the 1960s and Habermas in more recent times, updated approaches today cross diverse grounds— feminism, race theory, and globalization, among others. However, despite the fact that technology has indeed been a fundamental medium of culture and politics and many discussions touch upon the topic, the link between a robust critical political theory and technology has been a relatively unexplored territory. Marcuse produced a rather dystopian account of technocracy in the 1960s, but with the exception Andrew Feenberg who has most consistently worked on this theme, a positive connection between Critical.... (shrink)
Kyosei, a traditional Japanese concept, has been applied to a variety subjects, from biology to business. It has more recently become synonymous with the concepts of corporate responsibility, ethical decision making, stakeholder maximization, and responsible reciprocity. The purpose of this paper is to trace kyosei's modern business application back to ancient Confucian thought. The ideals associated with Confucianism were instrumental in the creation of Japanese business codes of ethics during the early part of the seventeenth century. A short history of (...) this period is presented to provide a contextual framework for understanding these codes. A specific code of ethics, called the shuchu kiyaku, is presented for the first time in English and shown to have direct roots in Confucian writings. Statements from modern company codes and from modern Japanese and American businessmen are presented to reflect the philosophy of business embodied in that ancient code of ethics. (shrink)