Some people in Japan are still comfortable with the paternalistic role of doctors, but others wish that their own decisions would receive a greater amount of respect. A total of 747 students of universities and colleges and 114 parents of these students participated in a questionnaire survey. Most of the participants thought that autonomy should be respected in situations involving death with dignity and euthanasia, whereas it should not be respected in attempted suicide and involuntary admission of individuals with mental (...) illness. A cluster analysis revealed that the participants could be divided into the following groups: aid in dying advocates (n = 577), complete libertarians (n = 109), protectors of the mentally ill (n = 90), complete paternalists (n = 29), and questionables (n = 27). The assertion of independence score of the Scale for Independent and Interdependent Construal of the Self showed a significant difference among the 5 clusters. These findings suggest that the traditional paternalistic relationship between doctor and patient is undergoing a gradual transformation in Japan. (shrink)
Modern technology has radically altered the conditions for human action, endowing us with tremendous power to affect the future. Patterns of action that appear positive in their short-term effects must sometimes be judged unsustainable. Hans Jonas and Thomas Berry are among those who emphasize the necessity of transforming ethics in light of these considerations. In a Whiteheadian framework, this needed transformation is rooted in the nature of things.
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate what Descartes’ purpose of philosophy is by raising questions concerning the style of Descartes’ writing. In particular, I shall focus on investigating the characteristic style of Descartes’ Discourse on the Method. It is often considered that Descartes is not only the founder of modernphilosophy but also the father of foundationalism in epistemology. In fact, Descartes’ most celebrated argument of cogito is sometimes understood only in the context of epistemological foundationalism. However, Descartes’ epistemology (...) is quite different from the one that is often understood as the theory of knowledge in the contemporary scene of philosophy. Paying attention to Descartes’ style of writing, we realize that it is necessary for us to see his epistemology in a different framework from the contemporary philosophers’. I shall show that the purpose of philosophy for Descartes is not to present disputations for propounding anddefending his own theory in philosophy, but to let the readers of his writing engaged with philosophy. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine the role of imagination in environmental ethics and introduce an imaginative dimension as an essential part of environmental ethics. Imagination constitutes a basic condition for ethical thinking and action. Matters of environmental ethics have revealed the indispensable role of imagination in ethics. I’ll advance an imagination-based environmental ethics by developing Hans Jonas’ ethical thought. From his viewpoint, various effects of our action on nature and future generations, generally out of our sight, have (...) become an ethical concern. This necessitates the exercise of imagination because we must “imagine” those distant effects to act in an environmentally responsible way. Jonas’ “heuristics of fear” is an imaginative approach necessary for responsible action. Further, I reinterpret the role of imagination as motivating our “will to know.” In conclusion, I suggest the importance of environmental education as cultivating ecological imagination from the standpoint of environmental ethics. (shrink)
This article examines the practice of "co-participant completion" in Japanese conversation, and explores what kinds of resources are mobilized to provide the opportunity to complete another participant's utterance-in-progress. It suggests the following observations as potential characteristics of Japanese co-participant completion: (i) Syntactically-defined two-part formats (e.g. [If X] + [then Y]) may not play as prominent a role as in English; (ii) The majority of cases of co-participant completion take the form of 'terminal item completion;' (iii) Locally emergent structures like 'contrast' (...) and 'list' as well as 'unprojected' features of turn construction often play an important role in enhancing the opportunity for completing another participant's utterance-in-progress. The article then discusses the implications of these findings for the investigation of the mutual bearing of grammar and social interaction. In particular, the discussion focuses on what we can learn from the practice of co-participant completion about how projection of turn-shapes is accomplished in Japanese conversation. (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.
This study examines Itō Jinsai’s 伊藤仁斎 (1627–1705) criticisms of the Great Learning (C: Daxue 大學 J: Daigaku). Three primary sources are considered: Jinsai’s Shigi sakumon 私擬策問 (Personal Essays, 1668); the Daigaku teihon 大學定本 (The Definitive Text of the Great Learning, manuscript 1685); and his essay, “Daigaku wa Kōshi no isho ni arazaru no ben” 大學非孔氏之遺書辨 (The Great Learning is not a Writing Confucius Transmitted, 1705), appended to his Gomō jigi 語孟字義. The study suggests that Jinsai’s critical inclinations grew from his (...) acceptance of Zhu Xi’s views about the value of doubt for progress in learning. The study also suggests that Jinsai’s thinking on the Great Learning had political implications derived in many respects from Jinsai’s overall approach to philosophizing via analysis of words and their meanings. (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)
This essay explores the sudden emergence of Neo-Confucianism as an independent intellectual and professional calling, and its adoption by both scholars and political leaders as the dominant intellectual and epistemological discourse in early modern Japan (1600-1868). I shall do this by examining two of the mostimportant early Neo-Confucian converts from Zen Buddhism, Fujiwara Seika and Hayashi Razan during the late 16th and the early 17th centuries. Their conversions were initially separate events, each prompted by personal circumstances and choices. But (...) these converts later sparked the appearance of other exclusive Neo-Confucianists, and eventually to the new intellectual mainstream of a Neo-Confucianism independent of Buddhism, during the Tokugawa period. Previous scholars have approached the issue of these converts from Zen to Neo-Confucianism through the lens of a philosophical shift. However, this is a hasty conclusion which ignores socio-intellectual factors surrounding these converts’ life and situation. My preliminary research reveals that Neo-Confucianconversion was not the result of philosophical change; rather, it was propelled by practical and utilitarian motivation. They abandoned Buddhism to locate themselves as ‘professional’ Neo-Confucianists, and this strategy successfully served their purpose. (shrink)