Tokyo: Tokyo Philosophy Project (2021)

Masahiro Morioka
Waseda University
This is the English translation of Chapter One of Mutsu Bunmei Ron, which was published in Japanese in 2003. Since this book’s publication I have received many requests for an English translation from people around the world. I decided to begin by publishing this first chapter under the title Painless Civilization 1 and make it available to readers who have a keen interest in this topic. * The original text of this chapter was written in 1998, more than twenty years ago, but I believe what I argued there is becoming increasingly important today. Painless civilization is a pathology of contemporary society. We will be pulled much deeper into a painless stream in the future. What is needed is the wisdom to see through the fundamental structure of our painless civilization and its relationship with the meaning of life. ** Modern society seems on the verge of being swallowed up by the pathology of “painless civilization.” I have written this book for people who, in the midst of anxiety studded with pleasure, joyless repetition, and a maze from which they cannot escape no matter how far they walk, nevertheless retain in some corner of their hearts a desire to live life fully and without regrets. * When we feel a vague anxiety, like being bound in gossamer cords, in the midst of modern society, we are perhaps intuitively sensing the existence of “painless civilization.” This book is an attempt to give words to this feeling that the reader has, I am sure, already experienced at least once in their life.
Keywords criticism of modern civilization  post modern philosophy  meaning of life  pain and pleasure  philosophy of pain
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