An e-book devoted to 13 critical discussions of Thaddeus Metz's book "Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study", with a lengthy reply from the author. -/- Preface Masahiro Morioka i -/- Précis of Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study Thaddeus Metz ii-vi -/- Source and Bearer: Metz on the Pure Part-Life View of Meaning Hasko von Kriegstein 1-18 -/- Fundamentality and Extradimensional Final Value David Matheson 19-32 -/- Meaningful and More Meaningful: A Modest Measure Peter Baumann 33-49 -/- Is Meaning (...) in Life Comparable?: From the Viewpoint of ‘The Heart of Meaning in Life’ Masahiro Morioka 50-65 -/- Agreement and Sympathy: On Metz’s Meaning in Life Sho Yamaguchi 66-89 -/- Metz’s Quest for the Holy Grail James Tartaglia 90-111 -/- Meaning without Ego Christopher Ketcham 112-133 -/- Death and the Meaning of Life: A Critical Study of Metz’s Meaning in Life Fumitake Yoshizawa 134-149 -/- Metz’ Incoherence Objection: Some Epistemological Considerations Nicholas Waghorn 150-168 -/- Meaning in Consequences Mark Wells 169-179 -/- Defending the Purpose Theory of Meaning in Life Jason Poettcker 180-207 -/- Review of Thaddeus Metz’s Meaning in Life Minao Kukita 208-214 -/- A Psychological Model to Determine Meaning in Life and Meaning of Life Yu Urata 215-227 -/- Assessing Lives, Giving Supernaturalism Its Due, and Capturing Naturalism: Reply to 13 Critics of Meaning in Life Thaddeus Metz 228-278 . (shrink)
Why would a philosopher choose to convey his ideas in the form of Manga? This discussion between Masahiro Morioka, author of Manga Introduction to Philosophy, and the translator of its French edition, Pierre Bonneels, shows how philosopher and artist Morioka became acquainted, through images, with fundamental abstract notions. After a short historical analysis of the aesthetic advantages of Manga, consideration is given to this unique way of provoking thought. On this basis, theoretical aspects of “time” and the “I” proposed (...) by Ōmori Shōzō are compared with Morioka’s Manga presentation. Although the questions raised are universal, the authors note that the use of Japanese metaphors enables these two thinkers to draw on a concrete understanding of notions like temporality and identity. (shrink)
Many cultures have had knowledge imposed from outside, whether by force or for reasons of power, to the detriment of their own endogenous knowledge and the wisdom developed throughout their history. Would Japan’s acquisition of Western knowledge have led but to the development of a lesser know-how, devoid of meaning or sense, or even of knowledge which it might be better to ignore? Far from benefiting from an endogenous development or a modernization respectful of beings and of their environment, the (...) developing countries that superficially adopt this unilateral knowledge undergo a type of ‘self-colonization’. Although concurring with biologist Keiko Nakamura’s theory that scientific attitudes must be studied from within, Masahiro Hamashita considers that knowledge from outside allows for more solid internal reflection. He thus advocates the development of an integrated, hybrid knowledge, where external knowledge is mixed with internal knowledge in a spontaneous, harmonious way, as was the case with the traditional knowledge that Japan acquired from China. (shrink)
This paper considers fair betting odds for certain bets that might be placed in the situation discussed in the so-called Sleeping Beauty Problem. This paper examines what Thirders, Halfers, and Double Halfers must say about the odds as determined by various decision theoretic approaches and argues that Thirders and Halfers have difficulties formulating plausible and coherent positions concerning the relevant betting odds. Double Halfers do not face this problem and that is an important consideration in favor of Double Halfers.
The objective of this paper is to contribute to the international discussions on life and scientific technology by examining the images and concepts of life in contemporary Japan. In English the word Inochi can be rendered as "life". However, the nuances of the Japanese term differ in certain cases, and therefore I have chosen to use the term much as is. I first discuss the linguistic meanings of the word, and then consider several important features of the images of inochi (...) that have appeared in publications and responses from questionnaires on this topic. Some philosophical and metaphysical interpretations of the concept of inochi are then proposed. Finally a brief outline of the study of life is presented, suggesting a new way to approach bioethics and discussions on environmental issues. This paper is a republication of Morioka (1991) in "Japan Review" under the permission of "Japan Review" and "Global Bioethics.". (shrink)
From 2008 to 2009, “herbivore men (sôshoku danshi or sôshoku-kei danshi in Japanese)” became a trendy, widely used term in Japanese. It flourished in all sorts of media, including TV, the Internet, newspapers and magazines, and could even occasionally be heard in everyday conversation. As it became more popular its original meaning was diversified, and people began to use it with a variety of different nuances. In December of 2009 it made the top ten list of nominees for the “Buzzword (...) of the Year” contest sponsored by U-CAN. By 2010 it had become a standard noun, and right now, in 2011, people do not seem particularly interested in it. Buzzwords have a short lifespan, so there is a high probability that it will soon fall out of use. The fact remains, however, that the appearance of this term has radically changed the way people look at young men. It can perhaps even be described as an epochal event in the history of the male gender in Japan. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to propose a new approach to the question of meaning in life by criticizing Thaddeus Metz’s objectivist theory in his book Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study. I propose the concept of “the heart of meaning in life,” which alone can answer the question, “Alas, does my life like this have any meaning at all?” and I demonstrate that “the heart of meaning in life” cannot be compared, in principle, with other people’s meaning in (...) life. The answer to the question of “the heart of meaning in life” ought to have two values, yes-or-no, and there is no ambiguous gray zone between them. I believe that this concept constitutes the very central content of meaning in life. (shrink)
In this paper, the ethical and spiritual aspects of the trolley problem are discussed in connection with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First, I show that the dropping of atomic bombs was a typical example of the events that contained the logic of the trolley problems in their decision-making processes and justifications. Second, I discuss five aspects of “the problem of the trolley problem;” that is to say, “Rarity,” “Inevitability,” “Safety Zone,” “Possibility of Becoming a Victim,” (...) and “Lack of Perspective of the Dead Victims Who Were Deprived of Freedom of Choice,” in detail. Third, I argue that those who talk about the trolley problem are automatically placed in the sphere of the expectation of response on the spiritual level. I hope that my contribution will shed light on the trolley problem from a very different angle, which has not been made by our fellow philosophers. (shrink)
The Japanese Transplantation Law is unique among others in that it allows us to choose between "brain death" and "traditional death" as our death. In every country 20 to 40 % of the popularion doubts the idea of brain death. This paper reconsiders the concept, and reports the ongoing rivision process of the current law. Published in Hastings Center Report, 2001.
The term “uncanny valley” goes back to an article of the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori. He put forward the hypothesis that humanlike objects like certain kinds of robots elicit emotional responses similar to real humans proportionate to their degree of human likeness. Yet, if a certain degree of similarity is reached emotional responses become all of a sudden very repulsive. The corresponding recess in the supposed function is called the uncanny valley. The present paper wants to propose a philosophical (...) explanation why we feel empathy with inanimate objects in the first place, and why the uncanny valley occurs when these objects become very humanlike. The core of this explanation—which is informed by the recently developing empirical research on the matter—will be a form of empathy involving a kind of imaginative perception. However, as will be shown, imaginative perception fails in cases of very humanlike objects. (shrink)
Abstract -/- In 1998, the Council for Science and Technology established the Bioethics Committee and asked its members to examine the ethical and legal aspects of human cloning. The Committee concluded in 1999 that human cloning should be prohibited, and, based on the report, the government presented a bill for the regulation of human cloning in 2000. After a debate in the Diet, the original bill was slightly modified and issued on December 6, 2000. In this paper, I take a (...) closer look at this process and discuss some of the ethical problems that were debated. Also, I make a brief analysis of the concept “the sprout of human life.” Not only people who object to human cloning, but also many of those who seek to promote research on human cloning admit that a human embryo is the sprout of human life and, hence, it should be highly respected. I also discuss the function of the language of utilitarianism, the language of skepticism, and religious language appeared in the discussion of human cloning in Japan. (shrink)
In his “A new argument for evidentialism” (Shah, Philos Q 56(225): 481–498, 2006 ), Nishi Shah argues that the best explanation of a feature of deliberation whether to believe that p which he calls transparency entails that only evidence can be reason to believe that p. I show that his argument fails because a crucial lemma that his argument appeals to cannot be supported without assuming evidentialism to be true in the first place.
In this paper, I would like to argue that brain-dead small children have a natural right not to be invaded by other people even if their organs can save the lives of other suffering patients. My basic idea is that growing human beings have the right to grow in the form of wholeness, and dying human beings also have the right to die in the form of wholeness; in other words, they have the right to be protected from outside invasion, (...) unless they have declared their wish to abandon that right beforehand. I call this the principle of wholeness. Natural rights, which were discussed by Hobbes and Locke in the 17th century, have to be extended to include the right to grow and die in the form of wholeness in the age of scientific civilization, where peripheral human lives are being threatened by aggressive biomedicine and other advanced technologies. (shrink)
There are three main points of the paper. 1. There are straightforward ways of manipulating expected gains and losses that result in a divergence between fair betting odds and credence. Such manipulations are familiar from tools of finance. One can easily see that the Sleeping Beauty case is structured in such a way as to result in a divergence between fair betting odds and credence. 2. The inspection of credences and betting odds in certain betting situations shows that the two (...) main extant positions, Elga's and Lewis's, are both mistaken. 3. My proposal may seem to require a revision of probability theory but it does not. The Sleeping Beauty case merely calls attention to a constraint on partitioning of possibility space that is usually satisfied as a matter of course but can in fact be violated. (shrink)
In this essay I will illustrate how a Japanese philosopher reacted to a newly imported discipline, “bioethics,” in the 1980s and then tried to create an alternative way of looking at “life” in the field of philosophy. This essay might serve as an interesting case study in which a contemporary “western” way of thinking succeeded in capturing, but finally failed to persuade, a then-young Japanese researcher’s mind.
Japanese bioethics has created a variety of important ideas that have not yet been reflected on mainstream bioethics discourses in the English-speaking world, which include “the swaying of the confused self” in the field of feminism, “inner eugenic thought” concerning disability, and “human relationship-oriented approaches to brain death.” In this paper, I will examine them more closely, and consider what bioethics in Japan can contribute to the development of an international discussion on philosophy of life.
The objective of this paper is to contribute to the international discussions on life and scientific technology by examining the images and concepts of life in contemporary Japan. In English the word Inochi can be rendered as "life". However, the nuances of the Japanese term differ in certain cases, and therefore I have chosen to use the term much as is. I first discuss the linguistic meanings of the word, and then consider several important features of the images of inochi (...) that have appeared in publications and responses from questionnaires on this topic. Some philosophical and metaphysical interpretations of the concept of inochi are then proposed. Finally a brief outline of the study of life is presented, suggesting a new way to approach bioethics and discussions on environmental issues. (shrink)
If our sense of happiness is closely connected to brain functions, it might become possible to manipulate our brain in a much more refined and effective way than current methods allow. In this paper I will make some remarks on the manipulation of the sense of happiness and illuminate the relationship between human dignity and happiness. The President’s Council on Bioethics discusses this topic in the 2003 report Beyond Therapy, and concludes that the use of SSRIs might make us “feel (...) happy for no good reason at all, or happy even when there remains much in one’s life to be truly unhappy about.” I will extend their line of thought through two thought experiments. In the first, a “perfect happiness” drug is given to a person, and in the second a happiness device with an on/off switch is placed inside a person. The first case leads us to conclude that a life with dignity means a life free from domination by the sense of happiness and the sense of unhappiness. The second case leads us to conclude that a life with dignity requires substantive freedom to choose unhappiness. At the end of this paper, I present a new interpretation of “human dignity,” that is, “a life with dignity means a life in which we are able to explore our own life, equipped with both happiness and unhappiness, without regret, through relationships with others, without being exploited by the desires of anyone, and without being dominated by our own desires.”. (shrink)
LetKbe an algebraic number field andIKthe ring of algebraic integers inK. *Kand *IKdenote enlargements ofKandIKrespectively. LetxЄ *K–K. In this paper, we are concerned with algebraic extensions ofKwithin *K. For eachxЄ *K–Kand each natural numberd, YKis defined to be the number of algebraic extensions ofKof degreedwithin *K.xЄ *K–Kis called a Hilbertian element ifYK= 0 for alldЄ N,d> 1; in other words,Khas no algebraic extension within *K. In their paper , P. C. Gilmore and A. Robinson proved that the existence of a (...) Hilbertian element is equivalent to Hilbert's irreducibility theorem. In a previous paper , we gave many Hilbertian elements of nonstandard integers explicitly, for example, for any nonstandard natural numberω, 2ωPωand 2ω are Hilbertian elements in*Q, where pωis theωth prime number. (shrink)
SummaryOn 11th March 2011 a magnitude nine earthquake struck the Tohoku region of Japan. The earthquake resulted in a large tsunami and an accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Previous studies have suggested that demographic indices relating to reproduction and marriage change after such massive disasters. The present study investigated whether the number of births, number of marriages and the secondary sex ratio changed after the East Japan Earthquake. The monthly number of births and marriages in each prefecture in (...) Japan from January 1997 to June 2012 were obtained from the Demographic Survey of Japan. An analysis was performed for three different geographic boundary units: the disaster-stricken area, the non-disaster-stricken area and the whole of Japan. In each unit, the numbers of births and marriages in a given month during the post-disaster period were predicted based on a regression equation estimated by the numbers of births and marriages in that month during the pre-disaster period. The numbers of observed monthly births and marriages during the post-disaster period were compared with the predicted figures. Differences between the observed and predicted numbers were determined by referring to the 95% confidence limits for the predicted mean number. The observed probability of a male birth in a given month during the post-disaster period was compared with a 95% confidence interval of a binominal distribution. In all three boundary units, the number of births was significantly lower than the predicted number by about 3–8% from nine months after the disaster, while the number of marriages in October 2011 was significantly lower than the predicted number by about 25–28%. In October 2011, the SSR in the whole of Japan had decreased from 104.8 to 102.9. The number of births and marriages and the SSR decreased in Japan after the East Japan Earthquake irrespective of locality. (shrink)
In my paper I would like to criticize Julian Savulescu and his colleagues’ argument on moral bioenhancement. If we want to improve our society, it would be easier and more effective to improve social conditions. Our personality ought to be constructed upon our inner foundation, which should not be tampered with by outside intervention or control, and I dare say this belief is a healthy one that should not be overturned.
In this paper I am going to talk about the “philosophy of life” project, which my colleagues and I have attempted over the last few years at our college. I believe research into the philosophy of life should contribute much to our discussion about many issues, such as democracy and war and peace in contemporary society. Before entering the main topic of this presentation, I would like to briefly introduce my academic background up until the present.
We show that every MALL proof-structure  satisfies the property of softness, originally a categorical notion introduced by Joyal. Furthermore, we show that the notion of hereditary softness precisely captures Girard’s algebraic restriction of the technical condition on proof-structures. Relying on this characterization, we prove a MALL+Mix sequentialization theorem by a proof-theoretical method, using Girard’s notion of jump. Our MALL+Mix correctness criterion subsumes the Danos/Fleury-Retoré criterion  for MLL+Mix.
One prominent feature of belief is that a belief cannot be formed at will. This paper argues that the best explanation of this fact is that belief formation is a process that takes aim at the truth. Taking aim at the truth is to be understood as causal responsiveness of the processes constituting belief formation to what facilitates achieving true beliefs. The requirement for this responsiveness precludes the possibility of belief formation responding to intentions in a way that would count (...) as forming a belief at will. (shrink)
Climate engineering with stratospheric sulfate aerosol injections (SSAI) has the potential to reduce risks of injustice related to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Relying on evidence from modeling studies, this paper makes the case that SSAI could have the potential to reduce many of the key physical risks of climate change identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Such risks carry potential injustice because they are often imposed on low-emitters who do not benefit from climate change. Because SSAI has (...) the potential to reduce those risks, it thereby has the potential to reduce the injustice associated with anthropogenic emissions. While acknowledging important caveats, including uncertainty in modeling studies and the potential for SSAI to carry its own risks of injustice, the paper argues that there is a strong case for continued research into SSAI, especially if attention is paid to how it might be used to reduce emissions-driven injustice. (shrink)