The “philosophy course” comprises four overarching fields of study, namely, philosophy, ethics, religious studies, and esthetics.
In the narrow sense, the field of philosophy encompasses diverse topics based on an understanding of the history of Western philosophy from Ancient Greece to the present day. These topics include logic, which is concerned with the principles of reasoning essential to academic thought; ontology, which considers the world and the position of human existence within it; and epistemology, which discusses the origins of and grounds for our knowledge of the world. In addition, an active ongoing academic inquiry exists in the new fields within philosophy, such as the philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language.
The field of ethics includes theoretical ethics, which considers the essential nature and principles of ethics (i.e., morality), thus focusing on the central question of what constitutes the virtuous life; it also includes applied ethics, which examines specific ethical issues in contemporary society, such as the rights and wrongs of technologically manipulating living beings.
In the broader sense, religious studies include the philosophy of religion, which examines the fundamental principles of religion in general from a universal perspective, and empirical religious studies, which is concerned with the empirical study of specific religions. The philosophy course at this graduate school predominantly focuses on the philosophy of religion.
Esthetics can be broadly defined as the study of sensibility; it aims to elucidate the functions and mechanisms of phenomena such as human emotions, sentiments, and senses from the perspective of philosophy or the history of philosophy and also attempts to approach various esthetic phenomena because they correlate to sensory experiences in its original sense. This approach includes examining various issues related to art and beauty based on the theoretical perspectives such as value theory, ontology, and epistemology.
Moreover, previous research topics of graduate students included the thinking of Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Bergson, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and others.
This course also holds an annual philosophy study group, thereby inviting researchers from other universities and graduate students to participate. The study group was established in 2006 as a reorganized version of the philosophy conferences, which had been held over 20 times from 1985.
|Professor Takashi Nakahara||Professor Takashi Nakahara conducts research on philosophy and philosophy of religion, with a focus on modern and contemporary German thought, including Kant, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. This professor is responsible for courses including the “Advanced Studies in Religious Problems.”|
|Professor Tomohiro Takanashi||Professor Tomohiro Takanashi conducts research on topics including modern German esthetics with a focus on Kant, phenomenological esthetics, and art theory of the Kyoto School. This professor is responsible for courses including “Advanced Studies in Aesthetics.”|
|Associate Professor Takashi Tsuchiya||Associate Professor Takashi Tsuchiya conducts research on ethical issues related to contemporary medicine (Ethics and medical ethics). This associate professor is responsible for courses including “Advanced Studies in Ethics.”|
|Associate Professor Takeshi Sakon||Associate Professor Takeshi Sakon conducts research focusing on contemporary theories of time and related metaphysical issues in the context of analytic philosophy in the English-speaking world. This associate professor is responsible for courses including “Introduction to Philosophy.”|