Department of Philosophy

Philosophy, the Source of All Learning

Philosophy is considered an abstract and difficult subject, removed from actual life. However, without learning the wisdom and intellectual endowment of the great philosophers and thinkers, no original philosophy, thought or learning could ever exist in any age and culture. It can be said that philosophy itself, which seeks out a fundamental sense of values for mankind, is the source of all learning. Philosophy develops rigorous thinking faculties for detecting preconditions that cannot be perceived under common sense. To learn philosophy is nothing less than to ponder today’s compelling issues while coming into contact with the vital force of ideas that could be termed a miracle. No matter what kind of life one leads, to live with no connection to philosophy is unthinkable. The Department, linked to the traditions of Tetsuro Watsuji and Kiyoshi Miki, has been a place of major thinking endeavors.

Well-Balanced Subject Group and High Level Expertise

The curriculum of the Department is composed of various related fields such as Eastern Thought, Japanese Thought, Psychology, Aesthetics, and Social Thought, so it is possible to study philosophy and thought, covering many directions in accordance with individual interests. For first- and second-year, major subjects are required and students build a strong foundation with introductory and history-of-thought subjects. For second- to fourth-year, students learn in accordance with individual topics, choosing from the subject types of Contemporary Thought, Aesthetics, History of Thought, Religious Studies, Psychology, Social Studies, Language Studies, Applied Ethics, Linguistics and Logic, and Science Studies.
In addition, new topics are discussed each year in special lecture subjects. In the third- and fourth- year, it is also possible to take lectures in the Graduate School of Humanities as a Philosophy major and receive credit. We provide an opportunity for research so that students who desire high expertise can have access to upper division classes at the undergraduate stage. In addition, it is possible to learn systematically German, French, Chinese, Classical Greek and Latin, and additionally, computer science subjects.

Fostering Moral Growth in a Free Cooperative Workplace

The seminar is the main pillar of education in the Department. In the Elementary Seminar in Philosophy, during the second-year, thorough improvement of basic philosophical ability--reading, thinking, discussing and writing--is attempted. Seminars on Philosophy that are performed in the third- and fourth- year could rather be called free cooperative workshops. The academic backgrounds and personalities of teachers and individual student issues, interests and personalities sometimes clash, sometimes resonate, and thus not only academic growth but also moral growth, including the power of thought and judgment, are bestown upon individual participants. Finally, as the fruit of this growth, a graduation thesis is written.