Andrew Komasinski, PhD
Hokkaido University of Education Asahikawa
Classroom Expectations
Come to class on time.
Do not sleep in class.
Ask questions if you do not understand.
You are responsible to turn work in on time.
Read assigned materials.
“人文科学” and Humanities
• 科学 = Science of
• 人文 = humanity and culture
• Humanities = things that relate to
our human nature (人間性)
Natural Sciences and Humanities
“Natural Sciences”
• Studies Natural
World (自然界)
• Foundation in
Physics, Chemistry,
• Uses data and
• Studies the human
world and condition
• Foundation in
Philosophy, Culture,
• Uses our reasoning
and writing
Humanities: Background I
In the West, universities gave roughly (大体) four
different types of degrees (学号):
• JD
• Juris Doctorate = 法学博士
• MD
• Medical Doctorate = 医学博士
• ThD
• Doctor of Theology = 神学博士
• PhD
• Doctor of Philosophy = 哲学博士
Humanities: Background II
Question: What can you get a PhD in
Answer: Chemistry, Physics, Sociology,
Anthropology, Geography, Economics,
History, Philosophy, English, Japanese,
Linguistics, Science Education…
Question: Why?
Humanities: Background III
Question: Why are most disciplines (分
野) PhDs?
Answer: Most disciplines came from
philosophy at some point.
But when the field becomes more
specialized it gets its own area of study.
Humanities and Philosophy
• Philosophy is what is left (残っている)
after other disciplines come into existence
• Philosophy also asks about different
disciplines and what they mean
• What does it mean to do chemistry?
• What does it mean to think about
• Is there right and wrong in economics?
Outline of Weeks 8-15
• [12/4]: Overview of Humanities
• [12/4]: Overview of Philosophy
• [12/11 12/18]: Plato
No Class 12/25
• [1/8
1/15]: Aristotle
• [1/22 1/29]: Modern Philosophy
1/29 – Report Due
Requirements for Weeks 8-15
From the syllabus’s 成績評価:
• (1)出席:欠席が2回を超えたら単位
• (2)課題レポート。
Implementation (施設)
1 Report
Reports: Details
sent to me via e-mail:
[email protected]
• 1 page A4
• Grading:
• Length
… Is it really at least one page?
• Content
… Does it show you understood
the lectures?
• Insight
… Do you add any of your own
• Grammar
… Does the content make sense?
Reports: E-mail
sent to me via e-mail:
[email protected]
• Address me as “Dr. K” in the e-mail
• Include sentences at the top:
I am Hiroshi Abe. I am a student in 人文科学
入門. My student number is c30000ah. I have
attached my report.
Reports: Grammar and Language
• If you write your report in English, you can
get full credit on the grammar even if it is not
perfect or completely natural.
• If you write your report in Japanese, I can
only give you a C on the grammar (since I
cannot check it)
• If you write your report in French (など), 問
• You can show me both languages.
Who am I?
• Many of you have already taken
classes from me.
• I was born in Indianapolis, IN
• I have a BS in Chemistry and
Philosophy (学士は哲学と化学) from
Wheaton College – near Chicago.
Graduate Work
• MA in Philosophy and PhD in Philosophy
• My specialization is moral selfhood (道
• I look at the way that relationships help
us to know right and wrong and
influence our behavior.
• My favorite philosopher is Soren
What this means for you…
• Every class with me is an intercultural
experience (多文化経験になる)
• I am not used to lecturing for 90 minutes
• I want to ask you questions
• I want to have you work in groups and discuss
what I am saying
• I want to give you time to respond
• I do not want to transfer information.  I
want you to be grasp (握る) material on your
Overview of Western
Western philosophy divides into roughly
four periods:
ANCIENT Philosophy
MEDIEVAL Philosophy
MODERN Philosophy
• Pre-Socratics
• Thales, Anaximander, Heraclitus, Parmenides
• Socrates/Plato
• Aristotle
• Stoics / Epicureans / Academic Skeptics
Key Questions: What exists? What kind of
things are they? How do we gain knowledge?
How should we live?
• Augustine
---• Ibn Sina [Avicenna]
• Albert Magnus
• Thomas Aquinas
• William Ockham
• John Buridan
[354-430 CE]
[980-1037 CE]
[1200-1280 CE]
[1225-1274 CE]
[1287-1347 CE]
[1300-1358 CE]
Key Questions: What to do with science and God?
How to understand the re-discovery of Aristotle?
KEY QUESTION: How can we know? What can we
• Rationalists
• Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza
• Empiricists
• Locke, Berkeley, Hume
• Kant, Hegel
• Kierkegaard, Nietzsche
• Bentham, Mill
ANALYTIC Philosophy- Wittgenstein, Quine, Vienna Circle
= Solving problems using modern logic
CONTINENTAL Philosophy- Adorno, Arendt, Heidegger,
Sartre, Camus, Foucault, Derrida
= Deconstructing [哲学実態を疑いている] Truth and
AMERICAN Philosophy = Pierce, Dewey, James, Rorty
=Practical Philosophy [無抽象的]
COMPARATIVE Philosophy = studying Confucius, NISHIDA,
Indian thought, etc. =Learning from Other
In one sense, “philosophy” means Socrates and the people
who come after him. His opponents (相手) were
In another sense, philosophy means asking questions like:
Where do things come from?
What do we mean when we call things “humans”?
What should we do with our lives?
Is it wrong to … ? Must we ….?
In the second sense, people like Buddha, Jesus, and
Confucius can be called philosophers.
Method for Class
Each class involves:
• A) Explaining cultural background of the material
we are reading
• B) Looking at certain key ideas the philosopher
• C) Understanding the arguments the thinker
Reading for 12/11
For the next class, please read Plato’s
Apology (弁解)

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