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Transdisciplinary Initiative for Eco-Philosophy

Outline of Transdisciplinary Initiative for Eco-Philosophy

Transdisciplinary Initiative for Eco-Philosophy, Toyo University (TIEPh) was inaugurated in FY2006, as a cooperative organization of Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S) led mainly by Tokyo University and Kyoto University. Selected as the Grant-aided program for the Strategic Research Foundation for Private Universities in FY2011 (FY2011-2015), TIEPh conducts research activities aiming at establishment of advanced "Eco-Philosophy" related to environmental issues and sustainability, in cooperation with Sustainability Science Consortium (SSC), and various research organizations affiliated with SSC. TIEPh is composed of the three units, "Nature Unit", "Values and Behavior Unit", and "Environment Design Unit".

Activities and Features

Details of the three units composing TIEPh are as follows:
In the first unit (Nature Unit), mainly researchers of philosophy explore thought forming a core of "Eco-philosophy", ideologically pursuing Oriental and Western view of nature and human, as well as the concept of coexistence.
In the second unit (Values and Behavior Unit), researchers of social psychology investigate people’s environmental values and aim to reveal psychological factors influencing pro-environmental behavior.
In the third unit (Environment Design Unit), mainly researchers of Eastern and Western philosophy explore a framework of new system design which contributes to resolution of environmental problems, and which should be added to or replace the existing system.

Research Achievements

While individual research units have conducted studies and investigations, TIEPh, as a whole, has presented research achievements related to what kind of role Eco-philosophy can play in recent issues of environment and sustainability. To be more specific, TIEPh announces research results through holding symposiums and seminars, publishing newsletters and an annual research report, and reporting on the website. As a lecture of undergraduate school, a researcher of TIEPh teaches "Introduction of Eco-philosophy" (the fifth period on Thursdays in the 2nd half), a campus-wide general lecture delivered to five campuses at the same time. In this manner, activities are continuously conducted to educate many students about the core of Eco-philosophy.
With such characteristic activities, TIEPh was selected as the Grant-aided program for the Strategic Research Foundation for Private Universities in FY2011.

Future Development (Goal)

TIEPh will present the ideal image of society and alternative environmental design aiming at realizing a coexistence society, providing new insights into the relationships between human and nature by organically summarizing research achievements of individual research units. Enhancing the alliance with IR3S, researchers of philosophy and other research organizations affiliated with SSC, TIEPh will respond to issues of global sustainability in order to fulfill our responsibility for the next-generation society.