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1st Unit : 5th Study Group Session

1st Unit : 5th Study Group Session

The Philosophical Thought of Inoue Enryo

The 5th Study Meeting, the 1st Unit

The 5th study group session of the 1st Unit was held jointly with the 2nd Unit on 16 February in Meeting room 2 of the Hakusan Campus, Toyo University. The presenter from the 1st Unit was Takemura Makio, who presented a paper on "The Philosophical Thought of Inoue Enryo."

Takemura first summarized Inoue Enryo's view of philosophy under the following three points. First, philosophy is like a central government, overseeing all sciences, and it inquires into their basis. Secondly, even though philosophy may not have any direct usefulness like practical sciences, it possesses usefulness as a yardstick, just like a carpenter's ruler. Thirdly, as a technique for training the mind to think, philosophy cultivates a broad outlook and a noble character.

Having characterized Inoue's view of philosophy in this manner, Takemura then addressed the question of what Inoue discovered to be the truth through this kind of philosophy. It was the fact that the absolute and the relative are neither the same nor separate, a truth that is shared with both Hegel's philosophy and Buddhist philosophy. Furthermore, the true mystery that he sought to discover through his inquiries into the supernatural was also this inseparability of the absolute and the relative. Spring flowers, the autumn moon, etc., all that are experienced in everyday life represent true mystery as phenomena that are inseparable from the absolute.

The 5th Study Meeting, the 1st Unit

But Inoue did not confine himself to simply observing the relationship between the absolute and the relative. He also progressed to a standpoint that might be described as activism. According to Inoue, the aim of probing the truth in philosophy is to exert oneself for the sake of others. Having made a thorough study of philosophy throughout the ages and across the world, Inoue arrived at the simple state of exerting oneself solely for the sake of others.

Following Takemura's paper, there was lively debate, especially about questions concerning Inoue's activism. A large number of people attended the meeting, and it was a great success.