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International Research Center for Philosophy

Outline (History) of International Research Center for Philosophy (IRCP)

When the Center was established, its aims were set out as follows: "One feature of modern society lies in the fact that the globalization of every aspect of society and the diversification of values are forcing people to be unable to determine the direction where they are heading. Living in this modern society, we need to pursue philosophical inquiry that fundamentally reexamines the current state of people and society. In order to address this challenge, we have formed an international network of philosophical research?on the one hand presenting to the world the contemporary significance of the philosophy of Enryo Inoue as the thoughts of a citizen of the earth, and on the other hand researching the formation of a universal philosophical foundation that goes beyond the distinctions between Eastern and Western thought."
The IRCP established in July 2011 has become a large organization with 51 staff members consisting of researchers, visiting researchers, research associates, and project research assistants.

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Activities and Features

During 2012, the second year since the establishment of the International Research Center for Philosophy, various events were held to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Toyo University, and it was a year of productivity and growth for the Center too. As of December 2012, the staff number fifty in all, including researchers, visiting researchers, research associates, and research assistants. As for our activities, a total of about twenty study group sessions (one taking the form of a Web-conference) were conducted by the three units, and there were also held two overseas seminars (France and Bhutan), four international symposiums (one taking the form of a webinar), the inaugural conference of the International Association for Inoue Enryo Research, and other workshops. Approximately twenty overseas researchers participated in these events, which were conducted in Japanese, English, French, German, Chinese, and Persian.

Research Achievements

With the support of a great many people we have, I believe, made considerable progress this year in drawing closer to the accomplishment of these objectives. In September 2012, the 1st Unit established the International Association for Inoue Enryo Research as one of the projects to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Toyo University. In addition, the Center as a whole hosted an international conference on "Philosophy Facing a Globalized World," to which researchers from India, China, the United States, and France were invited. The International Association for Inoue Enryo Research, one of the activities of the 1st Unit, is an undertaking that will need to be fostered and expanded into a global centre for research on Inoue Enry?, and as of December 2012 it has 93 members (including organizations). As basic research for guaranteeing the success of the Association, the 1st Unit is also continuing its research activities in the area of Japanese philosophy since the Meiji era. As part of these activities, it has been conducting Internet-based classes for the master’s course of the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Strasbourg in France.
The main focus of the activities of the 2nd Unit is research on methodology and its realization. In research on methodology, it has conducted a webinar linking Paris, Vienna, and Tokyo, while its engagement with practice took the form of a symposium aiming to gain a grasp of global diversity regarding the concept of "law," as well as a study group session aimed at building up " Philosophy of post-Fukushima."
The 3rd Unit has been approaching "symbiosis," or coexistence, from many different angles. Major projects of the current year have been the holding of an international conference in Bhutan and a symposium on Iran. The latter, on the topic of "The Philosophy of Co-existence: Dialog with Islam," was attended by the Iranian ambassador in Japan. These two events won high appraisal for having taken a definite step beyond our hitherto framework of "symbiosis." It is hoped that exchange with Iranian researchers will continue in the future and become a core activity of the 3rd Unit. The three units, each taking their own original approaches, are cooperating in making every effort to establish a venue where "communication," "internationalization of methods," and "symbiosis" can become one so as to establish a foundation for knowledge that can be shared by all of humanity.

Future Development (Goal)

In addition to study group sessions of each unit, it is scheduled to hold international web-conferences, sessions and symposiums in Japan and foreign countries, joining with researchers from overseas.

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