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Web International Meeting: "Intuition and Reflection as Method of Philosophy"

WEB International Meeting
"Intuition and Reflection as Method of Philosophy"


      The 2nd WEB International Meeting, "Intuition and Reflection as Method of Philosophy" was held on Saturday, October 13, 2012, in the Special Meeting Room, Hakusan Campus, Toyo Universisty. It followed the success of the previous WEB International Meeting, "A possibility of universal methodology: Descartes and Husserl," held on October 15, 2011. Four philosophers working in and outside Japan discussed the rich problematique regarding "intuition" and "reflection" : Prof. Jocelyn Benoist (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), who has been working on various philosophical concepts extending the field of phenomenology and produced significant results; Prof. Okada Mitsuhiro, Keio University, Tokyo, a long-term friend of Prof. Benoist’s, who is constructing a theory to integrate phenomenology and logic; Prof. Kuroda Akinobu (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France ant visiting Researcher at the IRCP), who is researching the philosophy of Kitarōo Nishida (1870–1945) in relation to Europen philosophy on the concept of "intuition," and Prof. Yamaguchi Ichiro (Toyo Univeristy), Researcher at the IRCP and organizer of the Meeting, who is researching phenomenology with special reference to Husserl's later phenomenology. Then, Prof. Georg Stenger (Universität Wien, Vienna) specializing in phenomenology and intercultural philosophy, and Prof. Murakami Katsuzo, the director fot the IRCP, specializing in Descartes, commented on the presentations.

      Prof. Okada, Prof.Yamaguchi, and Prof. Murakami participated from Toyo University, Prof. Benoist and Prof. Kuroda from Paris (the École Normale Supérieure) and Prof. Stenger from Vienna. The three venues were linked by the Internet.

      The conference was opened by Prof. Murakami, who also chaired the proceedings. First, Prof. Yamaguchi presented his paper entitled "On intuition and reflection: Nishida and Husserl." He contrasted the argument Kitarō Nishida developed in Intuition and Reflection in Self-Consciousness (1913–1917) with Husserl's late phenomenology and examined what methodological perspectives could be problematized thereby.

      Next, Prof. Koroda, who has lectured on Japanese philosophy including Nishida in France, presented his paper "Action-intuition and self-consciousness: The basics of scientific methodology and a method of philosophy," in which he examined the difference between "action-intution" and "self-consciousness" in Nishida's work by focusing on the distinction between the "creative self" and the "poïesis-self." Prof. Kuroda's presentation was delivered in French.


      Third, Prof. Benoist presented his paper entitled "Reflections on super-reflection." He pointed out a range of problems associated with the conventional understanding of the concept of "reflection," and focusing on "super-reflection" as presented in Merleau-Ponty's The Visible and the Invisible (1964), showed the methodological value of this concept.

      Last, Prof. Okada presented his paper entitled "Intuitive evidence and formal evidence in proof-formation" (in English). Following up the theme of last year's WEB Conference, "mathesis universalis", he examined the "proof-formation" as a problem of a universalistic methodology for science and philosophy, focusing on the difference between "intuitive evidence" and "formal inductive evidence."

      After these four presentaions, Prof. Stenger commented on those by Prof. Yamaguchi, Prof. Kuroda, and Prof. Benoist in regards to their understanding of the philosophical concepts of "intuition" and "reflection," and was quite critical sometimes. Director Murakami commented on Prof. Okada's treatment of "intuition" based on latest research into Descartes and Leibniz, and a lively discussion followed. Finally, a discussion involving all presenters took place.

      There were some restrictions to the flow of discussion, since presentations and discussions were carried out by weblink in a mixture of Japanese, French, German, and English. Still, it was a valuable opportunity, in terms of both content and format, to look into the possibility of global methodological research that cuts across the philosophies of the East and West, as the 2nd Unit aspires to achieve.