• Western Philosophy
  • Indian Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Chinese Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy is separated into four specialized areas encompassing various thoughts and philosophies, which are studied from diverse viewpoints.   

‣ In the field of Western Philosophy, students study major issues in Western philosophy from the ancient times to the present, such as those related to existence, logic, cognition, and subjectivity and objectivity, in a systematic and philological manner. In addition, students address present-day challenges by engaging in deep reflection from various perspectives.

Dissertation examples are as follows: “A study of Aristotle’s Organon,” “Petrus Hispanus on the universals and properties of terms,” “Formation and development of Descartes’ philosophy,” “The theory of state in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” and “A study of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus logico-philosophicus.”

Indian Philosophy consists of two pillars: Indian Studies (Indology) and Buddhist Studies (Buddhology).

The primary concern is focused on philological studies on Sanskrit, Pāli, and Tibetan texts that cover various subjects such as philosophy, religion, language, literature, aesthetics, astronomy, and mathematics. The Buddhist Studies of our program is unique in that its subject area includes Tibetan Buddhism.

The following doctoral dissertations may indicate the depth and breadth of our program: “A study of the Bhaṭṭikāvya,” “A study of the One-vehicle doctrine in the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra,” “A study of Udayana’s criticism of the Buddhist theory of momentariness,” “A study of Prajñākaragupta’s theory of self-cognition,” “A study of the antaraga meta-rule in Pāṇini’s grammar,” and “A study of the theory of time in the Dge-lugs-pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.”

Ethics deals with literature, both from Japan and the West, on ethics and the history of ethical thought. Students deepen their understanding of worldviews, the philosophy of life, and values while engaging in research on applied ethics related to life, the environment, information, education, corporations, feminism, peace, and other topics.

Graduates have submitted the following dissertations: “A study on virtue ethics of Adam Smith,” “Kant’s theory of self-consciousness,” “A study on nihilism,” “A reflection on learning from the standpoint of ethics,” “An analysis concerning individual liberty and coexistence for the future,” “Tetsuro Watsuji’s view of Japanese people,” and “A comparative study on euthanasia in Japan and China.”

Chinese Philosophy focuses on the careful reading of documents and literature for deep reflection on ideas rooted in the culture of China. This program also looks into kangaku, or the study of the Chinese classics carried out during Japan’s Edo period.

Dissertation examples include “The thoughts of Zhuang Zi (荘子): From the use of ‘one (一)’” and “Shintoism as a royal road: Hayashi Razan’s (林羅山) view of Japan as a divine nation.” The topics and keywords include “Hundred Schools of Thought,” Confucianism, Taoism, “the teaching of Chu-tzu,” “the teaching of Wang Yangming,” and kangaku.