Division of Contemporary Culture

Humanistic Informatics

The purpose of this course is to make use of History, Sociology, Philosophy, and other disciplines to study information, which has become an integral component of our society. We also study the application of information technology to philological, textual, and historical research as a part of our humanistic research program.

At the introductory level, students are introduced to core sociological and historical methods of analysis for studying the problems of modern information society, as well as methods for the use of information technologies in humanistic research. This basic level aims at an understanding of the contemporary; yet at the graduate level our program further aims to understand the general thought and philosophy which form the historical background for the problems of the modern informatization of society. For example, in recent economic and informational history, studies have revealed the connection between the informatization of society and Adam Smith’s theory of the division of labour, and in the field of the history of mathematics, studies have revealed the connection between Leibniz’s "universal characteristic" and modern information technology. Our program aims at a similar level of deep understanding.


In order to obtain the basic knowledge of information technology required for this type of humanistic understanding of information, our students are able to obtain credits by attending lectures in the Faculty of Engineering and the Graduate School of Informatics. Furthermore, there are undergraduate and graduate students in our program producing software such as the textual research system SMART-GS (pictured above) as part of their research.

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HAYASHI, Susumu Prof. Informatics; History of science and technology