Division of Philosophy

History of Western Philosophy

Three Sub-Departments — those of Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy and Modern Philosophy, each with a unique tradition, — comprise the department, which is one of the few academic institutions in Japan where students can study the entire span of the history of Western philosophy.

Students of Ancient Philosophy are expected to investigate basic philosophical problems in their historical context, tracing them back to the birth and development of philosophy by reading ancient Greek and Latin texts from the 7th century BC to the 7th century AC.

Students in Medleval Phllosophy will study philosophies from the rise of Christianity in Late Antiquity to the Renaissance. They will be able to experience the heart of the Medieval world that is the immediate origin of today’s Europe primarily through reading Latin texts with precision.

Modern Philosophy students will study the history of philosophy in modern Europe from Descartes onward. Undergraduate and graduate students study together, reading philosophical texts that embody the result of the philosopher’s struggle with the history of philosophy by closely following the authors’ logic.

The undergraduate and graduate programs consist of lectures and seminars, with a greater emphasis on seminars as arenas for training in the accurate reading of original texts in their original languages. Students are thus required to have mastered before enrollment the language used by the philosopher they plan to study. Lectures include both introductory courses designed to provide students with essential knowledge and special lecture courses by full-time and part-time faculty members; the latter also serve as an opportunity for students to become familiar with the faculty’s latest research. Since students are required to prepare a thesis or dissertation to complete their program at each of the undergraduate and graduate levels, we also offer a course in which those students can present drafts to solicit comments and discussions.

Although their numbers are limited, some international students are also enrolled in our graduate programs. On the other hand, more and more Japanese students from the Department now study abroad, while international exchange opportunities within Japan are also on the increase.

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NAKAHATA, Masashi Prof. Ancient philosophy; Philosophy of mind
SUTO, Taki Assoc. Prof. History of Western Medieval Philosophy
FUKUTANI, Shigeru Prof. Modern philosophy (esp. The philosophy of Kant)