Media Should Help Us Grasp Social Issues: Philosopher

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), March 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

Media Should Help Us Grasp Social Issues: Philosopher


This is the third installment of a new series based on interviews conducted in English in which prominent figures convey their message to Japan and the rest of the world. This installment features Koichiro Kokubun, who teaches philosophy at Takasaki City University of Economics.

In 2011, just after the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture, I published the book "Hima to Taikutsu no Rinrigaku" (Ethics of leisure and boredom). In the book, I analyzed a society of consumption and the problems inherent in it, and the analysis brought me to that of social, political and environmental problems. Through the book, I tried to connect a philosophical approach with analysis of society.

When I was a student, there were books of philosophy and sociology, of course, but philosophers did nothing more than talk about the existence of human beings, so to speak. They failed to discuss society itself.

On the other hand, although sociologists analyzed society and its trends, they failed to answer the question of how we should live in society. …

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