Life Studies Blog (Old)

December 30, 2003

Human dignity, a useless concept?

Today, another advertisement of my new book Painless Civilization was published in Japan's most popular newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun. See the photo above. I will translate the ad and book reviews soon (yes, soon..... (^^;)). I am now occupied with other translation works; please wait for a while......

An interesting and provocative article on human dignity, "Dignity is a useless concept" by Ruth Macklin, is on the website of BJM. What do you think about it?

Photo: ad in Yomiuri Shimbun


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December 26, 2003

NHK educational television

I wrote essays on Painless Civilization for three nation-wide newspapers, which will be published early next year. And I had my speech recorded for broadcasting on NHK educational television in the Tokai district, which will be also aired in January.

And I have to edit two English papers of mine and a translation of my Japanese essay until early next year..... Alas.

Photo: beautiful flowers in the garden of our college.


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December 20, 2003

German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences

I forgot to add to the former entry. In Bonn, I went to German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences, together with Professor Christian Steineck. We looked around the Centre, their rich library and their database. We had a discussion about brain death and transplantation in Japan with professors at the Centre. I enjoyed the discussion. I didn't know this is the centre that runs the website in which the URL of our website is listed under the category of Institutions, Asia. I knew their website, but I couldn't identify that it was theirs.

At Frankfurt, Professor Lisette Gebhardt showed me a German paper, "Die Ambivalentz des Lebens und Unmöglichkeit der Religion: Morioka Masahiro und Seine Seimeigaku," written by Ulrike Wöhr in 1999. This is probably the first academic paper which dealt with Morioka's philosophy and life studies in a foreign language! She read main books and papers of mine written in Japanese. Thank you, Professor Wöhr.

This paper will be found in Hilaria Gössmann and Andreas Mrugalla (Hrsg.) "Deutschspachiger Japanologentag in Trier 1999, Band 1" pp.675-689, Hamburg: LIT-Verlag (ISBN 3-8258-4463-3).

Photo: At the airport


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December 16, 2003

Lisette Gebhardt, Josef Kreiner, Christian Steineck

I have just come back from Germany. I went Bochum, Bonn, and Frankfurt. The weather was fine, several days of clear skies, but the wind was cold. In the conference, Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics: The Example of Human Cloning, I talked about the concept of "the sprout (or bud) of human life" that is found in the Japanese law on human cloning, and this topic seemed to attract the attention of the audience. I am going to revise my paper and send it to them for publication. The conference was very stimulating. I have learned a lot from the discussion.

I gave a lecture at Frankfurt University, my talk was about "painless civilization," but I was not sure if the students had an interest in my talk because my English was not so fluent then, but anyway I believe it was not boring; no students were sleeping(^^). I met Professor Lisette Gebhardt, Japanologist, (Sprach und Kulturwissenschaften, Frunkfurt University), and had a chat about Japanese culture and literature. She had a keen interest in "iyashi (healing)" movement in contemporary Japan. Very interesting. This lecture was set up by Professor Christian Steineck, Bonn University. He is also a Japanologist and a philosopher, now engaged in comparative research on bioethics.

In Bonn, I had a lunch with Professor Dr. Josef Kreiner, Japanologisches Seminar der Universitat Bonn, and Professor Steineck, at a Turkish restaurant near the university. We talked about the possibility of future research. We had delicious white wine.


By the way, the thrid printing of Painless Civilization: A Philosophical Critique of Desire will arrive at bookstores on Dec.17. Good news. Some interviews have been published in magazines. I will write about them shortly.

Photo: "Via"



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