Philosophical study of life, death, and nature


Last Updated
January 27, 2023




Painless Civilization 1 (2021)
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Confessions of a Frigid Man: A Philosopher’s Journey into the Hidden Layers of Men’s Sexuality (2017)
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Manga Introduction to Philosophy: An Exploration of Time, Existence, the Self, and the Meaning of Life (2021)
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What Is Antinatalism? And Other Essays: Philosophy of Life in Contemporary Society (2021)
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About This Site

Lifestudies.Org is a website run by Masahiro Morioka, a professor of philosophy and ethics at Waseda University and the editor-in-chief of Journal of Philosophy of Life. He proposes new philosophical disciplines: philosophy of life and life studies.

>> Detailed information about Masahiro Morioka

>> Further information about this site



Philosophy of Life and Life Studies

Philosophy of life is an academic discipline that deals with philosophical issues surrounding life, death, and nature. Life studies is a research methodology that can only be accomplished by "never detaching oneself from the subject being investigated".

>> Detailed explanation about philosophy of life and life studies




List of books


Recent English Books

Masahiro Morioka
Painless Civilization 2: Painless Stream and the Fate of Love
(2003, 2023 Open Access)
Chapters Two and Three of Painless Civilization
Masahiro Morioka
What Is Antinatalism? And Other Essays: Philosophy of Life in Contemporary Society (2021 Open Access)
Masahiro Morioka
Painless Civilization 1
(2003, 2021 Open Access)
Chapter One of Painless Civilization
Masahiro Morioka, Nyancofu Terada
Manga Introduction to Philosophy: An Exploration of Time, Existence, the Self, and the Meaning of Life (2013, 2021 Open Access)
Masahiro Morioka
Confessions of a Frigid Man: A Philosopher’s Journey into the Hidden Layers of Men’s Sexuality (2005, 2013, 2017 Open Access)
Masahiro Morioka
Brain-Dead Person: Human Relationship–Oriented Analysis of Brain Death (1989, 2000 Open Access)

Masahiro Morioka (ed.)
Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and Philosophy (2023) Open Access Book


Masahiro Morioka (ed.)
Philosophy and Meaning in Life Vol.4: Selected Papers from the Pretoria Conference (2022) Open Access Book


Masahiro Morioka (ed.)
Philosophy and Meaning in Life Vol.3 (2021 Open Access)


Books Recently Translated into Other Languages

Introduction à la philosophie en manga: C’est quoi vivre? (2022)



Recent Japanese Books

Philosophising Life Counseling (2022)


Masahiro Morioka
Is It Better Never to Have Been Born? (2020)

Masahiro Morioka
A Philosophical Inquiry into Personhood, Dignity, and Brain Death (2015)



Papers and Essays

List of papers and essays

> Recently uploaded articles

Artificial Intelligence and Contemporary Philosophy: Heidegger, Jonas, and Slime Mold (2023)
In this paper, I provide an overview of today’s philosophical approaches to the problem of “intelligence” in the field of artificial intelligence by examining several important papers on phenomenology and the philosophy of biology.

The Dark Side of Painless Civilization: A Philosophical Investigation into Human Desire (2022)
In a painless civilization, we are deprived of the joy of life, which is considered a fundamental source of our meaning of life, and we are led to the situation of drowning in a sea of pleasure.

Hermitism and Impermanence: A Response to Nagasawa’s Argument on Transcendentalism in Medieval Japan (2022)
Kamo Chōmei lived in a small house in the remote mountains and interacted with the surrounding nature. His lifestyle is considered a good example of reconciling one’s finite life with the impermanence of the world and human sufferings.

Is It Possible to Say ‘Yes’ to Traumatic Experiences?: A Philosophical Approach to Human Suffering (2022)
People who have encountered a tragic event and suffered from traumatic experiences can sometimes achieve, in their later lives, an affirmation of having been born to such devastating lives. But what does this “affirmation” exactly mean in such cases? In this paper, I investigate this problem from the viewpoint of philosophy of life’s meaning.

What Does Doing Philosophy Mean to Me? (2022)
An English translation of a slightly modified version of my Japanese essay of the same title.

The Concept of Painless Civilization and the Philosophy of Biological Evolution: With Reference to Jonas, Freud, and Bataille (2022)
A philosophical investigation into the relationship between painless civilization and biological evolution.

The Cruelty of Living in a Painless Civilization (Interview, 2022)
An interview with Masahiro Morioka about painless civilization.

Pleasure, Suffering, and Painless Civilization (Interview, 2022)
Beyza Şen and Ali Tacar's interview with Masahiro Morioka on painless civilization and his recent works.

Animated Persona: The Ontological Status of a Deceased Person Who Continues to Appear in This World (2021)
In this paper, I propose the concept of the “animated persona,” a soundless voice that says “I am here” and appears on the surface of someone or something. This concept can bring clarity to the experience of perceiving a kind of personhood on a corpse, a wooden mask, or even a tree.

Can Artificial Intelligence Philosophize? (2021)
A short essay that discusses whether it is possible for AI to do philosophy
in its true sense of the word.

What Is Birth Affirmation?: The Meaning of Saying “Yes” to Having Been Born (2021)
This is an outline of the concept of "birth affirmation", which means the state of mind in which I can say from the bottom of my heart that I am truly glad that I have been born. In short, it means to be able to say “Yes” to my having been born.

What Is Antinatalism?: Definition, History, and Categories (2021)
Antinatalism is the thought that all human beings or all sentient beings should not be born. In this paper, I briefly summarize the history of antinatalistic thoughts and propose a set of categories on antinatalism and related thoughts.

A Solipsistic and Affirmation-Based Approach to Meaning in Life (2019)
In this paper, I make two arguments: 1) There is a solipsistic layer in meaning in life, and 2) the heart of meaning in life can be dynamically incorporated into the affirmation of having been born into this world, which I call “birth affirmation.”

Philosophy, Manga, and Ōmori Shōzō (2018)
An examination of Morioka's Manga Introduction to Philosophy and Ōmori Shōzō's philosophical writings. With Pierre Bonneels.

The Trolley Problem and the Dropping of Atomic Bombs (2017)
In this paper, I show that the dropping of atomic bombs was a typical example of the events that contained the logic of the trolley problems in their decision-making processes and justifications, and secondly, I discuss five aspects of “the problem of the trolley problem".

Philosophy of Life in Contemporary Society (2017)
An outline of "philosophy of life" as a philosophical discipline.

Manga and Philosophy
: Why Was the Book “Manga Introduction to Philosophy” Written?
A PowerPoint PDF
presentated at the first conference of the European Network on Japanese Philosophy, Barcelona, Spain.

Is Meaning in Life Comparable?
: From the Viewpoint of ‘The Heart of Meaning in Life’
The aim of this paper is to propose a new approach to the question of meaning in life by criticizing Thaddeus Metz’s objectivist theory in his book Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study. I demonstrate that “the heart of meaning in life” cannot be compared with other people’s meaning in life.



The Review of Life Studies
A collection of articles written by Masahiro Morioka and his friends.



Video Recordings

List of videos

> Recently uploaded Videos

Painless Civilization: A Philosophical Investigation into Human Desire
A Common Horizon for Humanity and the Planet, Cappadocia University, recorded on August 29, 2022.

Manga Introduction to Philosophy; Life, Death, Time, and the Meaning of Life
The Dissenter #643, recorded on April 4, aired in June, 2022.

Animated persona and the existence of dead persons
Grief: A Study of Human Emotional Experience, May 12, 2022.

[Tokyo Philosophy Project 04] Iddo Landau talks about "philosophy of life's meaning" with Masahiro Morioka
Recorded on February 25, 2022.

A Traumatic Rupture in Life and the Affirmation of Having Been Born
Masahiro Morioka's YouTube Channel, February 12, 2022.

Is Birth Negation Held by Atheistic Antinatalists a Kind of Religious Belief?
Masahiro Morioka's YouTube Channel, June 27, 2021.

The Exploring Antinatalism Podcast #28 - Masahiro Morioka
Aired on February 2, 2021.

What Is Birth Affirmation? The Meaning of Saying ‘Yes’ to Having Been Born
Third International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life, University of Birmingham, July 23, 2020 (online).

[Tokyo Philosophy Project 03] Rivka Weinberg talks about "philosophy of procreation " with Masahiro Morioka
Recorded on October 6, 2019.



Tokyo Philosophy Project (YouTube)

Masahiro Morioka's YouTube Channel



Academic Journal

Journal of Philosophy of Life
A peer-reviewed academic journal specializing in the philosophy of life, death, and nature, supported by the the Waseda Institute of Life and Death Studies, Waseda University.



Research Project

Tokyo Philosophy Project
A research project supported by the Waseda Institute of Life and Death Studies, Waseda University.




Facebook - Masahiro Morioka

twitter - masa_morioka

Philpapers - masahiro-morioka








Special Reports

Special Report: No.1
Brain Death and Transplantation in Japan

Special Report: No.2
Japanese Responses to the World Trade Center Attack

Special Report: No.3
Bioethics around the World

Special Report: No.4
Herbivore Men



Other pages

Japanese website
Japanese version of LIFESTUDIES.ORG.

French website
French version of LIFESTUDIES.ORG.

List of websites made more than 10 years ago.

Older pages