Hosei Erasmus Mundus Program Euro Pholosophy

Hosei Erasmus Mundus Program, Euro Pholosophy - Over the two academic years 2008-9 and 2009-10 at Hosei University, classes for the first semester of "Euro Philosophy", an EU Erasmus Mundus Master Program, have taken the form of one-month intensive lecture series. This is the first instance in Japan of administering such a large-scale intensive lecture series within the Erasmus Mundus Master Program.


Classes by Professor Izumi Suzuki (2013)

Three classes were given by Professor Izumi Suzuki of the University of Tokyo. The lectures on this occasion centred on the philosophy of G. Deleuze, and the theme was "Deleuze and disjunctive logic". (An example of scholarship published by Professor Suzuki that is of reference to the lectures is the following: "Deleuze philosophy: 1945-1969", in Gendai shisō [Present-day ideology] "The philosophy of Deleuze", Volume 30, Number 10, Seidosha, 2002, pp. 125-147.)

Titles of each lecture are as below:
1. Transcendental empiricism in Difference and repetition (Différence et repetition)
2. Notion of "difference" found in M. Heidegger and Deleuze
3. "Ritournelle" in Thousand plateaus (Mille plateaux)
"Transcendental empiricism" made a particular impression upon the blogger, and below is a partial introduction to the background of its arguments.

The philosophy of Deleuze is said to be transcendental philosophy in all its aspects. However, he criticized and added alterations to the transcendental philosophy originating in Kant philosophy whilst being deeply influenced by it. According to Deleuze, Kant searched for transcendentalism in the "transcription (décalque)" of the framework of everyday experience. In this action, a vicious circle emerges around the conditions of transcendental things and empirical things. Deleuze stated that this should be severed, and aimed at searching for essential conditions for the generation of experience. For this process, Deleuze first took the view of the generation of experience by transcendental things. However, as these are not exempt from the vicious circle, they display continuous metempirics. According to him, everyday experience emerges from the stable and harmonious working of the faculties of sensitivity and rationality, but if this occurs without such harmony, then metempirics come into existence. This is real experience made possible by "difference" and "encounter (rencontre)" creating a forceful opportunity. Also, the faculties do not work together, and it is when they become inharmonious that they truly begin to function, he declared. Furthermore, metempirics do not stay as they are, but become something transcendental, and it is this that Deleuze talks of as transcendental empiricism. Transcendental things and empirical things then form an original connection, wherein the problem arises of "inhumanistic" experience.
The above conveys only a part of the content of the first lecture as the blogger understood it. The other lectures also, however, considered fascinating topics on Deleuze philosophy in the context of the history of thought.

Professor Izumi Suzuki

Florence Caeymaex Lecture Meeting (Meiji University) (2013)

A lecture meeting by Professor Florence Caeymaex of University of Liège, Belgium, was held from 4pm on Saturday, 20 April in Meiji University Surugadai Campus, Liberty Tower, Room 1075. The title of the presentation was "Politics and bio-power: do we need live politics? (Politique et biopouvoirs : avons-nous besoin d'une politique de la vie ?)". (An example of research by Professor Caeymaex in connection with the presentation is given below: « Le concept de biopolitique est-il un concept critique ? », in Medicalizzazione, sorveglianza e biopolitica. A partire da Michel Foucault (a cura di Natascia Mattucci, Gianluca Vagnarelli), Milano- Udine, Mimesis filosofie, 13-29. [2012]).

The presentation handled chiefly the debate on "bio-politics" to be found in Birth of the Prison, Surveillance and Punishment (Naissance de la prison, Surveiller et punir) (1970) by M. Foucault (1926-1984). As is well known, Foucault termed "bio-power" the post-modern method of political power that attempts to govern citizens from the inside: by ruling and administering as a positive penetration in people's lives, through the individual body or the whole population. (This differs from the image of political power from ancient times that declared if people did not obey the rules they would be killed; if they did they would be left alone). Foucault saw "bio-power" as overturning the common image since the modern age of acknowledged freedom of individuals, or, rather, understood that power had been achieved that was a device for administering the individual. Dissemination of this thinking has given birth to much related research up to the present day, particularly in the field of human sciences.

However, assuming this "bio-power" is wielded by "live politics", the debate around it includes real issues such as what kind of laws and policies can justify that power? Also, in connection with philosophy, there are large obstacles in discussing Foucault's power theory particularly in the context of modern political philosophy that discusses important themes such as freedom and equality in relation to power. Amidst this debate, Italian philosopher R. Esposito (1950-), for example, suggests that when talking about politics we should change our vocabulary - and in extension the notional structure of historical political philosophy itself.

This presentation by Professor Caeymaex questioned the correct method of live theory, whilst comparing thinkers such as H.Arendt (1906-1975) and G. Canguilhem (1904-1995), and in so doing, sought possibility for an attempt at reform - rather than building a new notional structure from nothing - from the perspective of "anthropology": the basis of modern political philosophy.

Professor Caeymaex is also researcher at the National Fund for Scientific Research, where she specialises in socio-political thought. It was incredibly fortunate for us to hear a report on her latest research on this occasion whilst visiting Japan.

Professor Caeymaex
Professor Caeymaex and Professor Masato Goda in the Chair
Professor Osamu Kanamori during questions and answers