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.

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Out for a Drink (2010)

On the evening of the 9th, Professors Montebello, Abiko, Goda and Murakami, the students from Europe, students from Japan and their friends, all met up, and held a get-together at an Okinawan Sake bar in Iidabashi, Tokyo. (The gathering was organised by Matsui and Sonia from Professor Abiko's Seminar Group of the Hosei University Graduate School).

Get-together of lecturers and students (at Sake bar in Iidabashi)

Sightseeing (2010)

The first two weeks of life in Japan for the students from Europe has gone by. In Japan the cherry blossom is now fully out, and it is the most beautiful season. With the notion of "Work hard, play hard", they have been making the most of the chance for sightseeing during these two weeks. They have not just been to famous places within the capital such as Tsukiji, Ginza, Asakusa, Akihabara and Shibuya, but also as far as Yokohama, Kamakura etc. There was even a student who used the weekend to visit distant Hokkaido. Some set out by invitation, some by themselves, but all seem to have spent their time outside the classroom just as fruitfully.

The Outer Moat Park near to Hosei University (left), Graduate School Block seen from the Outer Moat Park (right)

Accommodation (2010)

During their stay in Japan, the students from Europe are each accommodated in one-room apartments in Shintomicho, Tokyo. They are equipped with bath, lavatory, bed, kitchen, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner etc., and constant internet access. The Tsukiji Wholesale Market is just 10 minutes' walk away. There are also cafes nearby. They travel into Hosei University everyday from here.

Entrance to the apartment block (left), View from 10th floor apartment (right).

Philosophical Interest (2010)

All the students from Europe are Master's course students majoring in philosophy. What kind of philosophers and philosophical issues are they interested in? Firstly it is clear that all students are widely concerned with philosophy in general. However, we can detect characteristics by the names of the philosophers featuring in their studies, which we heard include Plato, Fichte, Marx, Husserl, Michel Henry and Deleuze. They also told us about the issues that interested them. Namely, "What connection does the living phenomenon have with the physical phenomenon?", "What kind of cosmology lies behind works of literature?", "Can we not think of a better method of sovereignty?", "What is nothingness?" etc.

Students attending class (Class given by Professor Murakami)

Note-taking (2010)

In what ways do the students from Europe engage in their classes? A distinguishing characteristic when compared to Japanese students is that many of them type into their computers or write down in notebooks in a kind of shorthand almost everything the lecturer says. At the end of a class they then have in their possession a record of the lecture from that class.

Students taking notes (Above: Professor Fujita's class),
(Below left: Professor Rodrigo's class),
(Below right: Professor Miquel's class)

Montebello, Rodrigo, Miquel (2010)

Classes began from the 23rd in Room 303 of the Graduate School Block. The three professors, Pierre Montebello, Pierre Rodrigo and Paul-Antoine Miquel are visiting Japan from Europe to teach on the Hosei Program.

The theme of Professor Montebello's classes is Natural Philosophy. A metaphysical basis lies hidden behind explanations in Natural Science, however this is not always sufficiently questioned. We examine the Natural Philosophy of Simondon, Nietzsche and Deleuze for their responses to this problem. The aim is to achieve a new metaphysical understanding of Nature.

Professor Rodrigo is a specialist of Phenomenology. Classes focus on The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology by the advocator of Phenomenology, Husserl, and indicate how Husserl presents Phenomenology in this work, and in what ways and to what issues that Phenomenology seeks to respond. In so doing we aim at re-addressing our fundamental understanding of Husserl Phenomenology.

Professor Miquel's classes raise the question of the relationship between physical things and living things. We look at the philosophy of Bergson, Canguilhem and Simondon in search of their consciousness of this issue. Our aim through this task is to transcend the relationship of the physical and living, in order to gain new clarity in the relationship between science and philosophy.

Professor Montebello (left), Professor Rodrigo (centre), Professor Miquel (right)

Class in progress in Room 303

A Walk Nearby (2010)

Making the most of some time between the Orientation and Opening Ceremony, the students from Europe set out on a walk to Yasukuni Shrine which is located near to Hosei University. They enjoyed the special Japanese atmosphere of the shrine, but also showed awareness of the historical and political issues that surround this particular shrine.

Students walking in the Sacred Pond Garden, Yasukuni Shrine

Students buying takoyaki (octopus dumplings) at a stall in the Yasukuni Shrine grounds (left). In front of the Main Hall, Yasukuni Shrine (right).

Orientation (2010)

Preceding the Opening Ceremony, an Orientation Session was held on the 22nd in Room 303 of the Graduate School Block. The seven students and three lecturers from Europe heard an explanation in English from Mr Tanaka of the International Exchange Center about Hosei University, life in Japan, and procedures in emergencies such as earthquakes. After the Orientation they toured around the university, and in the library, were shown how to use the facilities there.

Students and lecturers listening to Mr Tanaka's explanation (Room 303) (left), (Library) (right)

Students and lecturers visiting the campus (Main gate square)