Message from the leader


The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP) was initially established in 2002 with the support of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for its 21st-Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program. Since 2012, UTCP has been affiliated with the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Science/College of Arts and Science, and supported by the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education. Since the establishment of the center, our mission has been to create a place where not only philosophical and domestic but also interdisciplinary and international collaboration are possible.

Through these activities, the ideal towards which we are aiming has come into focus: that is, "inclusion". This is also the ideal of "co-existence": namely, to enable different thoughts, cultures, and races to co-exist; and equally to mediate the opposition between disabled and abled, child and adult, female and male, animal and human, machine and human. However, the ideal state of "co-existence" we envision is not a utopian, harmonious world in which absolute pacifism is realized, but rather the tension-filled relationships that hold the possibility of antagonisms and productive conflicts. In other words, "inclusion" in our sense involves making relationships with others without eliminating differences or dissensus. Towards this end, UTCP’s mission is to foster the possibilities of practicing "inclusion" as "co-existence". With the retirement of Professor Yasuo Kobasyahi, the first director of UTCP, in March 2015, the center has entered a new chapter. Inheriting his spirit, we are committed to the further growth of UTCP.

Shinji Kajitani

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