[UTCP Juventus] Kei Yoshida

10 August, 2009 YOSHIDA Kei, UTCP Juventus

It is now summer vacation. Young scholars at UTCP will introduce themselves on this blog during the vacation. This time, Kei Yoshida introduces himself.

Hi there. I am Kei Yoshida, a postdoc at UTCP. My areas of specialization are as follows: (1) philosophy of science, (2) philosophy of the social sciences, and (3) philosophy of neuroeconomics and neuroethics. Let me explain my research interests one by one.

As to philosophy of science, I have thus far written several papers on Karl Popper. My current interest is in examining how we can revive a normative role that philosophy of science played in the past. This corresponds to that since the 1970s, philosophers of science have tended to be descriptive or to study technical problems, and thus avoid important problems of science and society. In this regard, my sympathies are with social epistemologists such as Steve Fuller. Although I have not yet written a paper on this problem, I gave a talk in 2005 at Philosophy of Science Society, Japan, referring to George Reisch’s and Philip Mirowski’s works on philosophy of science during the Cold War.


My second AOS, philosophy of the social sciences, is my main research interest during and after studying in Canada. In my Ph.D. dissertation, I examined the rationality problem in the philosophy of the social sciences. The rationality problem has been one of the topical problems in the field. The problem is how social scientists can/should describe and explain other cultures or their aspects under concepts of rationality. I scrutinized the views of five interpretive philosophers and anthropologists―Peter Winch, Charles Taylor, Clifford Geertz, Marshall Sahlins, and Gananath Obeyesekere―and argued that none of them provide a cogent solution to the rationality problem. Parts of my research were published in Karl Popper: A Centenary Assessment (Ashgate, 2006) and Philosophy of the Social Sciences (Vol. 37, No. 3, September 2007).

KPCA.jpg PoSS.jpg

My third AOS is philosophy of neuroeconomics and neuroethics. I started studying them after coming to UTCP. In the mid-term education program “Brain Sciences and Ethics” which I belong to, people work on ethical problems of the brain sciences from different perspectives. My own work is to philosophically examine the neuroeconomics of cooperative behavior. It is closely related to philosophy of the social sciences, my second AOS. In fact, at 11th annual philosophy of social science roundtable held in March, I talked about what philosophy of the social sciences can learn from the neuroeconomics of cooperative behavior. I am now polishing my manuscript to publish it in an international journal. As to neuroethics, I scrutinized the relation between cognitive enhancement and fairness and published a paper "Cognitive enhancement and fairness."

I have thus far explained my research interests. It seems to me that science and society are the center of my research. Some might think that I am talking about sociology of science or STS. But I am interested in how we can philosophically talk about science and society and how philosophy itself is related to society. With these points in mind, I shall be doing my work here.

(Written by Kei Yoshida)

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