Division of Department of Integrated Human Sciences Department of Philosophy

“Love of wisdom” made scientific by logical thinking

The word “philosophy” derives from Greek philosophia, which means “the love of wisdom”. This love is as universal as love towards another person — anyone can feel it. In fact, such thinkers as Plato and Aristotle state that philosophy starts with a simple sense of surprise. But, of course, one cannot become a philosopher just by staying surprised. You must contemplate the very nature of things and use logic to disentangle the mysteries and puzzles you discover. In order to achieve this, you can only follow Socrates’ example and continue a rational discussion until the truth is revealed. Seen like that, philosophy resembles a marathon race in which anyone can participate, as long as they demonstrate intellectual curiosity and rational inquisitiveness.
Members of our department mostly focus on Western – in particular European – philosophy, and their current interests span a wide range of topics, including ancient and modern philosophy, the philosophy of science, environmental philosophy and ethics, and others. We hope from the bottom of our hearts that those of you who are insatiably curious and tenacious will join us in our race rather than watching from the sidelines.

Message from Senior


3rd grade, Humanities and Social Sciences
High school : Yamagata Prefectural Yamagata-Nishi

Recommended book : Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (trans. by Obi Fusa).
Reason : The novel focuses on the protagonist’s changing thoughts and feelings after an experimental surgery turns him into a genius. We closely follow his emotional ups and downs, his suspicions regarding other characters, and so on. This detailed account of a person’s inner life is fascinating in itself, but it also raises rather pertinent questions. That is why I consider this book worth reading.

Highlights of the Faculty of Arts and Letters

There are twenty five departments at the Faculty of Arts and Letters and it is possible to take courses outside one’s department. I think it is wonderful that students can gain broad knowledge in many fields and subjects. Moreover, it is interesting to discover common points and discrepancies between fields as you go. Philosophy is my major, and I like to contemplate various philosophical problems. It is very entertaining to grapple with some philosophical question, trying to figure out how to address it in a logical and consistent manner and how to dodge and avoid counterarguments.

To everyone aiming for the Faculty of Arts and Letters

Unlike high school, at university you can choose what courses to take and focus on them, so you get a chance to delve deep into the subject you are interested in. This is one of the appeals of university education. Some of you might still be unsure about your future major. But even if you do not have a concrete plan, setting your mind on specific subjects will make your university years more productive and become a good motivation during entrance exams. It thus might be better for you to read around, until you find some promising area of study.