Division of Department of Integrated Human Sciences Department of Ethics

We study ethics with the focus on various European philosophies and ideologies

Our department conducts systematic historical studies of various European philosophies and ideologies, especially of German and French ethical thought. Based on fundamental questions such as “What do we call ‘a human’?” or “How should humans live?”, our research explores the essence and the overall principles of human existence. At the same time it addresses environmental problems and life issues brought about by modern civilization and society, starting with the core themes and problems of life and death, natural order and freedom, the Self and the Other, culture and values, and so on. To this extent, it can be said that we conduct a profound study of humankind.
Proficiency in a foreign language (English, German, or French), and particularly reading skills are essential for research. It is not just a tool — studying a foreign language enhances your thinking abilities and expands your view of the world and life. Much of our research and related activities involve collaboration and exchange of students and teaching staff with the Department of Philosophy. Finally, both departments boast abundant collections of printed materials and sources, for example, collections of articles and specialized journals.

Message from Senior


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

Recommended book : Silence by Endō Shūsaku
Reason : Endō addresses a very grave topic – “the silence of God” – and yet, the book is very easy to read, and even people with little interest in religion or ideology should find it interesting. With the film adaptation released some time ago, the book is now an object of attention.

Highlights of the Faculty of Arts and Letters

I think that the Faculty of Arts and Letters stands apart from other faculties in that the disciplines studied here often revolve around unanswerable questions. Of course, this is one of its high points. Through discussions in the classroom you come to see those issues from multiple diverging perspectives and gain a better understanding of them. Now, applying this way of thinking in your regular life should give more flexibility to your mind and imagination. Your future job will probably have little to do with the subjects you study, but many things that you learn here should help you grow as a person. It is at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, I believe, that you are can gain important and interesting knowledge that will prove useful in the years to come.

To everyone aiming for the Faculty of Arts and Letters

As a university student you will get to know a great many people. You will find friends among fellow students, enter a club, come across foreign students on campus or overseas, and so on. Meeting people of completely different life views and cultures is very stimulating, and these experiences will help you see more opportunities in your future. If you read books on various subjects to accumulate some background knowledge, you will be able to cover more topics in conversation, and being good at socializing will greatly enrich your university life. It is a fact that many of those who join the Faculty of Arts and Letters read extensively for pleasure. Conversations also often revolve around new books, so, judging from my own experience, it better to read a lot.