Towards Japanese Philosophy of Education: How to Decolonise the Curriculum

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Abstract: Philosophy has been predominantly Anglo-European regardless of its claim on universalism or humanism. Because of that, many disciplines in UK academia continue to suffer from a number of problems that originate from our legacy of colonialism and racisms. The field of education (including the philosophy of education) is not an exception to this general problem of pedagogical one-sidedness, or what W.E.B DuBois once called “the problem of the colour line.” This presentation will explore how the field of world philosophies emerged in response to this methodological and structural issue of eurocentrism in philosophy and how it has set out to tackle this burden of reductionist humanism through a plethora of intellectual resources available in world intellectual traditions. We will then delve into the works of Watsuji Tetsurō (1889–1960) as an exemplar of Japanese philosophy and investigate how his Japanese ethics, namely Rinrigaku 倫理学, diagnosed the problem of European philosophy (of education) and how we were to advance our own self-understanding in the context of post-war Japan. Lastly, we will apply what we have discover from our critical engagement with European and Japanese philosophies to our present condition. We will think about the future philosophy of education in Europe and question what it means for us to decolonize ourselves and our curriculum in Scotland/UK and beyond.
Period22 May 2024
Held atUniversity of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational