The 27th GJS Lecture was held

Title: Reconceptualizing “dignity” from the perspective of Watsuji Tetsurō
Speaker: John Maraldo (Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, University of North Florida)
Date and time: May 29, 2018 (Tue.), 4:00-6:00PM
Venue: First Meeting Room (3F), The Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
Language: English

GJS Lecture Report

On May 28, 2018, Professor John Maraldo from the University of North Florida gave a lecture entitled ‘Reconceptualizing dignity from the perspective of Watsuji Tetsurō’, which is based on his ongoing research project. He presented the research question as follows: What happens to dignity, when people are conceived as inherently relational? He claimed that the modern conception of dignity is ambiguous; whereas it is assumed to belong to individual persons, it essentially requires respect from others. Professor Maraldo, defining his approach as contrastive, rather than comparative, argued that Watsuji’s perspective can offer a way to better understand this contradiction and a re-conceptualization of dignity in response to and in terms of global context. He states that the re-conceptualization can be usefully done by understanding that dignity and respect are co-originating. At the same time, however, he pointed out a few problems in Watsuji’s thought that have to be clarified, such as hierarchy of communities. Many questions from the audience followed the intriguing talk, in which the relevance of Watsuji’s thought for contemporary globalized world was discussed in detail.

Pictures of GJS Lecture Series