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Global Focus on Knowledge 2006 / Formation of Society

Global Focus on Knowledge 2006 / Formation of Society

Modern society is facing complex issues such as globalization, informatization, and aging population with lowering birthrates. These issues must be solved for a peaceful, prosperous society in the future. Social sciences are the study of politics, economics, sociology, history, and other areas that aim at identifying complex social phenomena and developing knowledge to solve the issues. Today's advanced research has contributed to find and develop many theories on human action and psychological mechanisms in social contexts. The other side of such recent trends is that academic disciplines have been segmentalized, which makes it difficult for us to capture a whole picture of issues we are facing. How does each academic discipline perform research activities for actual social phenomena to be identified and relevant problems to be resolved? How does each academic field capture and interpret these social phenomena? How does it understand humanity in social contexts? What have been fundamental schemes and concepts on which the society has been built and formed? These questions are discussed in this lecture series focusing on the history of societal formation and symbiosis of human kind as well as the connection of advanced knowledge in academic fields and the actual society. This aims at preparing students for learning further advanced knowledge in a variety of academic areas. 1) On the Ecology of Power and Freedom by Takeshi Sasaki, Former President, the University of Tokyo Outline: An essential element to understand political trends is the understanding of what power is. The complex phenomena involving power and authority can be seen in a variety of forms. They are inextricably linked with the expression of human freedom. The birth of political authority is one condition, which we must pay close attention to. This class focuses on the fundamental characteristics of its nature and historical transition until through the modern ages. 2) The Study of The Asian World From an Economic Standpoint --History and Present Conditions? by Yonosuke Hara, Professor and Former Director of Institute of Oriental Culture, the University of Tokyo Outline: There are a great variety of ecologies in Asia. Trades between different areas have been actively performed from ancient era. In this lecture, the history and current situation of Asia are overviewed from the standpoint of merchandise trades so that students will investigate the formation of society and economy in various forms and the conditional elements of their symbiosis. 3) Considerations on Society as a Global System by Akihiko Tanaka, Professor and Director of Institute of Oriental Culture, the University of Tokyo Outline: Is the society formed through the interaction of people across national borders and ethnicities? What characteristics have been associated with such a large system? How do people coexist in the absence of government in a general sense? How is the world in the 21st century different from previous ages? How should we understand the current trend of East Asia? These issues will be discussed in this class by applying a variety of approaches available in humanities and social sciences. 4) Formation of Society and Social Science by Akira Morita, Professor and Senior Manager, Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo...


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