Watsuji’s Ethics of Technology in the Container Age

  • Thomas Taro LENNERFORSEmail author
Part of the Tetsugaku Companions to Japanese Philosophy book series (TCJP, volume 1)


This chapter describes Watsuji Tetsurō’s ethics of ningen – of human betweenness- explores how it forms the base of an ethics of technology, and analyses a contemporary technology – containerization – based on his ethics. Watsuji sees technology as part of the milieu. Technology is thus not autonomous, but represents betweenness. Technology can also affect betweenness, and promote it. In its analysis of a contemporary technology, the paper describes containerization as a way to efficiently transport goods, which bears the potential of promoting betweenness, but seen more metaphorically, containerization of people and thought put serious obstacles to realizing an ethics of ningen.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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