Advertisement

Watsuji’s Ethics of Technology in the Container Age

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

Abstract

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.

References

  1. Arendt, Hannah. 1958. The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Berque, Augustin. 1994. “Milieu et logique du lieu chez Watsuji.” Revue Philosophique de Louvain 92.4: 495–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boltanski, Luc, and Eve Chiapello. 2005. The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. by Gregory Elliott. London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  4. Carter, Robert E. 2001. Encounter with Enlightenment: A Study of Japanese Ethics. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  5. Carter, Robert E. 2013. The Kyoto School: An Introduction. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Heidegger, Martin. 1962. Being and Time, trans. by John MacQuarrie, and Edward Robinson. London: SCM Press.
  7. Hornborg, Alf. 2001. The Power of the Machine: Global Inequalities of Economy, Technology, and Environment. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
  8. Klose, Alexander. 2015. The Container Principle: How a Box Changes the Way We Think. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Lam, Wing-keung. 2011. “The Making of “Japanese Philosophy”: Nishi Amane, Nakae Chōmin and Nishida Kitarō.” In Whither Japanese Philosophy? III Reflections through Other Eyes (UTCP Booklet 19), edited by Takahiro Nakajima. Tokyo: UCTP, 69–80.Google Scholar
  10. Latour, Bruno. 2005. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Lennerfors, Thomas T. 2015. “A Buddhist Future for Capitalism? Revising Buddhist Economics for the Era of Light Capitalism.” Futures 68 (Apr. 2015): 67–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Levinson, Marc. 2006. The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. McCarthy, Erin. 2010. Ethics Embodied: Rethinking Selfhood Through Continental, Japanese, and Feminist Philosophies. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  14. Nishida, Kitarō. 1990. An Inquiry into the Good, trans. by Masao Abe, and Christopher Ives. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Sahlins, Marshall. 2008. The Western Illusions of Human Nature. Chicago, IL: Prickly Paradigm Press.Google Scholar
  16. Said, Edward W. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  17. Schatzki, Theodore R., Karin K. Cetina, and Eike von Savigny, eds. 2000. The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Schumacher, Ernst F. 1973. Small is Beautiful – Economics as if People Mattered. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  19. Yuasa, Yasuo. 1987. The Body: Toward an Eastern Mind-Body Theory, edited by Thomas P. Kasulis, trans. by Nagatomo Shigenori and Thomas P. Kasulis. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  20. Watsuji, Tetsurō 和辻哲郎, 1961–63. Complete Works of Watsuji Tetsurō 和辻哲郎全集, 20 vols. Tokyo 東京: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店.Google Scholar
  21. Watsuji, Tetsurō. 1988. Climate and Culture: A Philosophical Study, trans. by Geoffrey Bownas. Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  22. Watsuji, Tetsurō. 1996. Watsuji Tetsuro’s Rinrigaku – Ethics in Japan, trans. by Yamamoto Seisaku and Robert E. Carter. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations