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Philosophy!! ★本日16日12時オープン!2018.08.16


Hello!
英会話イーオン日立校
カウンセラーのNobukoです♪
本日からスクールオープン!
皆様のご来校お待ちしております!
今回はSarah先生の専門分野
“哲学”についてですよ★


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Dear readers,

 
How are you? I hope you’re having a nice Obon period wherever you may be!
 
As Obon is a reflective, thoughtful season, I thought I’d take this time to write a little bit about one of my life’s passions: philosophy.
 
Some of you may know that while at university philosophy was my main area of study, and I’m often asked (by both English and Japanese people) why I chose this subject. It wasn’t an easy choice! At school, I loved a lot of subjects. For a long time I couldn’t choose from my favourites: history, literature, music, and philosophy. I was very close to applying to music universities to study classical singing. But I eventually resolved that music school would be too stressful, and that staking my career on my voice was risky. The reason I settled on philosophy was that, when I thought about it, philosophy is the oldest subject. Philosophy asks the most important questions in the world. Other subjects like literature and politics all depend on philosophy. Therefore, if I can change an idea in philosophy, I can change politics, literature, international relations, and all kind of other things by default!
 
Take teaching for example! Although this doesn’t really apply to the private sector, in public sector education what we learn depends on what the government has decided we should learn. What we should learn depends on our set of values as a society, and our view of what society should look like. This is determined by philosophers.
 
There are many famous philosophers who have been extremely influential when it comes to how we live. In Asia, there’s Confucius, for example. In Japan, the philosophy of Sen no Rikyu and Matsuo Basho had a great influence on the nation’s art and culture. In the UK, the philosophy of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill still have a lot of bearing on British law and politics. And that’s to name just a few!
 
My philosophy journey started when I was just a teenager. My interest began in secondary school at the age of around fourteen when I started to really think about the world around me, and what it means for something to be ‘good’ or ‘right’. I began reading philosophy classics like Plato’s Republic and Descartes’ Meditations. I enjoyed these very much, even though they were difficult to understand. Gradually, I learnt enough to have favourite philosophers. My favourite, right from the age of fifteen, has always been Nietzsche. I admire his amazing spirit, his perceptiveness about the nature of reality, and his romantic writing style. My second favourite is Sartre, from France. I even visited Sartre’s grave once in Paris!
 
At university, I learnt so much and my own philosophy developed and became more detailed. However, I realised that the study of philosophy at my university in the UK was missing something important. That ‘something’ was philosophy from Asia! In the UK we focused on Western philosophy and were never taught anything about philosophy from the Middle East, Africa or Asia. I began to think that this was terrible – I didn’t know anything about half the world’s thought! So I set about studying Asian philosophy as well. I came to a Japanese university and studied Chinese philosophy, kanbun, and some Japanese philosophy. After that I wrote my university paper on Buddhist ethics in a global context.
 
It’s my dream to really internationalise philosophy. I don’t want for people to only study Western or Eastern philosophy, depending on where they’re from or whatever way of thinking has prevailed in society. We shouldn’t discriminate by place or time when it comes to ideas, and everyone everywhere should be able to learn about schools of thought from around the world. Idea-sharing is so important for progress and development, as well as cross-cultural understanding.
 
So now you know a little bit about my interest in philosophy! If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to ask – I love talking about it! But I might talk a little too much. I’d also be happy to recommend some Nietzsche to you!
 
Have a great holiday and see you soon,
 
Sarah

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