Kokoro Initiative News

2020

Prof. Stefano Carta Presents at the First Workshop for the 2020 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative

The first workshop for the 2020 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative was held at the Inamori Center on January 8th, 2020. The theme for this year’s Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which will take place on October 25th 2020, is “Kokoro in Critical Situations”. Prof. Stefano Carta (Visiting Professor, Kyoto University; Associate Professor, Cagliari University, Italy) presented a paper entitled “Relationship, Consciousness and Individuation: Coming into Existence as a Limit-Experience”.

In the presentation, Prof. Carta surveyed various concepts of “limit” from a wide range of fields in order to illuminate the essential significance of limit, and the experience thereof, for a being to come into existence. He propounded the idea of “transgressive” limit-experience – thereby to propose the interpenetrating and interchangeable relationship between the patient and the analyst in psychotherapy. A case of an adolescent cancer patient was also discussed as an example to demonstrate the positive impact of trauma as an intense experience of limit.

In the discussion that followed, the issues raised included: various cases of traumatized patients and the progress of their psychotherapy; the collectivity of limit experience; the concept of death as the ultimate limit and the related cultural differences in how death is understood; and the terminological distinction between limit and boundary.

(Reported by Mori Nakatani, Program-Specific Research Fellow)

Report on the Fourth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium, “Kokoro and Artificial Mind”

The Fourth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium, “Kokoro and Artificial Mind” was held at the Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall on October 14th, 2019.  The Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which was launched in 2015 and is sponsored by the Inamori Foundation, has held four symposia: “Kokoro and History” (the first), “In and Out of Kokoro” (the second), “Kokoro and Symbiosis” (the first international symposium) and “Kokoro and Ways of Life: What is the Self?” (the third).

 

The theme of the fourth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium was “Kokoro and Artificial Mind.”

The past four themes generally intended to capture kokoro within the framework of the humanities and social sciences. On the other hand, this symposium reexamined kokoro in the progress of natural science and technology. Three researchers, who have contributed to the understanding and development of artificial intelligence or deep learning, compared artificial intelligence with human minds and attempted to examine the relationship between human beings and technology in the future, from varying perspectives.

After an opening address from Prof. Toshio Kawai (Director, KRC, Kyoto University), three lectures began.

First, Prof. Toru Nishigaki (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo) gave a lecture entitled “The Future of Kokoro in the AI Era.” Considering the question, “Can a machine have a kokoro?,” he argued the polysemic and multifaceted nature of mind that human beings and other living things have, focusing particularly on the ethical issues.

According to Prof. Nishigaki, living things are unpredictable and autonomous because they have a self-creating system that creates a world of meaning by themselves. On the other hand, the autonomy that AI robots appear to have acquired is only a pseudo-result of their complexity.

He suggested that AI robots, unlike human beings who have biological autonomy, cannot be responsible for their own decisions. He gave three examples in support of his argument: autonomous driving, a surveillance-screening society, and the creation of artistic work by AI. Based on these examples, he expressed his view that when applying artificial intelligence to the actual world, it is necessary to recognize its limitations and risks, and to consider and utilize its future potential.

Next, Prof. Tetsuya Ogata (Professor, Waseda University, Joint Appointed Fellows, Artificial Intelligence Research Center) gave a lecture entitled “Deep Learning and Kinesthetic Learning from the Viewpoint of Cognitive Development Robotics.”

In the lecture, he first explained the mechanism of deep learning, an inductive artificial intelligence that learns large amounts of data, as opposed to conventional deductive artificial intelligence. He also showed examples of deep learning robots, such as robots that can fold towels, plate salads and measure liquids, etc. What makes these robots unique is that through deep learning of vast amounts of data, they can cope with situations that they have not actually learned. However, Prof. Ogata pointed out that deep learning is a black box in which the mechanisms enabling these functions can be understood only retrospectively. He also expressed the view that in future development, it is necessary to utilize deep learning with an understanding that it is a technology which contains unpredictability.

In the third lecture, Prof. Makoto Nagao (Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University) gave a lecture entitled “Building a Model of Kokoro.” He proposed a model of the human brain that is divided into three categories: intellectual function, mental function, and spiritual function. Based on this model, he examined the question of whether a machine can have a human mind. According to Prof. Nagao, the mental function is complex and therefore the most difficult for programming, because it has diverse functions such as mental processes, sensitivity, feeling and emotion. After exploring the interrelationships between the different functions and ways to program consciousness, he expressed his view that it would be possible to program a mind on a computer to some extent. Today’s development of technologies including deep learning enables programs to collect a large number of case data that show reactions associated with states of human mind, which can then be compiled into a database. He also suggested that if we could gather all the information about human intelligence or mental function etc., and infer all the possibilities that could      happen or exist, we would thus have to rethink concepts such as “free will,” as they have been thought to define human beings.

After the three lectures, Prof. Hiroshi Yoshioka (Professor, KRC) and Prof. Kawai participated in general discussion with the three lecturers.  During the discussion, various opinions were expressed on the theme of “Kokoro and Artificial Mind.” In particular, there was a lively discussion about the possibility of artistic creation using artificial intelligence. They expressed their own views on the various conditions that would allow artificial intelligence to be used in artistic creation, for example, the challenge of creating metaphors with artificial intelligence, or a machine’s substitutability for human perspectives which evaluate artistic works.

In the end, Prof. Nagahiro Minato (Provost and Executive Vice President, Kyoto University) gave      closing remarks. Specialized in medicine, he first explained how a new epidemiology was born in the history of medicine, based on the accumulation of facts rather than on the argumentation of “logic.”  According to Prof. Minato, in the medical field, deep learning that makes decisions based on data collection and the use of big data are widespread today. Thus, there is a serious need to address the question “How can we get along well with AI?”

Prof. Yoshinori Hiroi (Professor, KRC) served as the moderator of the day and there were 260 participants.

The videos of lectures and discussion will be released on the web in the near future (Japanese version only).

(Reported by Mori Nakatani, Program-Specific Research Fellow)

Venue


Toshio Kawai (Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)


Prof. Toru Nishigaki (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo)


Prof. Tetsuya Ogata (Professor, Waseda University)


Prof. Makoto Nagao (Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University)


General Discussion


Hiroshi Yoshioka (Program-Specific Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)


Yoshinori Hiroi (Vice Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)


Nagahiro Minato (Provost, Kyoto University)

 

[Flyer]

[DATA]
Date and Times: October 14, 2019 (Monday, national holiday) 13:30 – 17:40 (Registration begins at 13:00.)
Venue: Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall

[Program]
13:30 – 13:40 Opening remarks Toshio Kawai (Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
13:40 – 14:30 Lecture 1 “The Future of Kokoro in the AI Era” Toru Nishigaki (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo)
14:30 – 15:20 Lecture 2 “Deep Learning and Kinesthetic Learning from the Viewpoint of Cognitive Development Robotics” Tetsuya Ogata (Professor, Waseda University, Joint Appointed Fellows, Artificial Intelligence Research Center)
15:20 – 15:40 Break
15:40 – 16:30 Lecture 3 “Building a Model of Kokoro.” Makoto Nagao (Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University)
16:30 – 17:30 General Discussion Toru Nishigaki, Tetsuya Ogata, Makoto Nagao, Toshio Kawai, Hiroshi Yoshioka
17:30 – 17:40 Closing remarks Nagahiro Minato (Provost, Kyoto University)

Hosted by Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Sponsored by The Inamori Foundation

Prof. Toru Nishigaki Presents at the Sixth Workshop for the 2019 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative

The sixth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on September 24th, 2019. The theme for this year’s Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which took place on the 14th of October, was “Kokoro and Artificial Mind.” Prof. Toru Nishigaki (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo) presented a paper entitled “The Future of Kokoro in the AI Era.”

He first examined the concept of “autonomy,” which regulates organisms, by posing the question of whether or not autonomy can be recognized in machines, such as artificial intelligence.

With invoking ideas like autopoiesis, he described that it would be difficult for AI to understand meaning, while organisms continue to create a world of meaning.

In conclusion, Prof. Nishigaki pointed out that it would be difficult to say that AI is autonomous, and that it would be important to identify where the responsibility lies when we apply AI.

In the discussion, opinions were actively exchanged on the relationship between social constraints and autonomy in the process of moral development, the difference between human beings and artificial intelligence, and the changes in labour brought about by the development of artificial intelligence.

(Reported by Mori Nakatani, Program-Specific Research Fellow)

Prof. Tetsuya Ogata Presents at the Fifth Workshop for the 2019 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative

The fifth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on August 6th, 2019. The theme for this year’s Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which took place on October 14th, 2019, was “Kokoro and Artificial Mind.” Prof. Ogata (Professor, Waseda University; Joint Appointed Fellows, Artificial Intelligence Research Center) gave a lecture entitled “Deep Learning and Kinesthetic Learning from the Viewpoint of Cognitive Development Robotics.”

He first described the technology of deep learning, an inductive artificial intelligence that has made remarkable progress in recent years, as opposed to traditional deductive artificial intelligence. After introducing several examples of robots using this deep learning technology, it was shown that the central issue of robot research, as mentioned above, is how to constructively understand and reproduce the mechanisms in which cognitive processes appear in physical behaviour. As an example, the results of an experiment that examined the physical behaviour of robots based on the comparison of two cognitive processes, top-down and bottom-up, were reported.

During the discussion, technical questions were posed about the robot technology and deep learning that Prof. Ogata introduced.  Furthermore, opinions on how to motivate robots,      self-preservation, and the possibility of using robots to study the characteristics of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were actively exchanged.

(Reported by Mori Nakatani, Program-Specific Research Fellow)

2019

A Video of the Third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium, “Kokoro and Ways of Life: What is the Self?”, is Released

A video of the third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium has been released. The symposium, entitled “Kokoro and Ways of Life: What is the Self?” was held at the Kyoto University International Science Innovation Building on November 18, 2018. 

 

 

 

The theme of this year was “Kokoro and Ways of Life: What is the Self?”, and focused on the inner nature and uniqueness of kokoro. The lecturers discussed kokoro’s connection to society and groups, and included discussions of findings from natural science.

 

Click the link below to view the video, which is also on YouTube (only in Japanese).

Videos of the third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium, Kokoro and Ways of Life: What is the Self?”

http://kokoro.kyoto-u.ac.jp/20181118_kokorosympo/

Dr. Nakayama Presents at the Fourth Workshop for the 2019 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative

The fourth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on June 12th, 2019. The theme for this year’s Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which will take place on the 14th of October, is “Kokoro and the Artificial Mind” (tentative title). Dr. Masataka Nakayama (Assistant Professor, Kokoro Research Center) presented a paper entitled, “Future Views of Kokoro in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Human as Machine and Machine as Human”.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Nakayama first introduced the concept of “connectionism”, which conceptualizes humans as machines and underlies the current efforts to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Simulations conducted by him and his collaborator show that neural networks designed to implement biological characteristics of the hippocampal system can learn to implement complex functions that simulate data from behavioral and neuroimaging studies. Dr. Nakayama then proposed that while the conception of humans as machines is essential for specialists in human and machine intelligence, the conception of machine as human is also important for the public to understand and interact with AI. He presented some recent research supporting the possibility of human-like AI that would seem to have a mind, i.e., kokoro.

During the discussion that followed, the speaker and the audience debated the definition of AI, questioning the possibility of its revision, and the distinction between AI and human knowledge. They also discussed the need for human-likeness in developing AI.

 

Prof. Kamitani Presents at the Third Workshop for the 2019 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative

The third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on May 14th, 2019. The theme for this year’s Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which will take place on the 14th of October, is “Kokoro and the Artificial Mind” (tentative title). Prof. Yukiyasu Kamitani from Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Informatics presented a paper entitled, “Generating Images from a Brain”.

 

 

              Prof. Kamitani first described the newest technology which, by analysing fMRI images, predicts what appears visually in subjects’ brains, such as the pictures they see, images they imagine, and also their dreams. He then explained how the technology reconstructs deep images that appear in brain activities by converting the brain images into neural network signals and simulating the cognitive processes on a computer. Prof. Kamitani presented some of works created by renowned contemporary artists using the technologies that he and his team developed. He concluded by suggesting that in the future, art and communication may no longer require environmental or physical interventions.

               During the discussion that followed, the participants engaged in an extensive discussion regarding the varying characteristics of brain activity, including that of artists, children, and the patients with mental illnesses.

Media Artist Masaki Fujihata Presents at the Second Workshop for the 2019 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative

The second Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on April 3rd, 2019. The theme for this year’s Kokoro Initiative, which will take place on the 14th of October, is “Kokoro and the Artificial Mind” (tentative title). At the workshop, Masaki Fujihata, a renowned Japanese media artist, presented a paper entitled, “Media Art as Prosthesis”.

 

 

 

   Mr. Fujihata observed that the importance of technology, or art, is often overlooked when considering the question of what constitutes humans. He proposed that we reconsider technology as a “prosthesis” that is essentially inseparable from humans. Using the examples of perspective and photography, Mr. Fujihata demonstrated how the ways in which we see objects have adapted to technological inventions. He pointed out that today the history of visual art struggles to attend to the new forms of “image” produced by recent technology. Later in the talk, Mr. Fujihata presented some of his recent works to demonstrate the modes of “image” in actual media art.

    During the discussion that followed, some participants suggested that people’s discourses about dreams vary according to the technology they frequently use, such as color television and religious beliefs. The audience and the speaker then discussed the relationship between technology and human cognitive abilities.

 (Reported by: Mori Nakatani, Research Assistant)

Prof. Yoshioka Presents at the First Workshop for the 2019 Kyoto kokoro Initiative

The first Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on March 13, 2019. The theme of this year’s symposium, which will take place on the 14th of October, is “Kokoro and the Artificial Mind”(tentative title). Prof. Yoshioka from the Kokoro Research Center presented a paper entitled, “The mind, ‘artificial’ or ‘artistic’? The Eccentric Relationship between Kokoro and Art”.

Prof.Yoshioka


Discussion


Prof. Yoshioka reviewed the Kantian concepts of “nature” and “art” to propose that “the natural” and “the artificial” interpenetrate, rather than oppose, each other. Using examples from Japanese contemporary art, he compared the Japanese cultural climate, in which the natural and the artificial conspicuously permeate each other, with that of the West. In Western culture, the term “artistic” conveys a positive value, whereas the term “artificial” has historically connoted people’s fear and anxiety about man-made objects, as epitomized by the iconic image of Frankenstein. Subsequently, Prof. Yoshioka posed the question of whether or not artificial intelligence can overcome humans. He asserted that human beings are themselves already a form of artificial intelligence, in the sense that the most human activities in the rational and perceptible realms, including art, are forms of artificial intelligence. Prof. Yoshioka concluded, however, that the above question itself becomes nonsensical if we consider the human “artistic mind” as that which reacts to imperceptible non-existence. During the discussion that followed, some participants raised questions regarding where the difference between the human “artistic mind” and today’s growing Deep Learning technology (in particular, Deep Dream) lies. Later, the audience and the speaker discussed various instances of Japanese culture—ranging from plastic surgery, to iPS cells, to traditional puppet theatre, to the peculiar definition of a maestro as “unskilled”—that seem to encapsulate the complementary relationship between art and nature, further exploring the differences between Japan and other cultures. (Reported by: Mori Nakatani, Research Assistant)

2018

Report on the Third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium, “Kokoro and Ways of Life: What is the Self?”

The Third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium, “Kokoro and Ways of Life: What is the Self?” was held at the Kyoto University International Science Innovation Building on November 18, 2018.  The Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which was launched in 2015 and is sponsored by the Inamori Foundation, has held three symposia: “Kokoro and History” (the first), “In and Out of Kokoro” (the second), “Kokoro and Symbiosis” (an international symposium).

Whereas previous years’ symposia focused on the expansiveness of kokoro, this year’s symposium focused on the inner nature  and uniqueness of kokoro. The lecturers discussed kokoro’s connection to society and groups, and included discussions of findings from the natural science.

Three lectures followed Prof. Toshio Kawai’s opening remarks.

Prof. Miho Murayama (Director, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University) gave the first lecture entitled, “Molecular Bases of the Mind for Living in Society”. Variables such as the environment and genes affect on animal behaviors and personalities.  She introduced her comparative research, which uses genetic analysis to compare species and individuals.  During the lecture, Prof. Murayama discussed her findings regarding how genes relate to animals’ various personality traits and behaviors such as  sensitivity, degree of curiosity, aggressiveness and contentment.  She suggested The possible new milestones for genes to help us understand animal social behavior.  She proposed that investigating the relationship between individual behaviors and genes may benefit animal breeding and raising management, by helping in the selection and training of drug detection dogs.

Assoc. Prof. Yukiko Uchida (Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University) gave a lecture entitled “The ways of life and the self in Japanese society: An examination of biological and psychological data of Japanese company employees”.  She discussed how “cooperativeness” and “independence” comprise self awareness in Japan and how they influence one’s health and happiness.  According to surveys of Japanese businesses, the comparative community research findings showed that “independence” helped increase the subjective sense of wellbeing, and thus non-conforming decision-making and fair competition were important. On the other hand, “cooperativeness” affected health, thus “cooperativeness” has a certain meaning in the Japanese society as an infrastructure.

Prof. Yasuo Deguchi (Kyoto University Graduate School of Letters) gave the final lecture entitled, “the Self as We and its implications for our ways of life”.  He proposed that holistic self that is found in East Asia is “the Self as We” as opposed to the individualistic self of modern Western modern society.  In “the Self as We”, a social system as a whole is considered “Self” in which “I” is part of the “Self as We”.  Moving toward “the Self as We” can change our ethical responsibilities and the isolation that “I” hold, and can also revise social systems and diversify our ways of living.

In the general discussion, moderated by Prof. Kawai, the meaning of cooperative behaviors by humans and animals, relationships between oneself one’s body and ways of Japanese communal society were discussed beyond the participants’ areas of expertise.

In his closing remarks, the Provost Nagahiro Minato (Executive Vice President, Kyoto University) discussed the self and physicality from the perspective of immunology, which is his area of expertise.  He proposed that it is important to recall the previous symposia and to plan a future for Humanities at Kyoto University.  Prof. Hiroshi Yoshioka moderated the symposium and two hundred people were in attendance.

Prof. Toshio Kawai, Center Director

Prof. Miho Murayama, Director, Wildlife Research Center

Assoc. Prof. Yukiko Uchida

Prof. Yasuo Deguchi

The Symposium

Prof. Hiroshi Yoshioka

The General Discussion

Provost Nagahiro Minato

Event Information

Date and Times: November 18, 2018 (Sun.) 13:30 – 17:40 (Reception begins at 13:00.)
Venue: Symposium Hall, the 5th floor of International Science Innovation Building, Kyoto University
Seats: 270
Fee: Free
Application: Please apply via e-mail or fax by November 11, 2018 (Sun), with the subject line “Application for the third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium.” In the email, please provide the following information:
1. Your name
2. Your occupation (or affiliation)
3. Your e-mail address

Program:

13:30 – 13:40 Opening remarks
Toshio Kawai (Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
13:40 – 14:30 Lecture 1
“Molecular Bases of the Mind for Living in Society”
Miho Murayama (Director, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University)
14:30 – 15:20 Lecture 2
“The Ways of Life and the Self in Japanese Society: An Examination of Biological/Psychological Data from Japanese Company Employees”
Yukiko Uchida (Associate Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
15:20 – 15:40 Break
15:40 – 16:30 Lecture 3
“The Self as We and Its Implications for Our Ways of Life”
Yasuo Deguchi (Professor, Kyoto University Graduate School of Letters)
16:30 – 17:30 General Discussion
Miho Murayama, Yukiko Uchida, Yasuo Deguchi, Toshio Kawai
17:30 – 17:40 Closing remarks
Nagahiro Minato (Provost and Executive Vice President, Kyoto University)

Hosted by Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Sponsored by The Inamori Foundation

A Korean Translation of Where Did "Kokoro" Come From? Where Will It Go? Published

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A Korean translation of Where Did “Kokoro” Come From? Where Will It Go? (Iwanami Shoten Publisher, 2016), which was based on the first Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium ‘Kokoro and History’, was published in June 2018.

This marks the first published translation of the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative. The book includes lectures given by Prof. Toshio Kawai, Prof. Shinichi Nakazawa (Director, Institut pour la Science Sauvage, Meiji University), Prof. Yoshinori Hiroi (Chiba University, as of 2015), Prof. Shinsuke Shimojo (Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology) and Prof. Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University), as well as transcripts of the discussion sessions.

Prof. Ogura Gives a Presentation at the Fourth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop

The fourth Kyoto Kokoro Initiative workshop was held at the Inamori Center on June 20th, 2018. In line with the theme of the 2018 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, “Kokoro and Ways of Life”, Prof. Kizo Ogura (Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University) gave a presentation entitled, “Living Animism in Friedrich Nietzsche’s Way”.

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  Prof. Ogura                   At the workshop

In his presentation, Prof. Ogura discussed Nietzsche’s thought; he renounced logic and causality, and asserted that the individual is a “struggling polymorphism because of his/her will to power”. Prof. Ogura thinks Nietzsche’s thought is related to the concept of “animism”. Such “animism” is not that in which everything has life, as is ordinarily understood. Rather, it is the thought in which the life accidentally appears in-between during the process of conflict. According to Prof. Ogura, the “benevolence” that Confucius valued was originally such a thing.
Further, based on the idea that we are a bundle of perceptions made up of conflicts between numerous others and things, Prof. Ogura thinks that to live a life as something born accidentally between in the process of conflict would be to live in “animistic” way, in other words, to live in the way that Nietzsche was seeking.
During the discussion, various opinions were actively exchanged between Prof. Ogura and the participants on the following points; the contrast between the idea of “a life which accidentally occurs between” by the process of conflict and the psychotherapy that expects an emergence of image as the Third by doing nothing, and the relation between such situation at the time that the world was depicted in causality after Darwinism became influential and Nietzsche’s ideas.
The following topics were also raised in the discussion; the misunderstanding that often happens in regard to philosophers and thinkers who are well-known for their aphorisms, such as Nietzsche and Confucius, and Nietzsche’s attractive style of writing.
Regarding questions concerning the self, various opinions were exchanged. Based on this discussion, Prof. Ogura proposed that since various subjects’ will to power are related to the self, to live with openness to multiplicity and historicity of the conflicts between them would lead to be better in life.

(Report by Kotaro Umemura, Research Fellow)

A Video of the First Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium, entitled "Kokoro and Symbiosis", Released for Viewing

1st international symposium kyoto kokoro initiative.jpgThe video of the first Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium has been released. The symposium, entitled “Kokoro and Symbiosis” was held at the Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall on September 18, 2017.

The video includes opening remarks by Prof. Sakiko Yoshikawa (The first Director, KRC, Kyoto University), lectures by Prof. Yoshinori Hiroi and other guest speakers, a discussion moderated by Prof. Toshio Kawai, and closing remarks by Prof. Nagahiro Minato (Executive Vice-President, Kyoto University).

Click the link below to view the video, and also on YouTube

The videos of The first Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium, entitled “Kokoro and Symbiosis”

Prof. Deguchi Presents at the Third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop

The third Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on May 9th, 2018. In line with the theme of this year’s Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium “Kokoro and A Way of Life”, Professor Yasuo Deguchi (Kyoto University Graduate School of Letters) gave a presentation entitled, “Self and A Way of Life”: A Perspective on the Last Years of Nishida’s Philosophy”

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Prof. Yasuo Deguchi             At the workshop

During his presentation, Prof. Deguchi explained that Nishida’s philosophy is one in which the Kyoto School never ceased to question what the true self is.
Especially during the later years of his life, Kitaro Nishida gained an intuitive understanding of the “true self”, and discussed the relationship of the three elements of the true self as one of “a contradictory self-identity”. Prof. Deguchi re-constructed this concept of “contradictory self-identity”- which had not been sufficiently clarified due to a misunderstanding of Nishida’s concept of self as a “holistic self” – using non-classical logic.
Additionally, he suggested that Nishida’s philosophy has contemporary value in that it makes the ecological self-concept in environmental philosophy more sophisticated.
During the discussion session, an opinion was expressed that the very mechanisms that created changes and wealth in psychotherapy (e.g., sand play therapy) helped clarify the Self which gave birth to Nishida’s “contradictory self-identity”
Further, understandings of life and death and hierarchy of life in Nishida’s philosophy were discussed, as were the logic of Totemism in Anthropology, cultural differences of self-identity in Cultural Psychology, discussions about the suppression of self-interest in Cognitive Psychology and how all these are related to the Nishida’s ideas.

(Reported by:Kotaro Umemura Program-Specific Research Fellow)

Dr. Kumagai Presents at the Second Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop

The second Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop was held at the Inamori Center on March 14th, 2018. Dr. Seiji Kumagai from the Kokoro Research Center gave a presentation entitled, “Buddhist Re-Interpretation of Kokoro and a Way of Life”.

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 Dr. Seiji Kumagai               At workshop

During the introduction, Dr. Kumagai reviewed the Buddhist scripture of each sect and discussed how “kokoro” was perceived in Buddhist philosophy. Taking the example of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH), he discussed what it means to live a happy life from the point of view of Buddhist Ethics. In modern times, in which “a society without a choice to decide how to live” has transformed into “a society with too many choices to decide how to live”, he proposed that a way of life drawn from Buddhism can serve as a guide to people.
The discussion pointed out differences and similarities between Buddhism and scholastic philosophy and differences in epistemology between the East and West based on when landscape painting emerged in history.
Ideas about kokoro and ways of life differ within Buddhism. For example, more traditional Buddhist philosophy sees kokoro and ways of life differently than Buddhist philosophies later appeared, such as Shinran’s and Kegon. The difference may be geographical and specific to the historical period.
Perspectives on kokoro are closely associated with the background of the period and how people lived. The paradoxical relationships between freedom and a lack of freedom within a way of life was also discussed.

(Reported by:Kotaro Umemura Program-Specific Research Fellow)

2017

Report on the First Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium: "Kokoro and Symbiosis"

170901kokoroinitiative.png The first Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium, entitled “Kokoro and Symbiosis”, was held at the Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall on September 18, 2017. The Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, which is sponsored by the Inamori Foundation was launched in 2015. Continuing from the previous two national symposiums, this was the third annual symposium (and the first international symposium) on kokoro that has been held. Nearly 300 people from Japan and overseas were in attendance.
The Kokoro Research Center’s Director, Prof. Sakiko Yoshikawa gave the opening remarks, which was followed by Prof. Shihui Han’s (Peking University) lecture about his research on the neural processes of empathy for pain. He discussed whether empathic neural responses of the pain matrix are modulated by racial in-group/out-group relationships, and how this can be influenced by education and experience.
Prof. Joseph Cambray (Pacifica Graduate Institute) discussed psychological symbiosis with regards to the acausal logic of “synchronicity”, which can be understood through the lens of complexity theory in modern science. Prof. Tesshu Shaku (Soai University) spoke about the symbiosis of religious beliefs and advocated “following one’s own path of faith on one hand, and nurturing attitudes of inexhaustible inter-religious dialogue on the other hand”.
Prof. Yoshinori Hiroi lectured on “Sustainable Society, Sustainable Mind” with an emphasis on global ethics in an era of the “steady state”. Prof. Toshio Kawai moderated the discussions among the participating lecturers. Kyoto University’s Executive Vice-President, Nagahiro Minato gave the closing remarks, in which he expressed his great expectations for the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative and Kyoto University’s research in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Yukiko Uchida moderated the symposium.
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2016

The Second Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium "In and Out of Kokoro" was Held on Oct. 10, 2016

The Second Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium entitled “In and Out of Kokoro” was held in Kyoto University Shiran Kaikan, Inamori Hall, on October 10, 2016, where more than 200 participants attended. The theme of the second symposium was set based on the discussion in the symposium in last year entitled “Kokoro and History”.
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First, Sakiko Yoshikawa (Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University) introduced the background of the launch of the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative and the efforts in the last 10 years, and mentioned the future prospects; the center would discuss kokoro not only from a scientific point of view but also from various angles, for example, society, nature, culture, in order to deepen our awareness about kokoro.

Next, Toshio Kawai (Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University) reported four Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshops held under the same theme “In and Out of Kokoro” in 2016.

The First Workshop: Takashi Ikegami (Complex systems, Artificial life) “Artificial Mind and Reality Brain: Self-Organization, Algorithm, and Massive Data Flow”
The Second Workshop: Harald Atmanspacher (Theoretical physics) “The Status of the Mind in Dual-Aspect Monism”
The Third Workshop: Shinichi Nakazawa (Anthropology) “About the Dharmic World of the Mutual Interpenetration of Principle and Phenomena”
The Fourth Workshop: Yasuhiro Tanaka (Clinical Psychology) “Japanese Landscape and the Subject – On the Old and New State of Consciousness”

Thus, four workshops widely crossed over the fields. Seeing them in terms of the theme “In and Out of Kokoro,” common points of this discussion seemed to be found. Namely, the moment when we feel kokoro as real would exist in a crack or a split appeared in between the opposites, as shown in the keywords “messiness,” “collapse and recovery of totality,” “accident,” “gap between perception and consciousness,” “union of subject and object,” “identity of depth and spread” and so on.

Following the report of the workshops, Norio Akasaka (Professor, Faculty of Letters, Gakushuin University) gave a lecture entitled “From Nomadic Life to Sedentary Life: Did Changes of Kokoro Happen Then?” From the viewpoint of his specialized field, folklore studies, he showed the existence of “the society in which one cannot escape” in the background of avoidance of “escape” that we unconsciously have. Such society was brought by the drastic reform “from nomadic life to sedentary life” occurred 10,000 years ago as a survival strategy. Then, he proposed a necessity to design a new “society in which one can escape,” where both separation and gathering are allowed.

After the break, Takashi Ikegami (Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo) and Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University) participated in the discussion with Akasaka and Kawai. Their exchange of opinions in regard to escape and freedom, and to grasping kokoro from the temporal perspective going back to prehistoric times was very exciting.

In the end, Prof. Nagahiro Minato (Executive Vice-President, Kyoto University) gave the closing remarks. He said that Kyoto University expected the discussion on kokoro in the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative would be able to bring out the disseminating power that can influence on peoples’ way of behavior and the mode of society. The second symposium became a place for active exchange of opinions. Associate Professor Yukiko Uchida served as the moderator of the day.
The videos of report of workshops, lecture and speeches are released on web (Japanese version only)

<Reported by Kotaro Umemura

[Photos from the Symposium ]
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Prof. Norio Akasaka / Prof. Sakiko Yoshikawa (First Center Director)
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Prof. Toshio Kawai / Prof. Takashi Ikegami
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Prof. Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University) / General Discussion
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Prof. Nagahiro Minato (Executive Vice-President, Kyoto University) / Dr. Yukiko Uchida

[Event Poster]
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[Data]
Date and times: October 10, 2016 (Mon. & National Holiday) 13:30 – 17:20
Venue: Kyoto University Shiran Kaikan, Inamori Hall
Program:
13:30 – 13:40 Opening remarks
Sakiko Yoshikawa (Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
13:40 – 14:40 Four Reports of Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshops: “In and Out of Kokoro”
Toshio Kawai (Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
14:40 – 15:50 Lecture “From Nomadic Life to Sedentary Life: Did Changes of Kokoro
Happen Then?”
Norio Akasaka (Professor, Faculty of Letters, Gakushuin University)
15:50 – 16:10 Break
16:40 – 17:40 General discussion
Norio Akasaka, Takashi Ikegami (Professor, The University of Tokyo, Komaba, Graduate
School of Arts and Sciences), Juichi Yamagiwa (President & Professor, Kyoto University),
Toshio Kawai
17:10 – 17:20 Closing remarks
Nagahiro Minato (Executive Vice-President, Kyoto University)
Moderator: Yukiko Uchida
Host: Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Support: The Inamori Foundation

2015

The First Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium "Kokoro and History" was held on Sep.13, 2015

The First Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium “Kokoro and History” was held at Kyoto Hotel Okura on September 13, 2015. As the first symposium of the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative that was launched in April, a focus was placed on the history of kokoro, five lecturers gave lectures in their respective fields of specializaition, and discussions were held. On the day, more than 400 participants attended.

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 First, Sakiko Yoshikawa (Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University) introduced the background of the launch of the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, and made the following remarks about its significance and undertakings: “I would like to clarify the richness and invaluableness of kokoro while creating relationships with large frameworks such as history, culture, nature, and the environment, and disseminate, both in Japan and throughout the world, the ideal form of a human society that cultivates abundant kokoro, as the “Kyoto Kokoro Initiative.”
 Next, Kazuo Inamori (President, The Inamori Foundation) gave encouraging remarks, saying, “The Inamori Foundation has continued to conduct various undertakings with the idea that stability will first be achieved in humans’ future when there is a balance between scientific developments and spiritual evolution. I hope that this project, which reconsiders the importance of people’s kokoro and disseminates to the world the practice and suggestions for the senses of ethics and morals that have been conveyed to Japanese people since long ago, will contribute significantly to humans’ spiritual evolution from now on.”
 Norifumi Ushio (Director, Scientific Research Institutes Division, Research Promotion Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) gave the following congratulatory remarks: “The Kokoro Research Center is promoting interdisciplinary research related to kokoro that surpasses academic fields, and is actively disseminating results to society as well. Beginning this initiative now, at a time when the true abundance of kokoro is being questioned, is wonderful in terms of timing. I pray for even further development.”
 After that, Shinichi Nakazawa (Chief and Professor, Institute for Primitive Science, Meiji University) gave a keynote lecture on the theme of “The Structure and History of Kokoro.” Professor Nakazawa said that, “Particularly now, it is necessary to bridge the gap between kokoro in natural science and kokoro in the humanities.” While comparing the kokoro that has been clarified by modern neuroscience and the kokoro that has been understood by the humanities, he expressed his expectations for the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative by saying that, “In the 21st century, integration of physical objects and kokoro will be an important element. From now on, the processes of the brain and the processes of kokoro will probably move towards each other and an even deeper understanding will become possible.”
 Next, Toshio Kawai (Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University) gave a lecture on the theme of “The Historical Internalization of Kokoro and Interface.” He compared Japanese people’s kokoro, which has been understood as an “open system that is connected to all including nature and other worlds,” and Western people’s kokoro, which is a “closed system that is shut in each individual” and that connects from Christianity’s prayer to psychoanalysis, and he discussed, from clinical psychology perspectives, the flow of changes toward a trend of understanding kokoro as an interface in which Internet society emerged.
 In the afternoon, Yoshinori Hiroi (Professor, Facaluty of Law, Politics and Economics, Chiba University) gave a lecture on the theme of “‘Kokoro‘ and Social Design in Post-Growth Era.” While casting light on cultural historical evidence and data, Professor Hiroi, who specializes in public policy and scientific philosophy, discussed how people’s kokoro and society should respond to the change in Japan from expansion and growth to maturation and stability and also presented a vision for the ideal state of kokoro and society in the post-growth period.
 After a break, Shinsuke Shimojo (Professor, Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, and Specially Appointed Professor, Kokoro Research Center) gave a lecture on the theme of “The Implicit Process and ‘Personal History’: Perception, Evolution, Social Brain.” Professor Shimojo said about the “personal history of kokoro” concept that developed from his own research that, “personal history is an accumulation of interactions between genetics and experiences, and between the environment and the brain; it is the consequence of personal histories coming together over various time scales. It is analogous to rings of a tree, showing its life history at a glance.” He also discussed the fact that reflecting carefully on the personal histories of oneself and others will lead to clues for searching for kokoro of the future.
 Lastly, Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University) gave a lecture on the theme of “The Origin of Kokoro: From Empathy to Ethics.” Dr. Yamagiwa, who specializes in primatology, brought attention to characteristics of humans, who have a unique system that is the opposite of other primates, in that they hide their sexual acts but eat publicly. Concerning the origins of the kokoro of people behind the complicated human society, he used various videos and data to show the results of research on primates such as gorillas, and he discussed the significance of comparative research for understanding kokoro.
 After that, a general discussion was conducted by the five lecturers, and Toji Kamata (Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University) said the following as summarizing comments: “This has been a productive time for the front runners of knowledge to consider kokoro from various angles.” In relation to Japanese people’s kokoro and animism, he introduced the lyrics of “Ringo no Uta (The Apple Song),” which was popular after World War II. He said that, “I have expectations for the development of future discussions at the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative concerning the possibilities that lie in Japan’s animism, which even found kokoro in apples.”
 To close the symposium, Nagahiro Minato (Executive Vice-President, Kyoto University) gave the following closing remarks: “Kyoto University has many, more than 20, laboratories and research centers, and of those the Kokoro Research Center is the smallest center, but it is conducting research on kokoro, which is the biggest thing. We expect that from now on the research surrounding kokoro will develop in a way that will lead to guideposts for individuals and society.”
 We plan to publish the content of the lectures that were given at this First Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium as a book. We also plan to hold the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium in 2016.
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[Poster about the symposium]
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(Japanese version only)
[Data]
Date and times: September 13, 2015 (Sun.) 9:30 – 18:00 (Reception begins at 9:00.)
Venue: Kyoto Hotel Okura, 3F, Suiun banquet hall (Access) (Kawaharamachi-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto)
Program:
9:30 – 9:50
Opening remarks          Sakiko Yoshikawa (Director, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
Greeting                       Kazuo Inamori (President, Inamori Foundation)
Congratulatory address  Norifumi Ushio (Director, Scientific Research Institutes Division, Research Promotion Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
9:50 – 11:00 Lecture 1
“The Sturucture and History of Kokoro
Shinichi Nakazawa (Chief and Professor, Institute for Primitive Science, Meiji University)
11:00 – 12:00 Lecture 2
“The Historical Internalization of Kokoro and Interface”
Toshio Kawai (Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
12:00 – 13:20 Break
13:20 – 14:20 Lecture 3
“‘Kokoro‘ and Social Design in the Post-Growth Era”
Yoshinori Hiroi (Professor, Faculty of Law, Politics and Economics, Chiba University)
14:20 – 15:20 Lecture 4
“The Implicit Process and ‘Personal History’: Perception, Evolution, Social Brain”
Shinsuke Shimojo (Professor, Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology)
15:20 – 15:40 Break
15:40 – 16:40 Lecture 5
“The Origin of Kokoro: From Empathy to Ethics”
Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University)
16:40 – 17:40 General discussion
Shinichi Nakazawa, Toshio Kawai, Yoshinori Hiroi, Shinsuke Shimojo, Juichi Yamagiwa
17:40 – 18:00
Summary               Toji Kamata (Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
Closing remarks      Nagahiro Minato (Executive Vice-President, Kyoto University)
Host: Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Support: The Inamori Foundation

The Kyoto Kokoro Initiative launched and a signing ceremony held on Apr.14, 2015

 On this occasion we received support from the Inamori Foundation and started the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative. For the launch of this initiative, on April 14, 2015 a signing ceremony and a press conference were held in the guest reception room of Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall.
 At the signing ceremony, Sakiko Yoshikawa (Director, Kokoro Research Center) explained the purpose of the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative, Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University) and Kazuo Inamori (President, the Inamori Foundation) gave addresses, and a written agreement on donations was signed. During a question and answer session with journalists, Professor Toshio Kawai answered questions from journalists about the specific plans for this initiative. The events of the day were reported on the news of local television station KBS Kyoto, and were also covered by various media outlets such as Mainichi Newspaper, Kyoto Shimbun, and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun.
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Below is the press release made by the Kokoro Research Center.

Kyoto Kokoro Initiative  
Kokoro Research Center  Toshio Kawai (Clinical Psychology)

1) Purpose of the project
Advances in science and technology, the emergence of a large economic zone by globalization, and recent global environmental change are significantly changing people’s daily lives and relationships. These things are naturally affecting the state of people’s “kokoro,” and sometimes various problems are caused because their “kokoro” can’t keep up with the changes.
 Rather than relying on science and technology for these circumstances or trying to resolve them by changing the environment, it may be necessary to focus on the “kokoro” of the people facing such things and carefully follow a path that leads to more essential understanding and resolution of problems.
 We think that it may be necessary for us now to consider the ways that humans faced the world with the roles of “kokoro” thus far and the ways that they understood “kokoro“, explore the concept of “kokoro,” and also to clarify the roles that will be required of “kokoro” from now on.
 The Kyoto Kokoro Initiative aims to question the future of “kokoro” in light of ancient “kokoro,” and to use the broad and deep nuances that are implied in the Japanese word “kokoro” in order to disseminate to the world a new understanding of “kokoro” as the Kokoro Initiative.
 While utilizing the interdisciplinary research and network about “kokoro” that have been accumulated through the Kokoro Research Center’s activities since it was established in 2007, we would like to further expand and deepen them.

2) Organization
・Organizing committee: A committee formed by departments throughout Kyoto University, centering on the Kokoro Research Center
・Consultant / advisory board: Kazuo Inamori
・Participants: Kyoto University’s researchers, invited researchers from Japan and other countries, artists, entrepreneurs, etc. We will form core members and repeatedly hold research meetings with a central focus on the Kokoro Research Center.

3) Project content
1. The Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop will be held four times a year on a closed basis. We will invite people such as researchers, artists, and religious people in accordance with the theme of the relevant fiscal year.
2. The Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium and the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium, which question the concept of “kokoro,” will be held on alternating years. We will ask President Kazuo Inamori and President Juichi Yamagiwa to attend them. We will look at and further understanding of the broad nuances and diversity of “kokoro” from various perspectives, such as “kokoro and history” “kokoro and coexistence,” and “kokoro and global society.”
3. The results of items 1 and 2 are published in Japanese and English respectively. Information about the Japanese Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium is also given in English and disseminated through things such as Kyoto University’s website.

4) Project plans
*Fiscal 2015
・The 1st Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium (1 day) “The Concept and History of Kokoro” (tentative title) will be held in Kyoto on September 13 (Sun.). Lecturers will include Shinichi Nakazawa, Juichi Yamagiwa, and Yoshinori Hiroi. It is expected that President Kazuo Inamori will also attend.
・Holding the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop four times
*Fiscal 2016
・The 1st Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium (2 days)
・Holding the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop four times
*Fiscal 2017 – 2020
・Holding the 2nd and 3rd Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Symposium and the Kyoto Kokoro Initiative International Symposium

2014

該当するカテゴリーの記事は存在しません。1

2013

該当するカテゴリーの記事は存在しません。1

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