Essays

Preparatory essays that should be modified, revised and republished as lectures or books.

Mar 262011
 
The Reasons I left Japanese Universities

I intended to be a professor of philosophy and became a student/postgraduate of three Japanese Universities. At first, I wondered why there were so many incompetent professors. It was not until I went on to the postgraduate course, where professors educated their successors, that I saw why the faculties which I belonged to did not […]

Apr 222001
 
Who can be a Scapegoat?

A scapegoat is, in the original Hebrew sense, a goat symbolically burdened with the sins of the ancient Jewish people. By extension, it has come to mean any group or individual that innocently bears the blame of others. What kind of beings are candidates of scapegoats?

Apr 152001
 
Why are Center and Periphery separated?

The distinction of center/periphery is based on the stratified structure of ancient cities, where the Court or a temple is located in the center, residencies of bureaucrats or noblemen in the semi-periphery and merchants, craftsmen or farmers in the periphery. But sociologists usually use it non-geographically as the dichotomy that indicates the uneven distribution of capital as power in social systems.

Apr 082001
 
The Desire for Difference

Many people are eager to satisfy their desire for difference; ladies with big-name brand products that show off their sense of fashion to the rivals, the intellectual elite that display their careers and title so as to distinguish them from the general public, bosses that flaunt their influence frequently to confirm the subordinates’ loyalty (you can observe those bosses everywhere from a monkey mountain to Washington, D.C.) etc.

Apr 012001
 
What is the New Economy?

In the late 1990s, a term "New Economy" was in fashion. According to Brian Arthur, the pioneer of economics of complex systems, while the Old Economy was based on the law of diminishing returns, the New Economy is based on the law of increasing returns, and it means the growth without inflation that boosts up the eternal rally of NASDAQ. What is wrong with this theory?

Mar 252001
 
Is the Lock-in a Market Failure?

If it is competition that promotes the progress, the lock-in by the defacto standard, as it stops the competition of standards, seems undesirable for the progress of our civilization, not to mention that by an inferior standard.

Mar 112001
 
Money and Language

You can imagine a culture as a correlate to self-sufficient economy where everyone could collect information and create works solely by himself without any communication with the others. Actually, however, we exchange commodities through money and views through language.

Mar 042001
 
Are Speculators Harmful?

Speculation is investment in the hope of capital gain rather than income gain. Many people consider speculators dangerous and, when the market loses its stability, some politicians make speculators the scapegoats for the crisis and try to regulate the market. Are they really responsible for it?

Feb 252001
 
What is Money?

Why does money have value and circulate, though it does not have value in itself? I will answer this question in terms of the system theory.

Feb 112001
 
The Paradox of Democracy

A textbook of politics usually mentions the following as a defect of democracy: Democracy operates under majority rule, where those in the numerical majority are powerful and they tend to ride roughshod over the concerns of the minority. It is a problem of democracy to be solved how to protect the weak minority from the tyranny of the majority. Is this classical theory true?

Jan 212001
 
Is Consumption Different from Production?

Economists usually consider consumption opposite to production. From the viewpoint of entropy, however, there is no difference between them. You can describe both of them as an increase in entropy of environment in compensation for reducing the entropy of a system.

Jan 072001
 
What is Value?

What makes merchandise valuable is usefulness and scarcity. Air is useful, but has no value, as anyone can get it easily. Trash is, even if it is very unique and hard to obtain, valueless, as it is useless. What then do both have in common?

Dec 242000
 
What is Definition?

What is definition? This is a question hard to answer. This requires the definition of definitions. You must know what a definition is before defining definitions. To get out of this circulation, let’s first follow the traditional definition and then examine the validity of it.

Dec 172000
 
What is the Essence of Individuals

The predicates prefixed with the definite article that refer to one and only one individual are definite descriptions, while those prefixed with the indefinite article, some, all and so on that can refer to more than one individuals are indefinite descriptions. Can the definite descriptions identify the essence of individuals and take the place of proper names?

Nov 122000
 
Why are we conscious of Time?

The question “What is time?” has been an eternal problem for philosophers. However, you can define a physical time by making the second law of thermodynamics analytic. How can we define the time in our mind, then?

Nov 052000
 
What is the transcendental Recognition?

Philosophers often use the adjective transcendental, for example, when they speak of the transcendental consciousness, the transcendental intersubjectivity and so on. I will explain this seemingly difficult technical term as plainly as possible.

Oct 292000
 
The Difference between Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and fear are similar feelings that we have of danger, but they are not the same. It is when you come short of information on danger that you are anxious about it, and when you have enough information on it, you are not anxious but just cautious about the fearful danger.

Oct 222000
 
Who is the Victim of Authoritarianism?

Authoritarians are unhappy persons, because they may eat bad meals on splendid plates and, what is more, they even don’t know that they are unhappy, thinking they are eating the best meal. The feeling we have toward authoritarians must be not anger but pity.

Oct 152000
 
What is Feminism?

People who confuses feminism with egalitarianism have missed the conspiracy of feminism. I will clarify why feminism does not liberate women by distinguishing feminism from egalitarianism.

Oct 082000
 
Are Freedom and Equality Compatible?

Freedom is usually thought to be opposed to equality, because, when everyone has freedom of selection, some are selected, while others excluded, thus society becomes unequal. So, those who prefer equality tend to hate free competition.

Oct 012000
 
Why is the Pronoun "I" necessary?

The usage of the pronoun I is not innate but acquired. At first, Infants use their proper names to refer to themselves. It is so difficult to master the usage of I that it takes a long time for infants to know how to use the first-person pronoun. When, how and why did we get to use the first-person pronoun?

Sep 242000
 
What is Love?

Those who take narcissism as sexual perversion, confuse narcissism with egoism. However, narcissists not only find themselves in the other, but also find the other in themselves. Narcissism has a reversible symmetry of mirror and to love oneself is, at the same time, to love the other. In this intersubjectively reflective relation, the antinomy of egoism vs. altruism disappears.

Sep 032000
 
Are there Other Minds?

It is evident that I have consciousness. How can I prove that there are other minds besides mine, then? If I cannot prove the existence of alter ego, must I accept solipsism?

Aug 202000
 
What is Truth?

There are three main theories of truth: the correspondence theory, the coherence theory and the power theory. In this article, I will examine these theories and conclude that truth is power.

Aug 132000
 
What is Consciousness?

You would think you have consciousness, but robots do not. What criteria should we apply for judging whether a certain system has consciousness or not? I would like to suggest a criterion: whether it can waver in its selection or not.

Aug 062000
 
The Asymmetric Exchange System

An ad hoc consultative agency of the prime minister in Japan, where there is no conscription, proposes that all 18-year-old children should engage in such social service as care for old people for a year. I’m afraid that, once this institution is established, it will be difficult to do away with it. Children of less than 19 years may well object to this compulsory gratuitous service, but they have no suffrage. When they come of age and gain their suffrage, they will have gone through with the service. If someone tried to abolish it, they would complain, “Why don’t our junior have to serve us, while we serve our senior? We cannot admit such unfairness.”

Jul 302000
 
What is Autopoiesis?

The term autopoiesis originally stems from biology, but it is used in philosophy and sociology. In this article, I will investigate what autopoiesis is in comparison with neighboring concepts: self-organization, self-reference and self-reflection.

Jul 022000
 
The Rhythm of Life

We feel more comfortable in the natural breeze than that mechanically caused by the fan. You might consider the natural breeze capricious, but there is a rhythm of life whose order can be mathematically formulated.

Jun 252000
 
The Best Energy Source

Oil and coal, which have brought about modern industry, are limited resources and destined to be exhausted someday. Moreover, combustion of oil or coal causes various kind of pollution. That’s why the advanced nations are groping for the clean alternative energy sources since the oil crisis. There are many candidates for it, such as nuclear power, photovoltaic power, wind power, waterpower generation, but it is my considered opinion that methane is the best alternative energy sources. I’ll tell you the reason for it.

Jun 112000
 
A Pigovian Tax as a Population Policy

The costs to society caused by the consumption or production of goods that are not incorporated into the price of the goods, such as those of pollution or shortage of resources are called external diseconomies. The Pigovian tax internalizes this externality inside the market. For example, if producers do not bear the cost of garbage […]

May 282000
 
Is the Zero-Emission Recycling Possible?

In modern Europe, engineers tried to invent perpetual motion machines, only to fail. Perpetual motion machines are imaginary machines that eternally work without being supplied with any fuel once they are set up. Invention of perpetual motion machines is modern alchemy.

May 282000
 
Are All Fractals Complex Systems?

Although almost all books concerning complex systems mention chaos and fractals, I suspect that not all fractals are complex systems.I have already explained chaos and complex systems. So, first I must explain what fractals are.

May 212000
 
What is a Complex System?

Although the science of complexity is in fashion, there is almost no agreement on what the complex system is. In this article, I would like to suggest a working definition of the complex system: indeterminate determination.In order to understand the complex system, you must understand two concepts: complexity and system.

Apr 292000
 
What is a System?

The word system is derived from a Greek word sunistanai (to combine) and a system is usually defined as a group of combined elements. This definition identifies system/element relation with that of whole/part, but a system is not just a whole composed of parts, much less spatial subsumption relation between a whole and parts. What is a system, then?